I recently watched “Who Killed the Electric Car.” I highly recommend it – the movie and the car. Unfortunately, after GM built the EV1, a car that had very few mechanical problems, maintenance issues, and zero emissions, they pulled the cars off the streets and destroyed them all. Brilliant move. California also played a role by easing up on its Zero Emmission Vehicle Mandate, under pressure from car manufacturers, oil companies, and the Bush Administration. (source) I don’t feel so bad for the big American car companies for being dominated by foreign carmakers. They had a chance to be a real leader and they literally crushed it themselves. And we’re all suffering for it. Thanks GM.
Back to the car… It held it’s charge for 60-120 miles, which isn’t a lot. However, most Americans travel an average of 29 miles per day. The car didn’t get oil changes, or some of the other routine maintenance that earns $$ for the car companies. It drives a lot faster than regular gas cars – with no emissions. I looked into electric cars, knowing that people have got to be converting their own cars, or building new cars. (Check the Electric Auto Association)
It turns out that a company in Tallmadge makes electric cars! ** Myers Motors ** Right here in NE Ohio! This car costs less than $25,000. It seats 1, and gets 30 miles on a charge, but it looks cool, has no emissions, and is like a motorcycle – but safer.
(Akron’s Stanford Ovshinsky created a car battery that goes over 120 miles on a charge. The Telsa – the red hottie pictured above – gets 250 miles per charge.)
While I firmly believe the electric car is by far the best option we have for transportation, here are the others: (My preference is the electric car, which you plug into your house, which is powered by solar and wind power… it’s coming)
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen cars cost about $1 million, and the fuel is very expensive and produced using non-renewable resources. A national hydrogen fuel infrastructure must be created in order for people to have ready access to fuel the cars. There’s already an electricity infrastructure in place.
This is a better source of fuel than both gas and hydrogen, and could be even better by recycling and using overproduction, rather than growing crops strictly for biodiesel. The good news is that if you own a diesel car, you can convert it to biodiesel right now. Sources of biodiesel include the grease used by restaurants, (which they currently pay to have removed), algae, corn, manure, etc.
These are plugged in and use a battery for 60 miles before the car requires gas. Its best feature is that it travels farther than most purely electric cars. (and gas companies aren’t totally opposed b/c you still have to use their product so it’s possible) Experts say plug in hybrids can help the electricity grid because you plug it in at night when electricity is cheaper. It might also push electric companies to use alternative/renewable sources of energy. My question to the car companies who abandoned the electric car because they “can no longer service it”… isn’t it more difficult to service an electric/gas combined – you have 2 sources of power to deal with?
Until you get yourself an electric car, check out these tips.
(originally posted on The Chief Source)