Energy Efficiency dissertation

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Energy Efficiency

The idea of electric cars, which run on big rechargeable batteries in opposition gas-powered internal combustion engines, has been around for years. But growing climate-alteration worries, tougher fuel-efficiency standards, billions in government subsidies, and a lot of venture capital seem to be generating a tilting point that could move electric cars from the transportation borders into the majority (The future of the electric car, 2010).

An electric car by definition will utilize an electric motor for forward motion instead of being powered by a gasoline-powered motor. The years 1899 and 1900 were the high spot for electric cars in America, as they sold more than all other kinds of cars. The 1902 Phaeton built by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago, had a range of eighteen miles, a top speed of 14 mph and cost two thousand dollars. In 1916, Woods produced a hybrid car that had both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. While basic electric cars cost less than one thousand dollars, most early electric vehicles were elaborate, enormous carriages intended for the upper class. They had fancy interiors, with costly materials, and averaged about three thousand dollars by 1910. Electric vehicles took pleasure in triumph into the 1920's with manufacturing cresting in 1912 (Bellis, 2011).

Electric cars had many benefits over their rivals in the early 1900's. They did not have the shaking, smell, and noise connected with gasoline cars. Changing gears on gasoline cars was the most complicated element of driving, while electric vehicles did not necessitate gear changes. Although steam-powered cars also had no gear shifting, they experienced from long start-up times of up to forty five minutes on cold mornings. The steam cars had less range before having to have water than an electric's range on one charge. The only high-quality roads of the period were in town, making most travel very local, an ideal circumstance for electric vehicles, since their range was narrow. The electric vehicle was the favored option of a lot people because it did not necessitate the physical endeavor to start, as with the hand crank on gasoline vehicles, and there was no fighting with a gear shifter (Bellis, 2011).

After this period the electric car went down in attractiveness and it was a number of years before there was a new awareness. By the 1920's, America had an improved system of roads that linked cities, bringing with it the call for longer-range cars. The finding of Texas crude oil decreased the price of gasoline so that it was reasonably priced to the common customer. The creation of the electric starter by Charles Kettering in 1912 got rid of the need for the hand crank. The commencement of mass manufacture of internal combustion engine vehicles by Henry Ford made these vehicles extensively obtainable and reasonably priced in the five hundred to one thousand dollar price range. In contrast, the cost of the less proficiently produced electric vehicles persisted to go up. In 1912, an electric roadster sold for over seventeen thousand dollars, while a gasoline car sold for just over six hundred. Electric vehicles had all but vanished by 1935. The years subsequent to the 1960's were lifeless years for electric vehicle expansion and for their use as private transport (Bellis, 2011).

The 1960's and 1970's saw a need for alternative-fueled vehicles to decrease the issues of exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines and to decrease the dependence on imported foreign crude oil. A lot of efforts to manufacture sensible electric vehicles took place throughout the years from 1960 and beyond. In the early 1960's, the Boyertown Auto Body Works together formed the Battronic Truck Company with Smith Delivery Vehicles, Ltd., of England and the Exide Division of the Electric Battery Company. The first Battronic electric truck was given to the Potomac Edison Company in 1964. This truck was able to reach speeds of 25 mph, a range of 62 miles and a payload of twenty five hundred pounds. Battronic worked with General Electric from 1973 to 1983 to manufacture one hundred and seventy five utility vans for use in the utility industry and to show the abilities of battery-powered vehicles. Battronic also manufactured and fashioned about twenty passenger buses in the mid-1970's (Bellis, 2011).

There were two corporations that were leaders in electric car manufacture throughout this time. Sebring-Vanguard produced over two thousand CitiCars. These cars had a top speed of 44 mph, a normal cruise speed of 38 mph and a range of fifty to sixty miles. The other company was Elcar Corporation, which fashioned the Elcar. The Elcar had a top speed of 45 mph, a range of sixty miles and cost upwards of four thousand dollars. In 1975, the United States Postal Service bought three hundred and fifty electric delivery jeeps from the American Motor Company to be used in a test program. These jeeps had a top speed of 50 mph and a range of forty miles at a speed of 40 mph. Heating and defrosting were accomplished by way of a gas heater and the recharge time took about ten hours (Bellis, 2011).

Several legislative and regulatory proceedings in the United States and around the world have renewed the electric vehicle development labors. Principal among these has been the U.S. 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment, the U.S. 1992 Energy Policy Act, and systems issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Additionally to more severe air emissions necessities and regulations requiring decreases in gasoline use, several states have issued Zero Emission Vehicle requirements as well. The Big Three automobile manufacturers, and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a number of vehicle conversion companies have become aggressively concerned in electric vehicle development through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) (Bellis, 2011).

Demand is high right now for these cars, but that's mainly due to there are very few of them being made. Chevy only plans to produce ten thousand Volts in 2011. It remains to be seen whether large amounts of Americans, used to cheap gas and extended gaps between fill-ups, will be able to make the change. A bipartisan group in Congress undertook an effort to ease the transition, proposing a bill aimed at making half the cars sold in the U.S. electric by 2030 by way of extended subsidies, tax credits, and a ten million dollar prize for whoever develops the first commercially feasible battery with a five hundred mile range. The bill was included in a recent energy bill, but it got stuck in the Senate under a Republican filibuster threat. Nonetheless, electric car supporters believe that as battery technology persists to move forward, electric model prices one day will fall to the point that millions of people will be driving one (The future of the electric car, 2010).

There are many obstacles to electric cars with the biggest one being the price. In general, electric cars carry about a fifteen thousand dollar price over similar gas-powered models, because their batteries can cost up to twenty thousand apiece to make. The Volt's base price is forty one thousand, while the Leaf goes for about thirty three thousand. But large federal tax credits should drive the sticker price down by up to seven thousand five hundred per car, and some states are offering additional tax inducements. Even with the reductions, though, it would take more than a decade for a purchaser to get back the cost in gas savings. Still, supporters say that with developments in the mechanized process, batteries could drop by ten thousand apiece by 2020, and that more people will make the change when their gas savings more rapidly pay off for the higher price of electric cars (The future of the electric car, 2010).

A Leaf, for example, is priced at just above thirty three thousand, compared with Nissan's Versa model with roughly the same frame at about fifteen thousand. A federal tax credit for an electric car will shave seven thousand five hundred off the difference. But even if an electric car costs just pennies to run, this is not enough for a lot of purchasers. What most people don't understand is that in terms of operational costs or what it costs one to drive the car around, electric cars are beneficial today. But people don't purchase cars based on operating expenses. They buy based on upfront expenses and it can take years before the lower operational cost makes up for the higher upfront cost. It is thought that it could take up to five years to recover the price difference between the Versa and Leaf (Trading Pumps for Plugs: We Aren't There Yet, 2011).

Another obstacle with the electric car is that of range. Tesla Motors claims the Roadster can go up to two hundred and forty five miles on a single charge, while Nissan says the Leaf can get up to one hundred miles. The key phrase is up to. Weather, speed, and the utilization…[continue]

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