UpFront Politics: Social Issues

Electric Vehicles

electric vehicles
Posted: September 7, 2018 at 12:42 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Today, there has been an increase in those folks that are climate and environmentally conscious. You can see the trend as more people are using solar and wind energy to fuel their homes, and lives. However, people still like to travel and have to make their way back and forth to work. As commuting becomes more popular amongst people there has been an upsurge in electric vehicles or EV. Electric vehicles are cars and trucks that are at least partially powered by electricity. Some use electric motors powered by electricity from batteries that can be recharged with a conventional 120v outlet or hydrogen fuel cells. The hydrogen fuel cell vehicles convert hydrogen gas into electricity. This form of vehicle is not yet widely available except in California where they have shown to be more popular. Even with that, the stations required to operate these vehicles are not readily available. There are the “plug-in hybrids” these are vehicles that run on gasoline and electricity. The gasoline option is more for longer drives or driving in an area where the public charging station are not within the distances necessary to operate entirely on electricity.

There are many advantages to operating an electric vehicle, one of the most talked about is at least as far as the electric charge vehicles are concerned, is the lack of emissions from a conventional exhaust and they are much quieter which leads to less noise pollution. The fuel efficiency is another hot topic some of these vehicles, on the higher end of the spectrum, can get up to 200 miles per charge. This makes for a saving of between 700.00 and 1000.00 per year in fueling costs. What could you do with an extra 700 to 1000 dollars per year?

The battery electric vehicles (BEV) have only one real moving part and that is a rotor, all you have to worry about maintaining is the brakes, tires, and suspension. The batteries will eventually have to be replaced; however, most manufacturers offer about an 8-year warranty on the batteries for the operation of these vehicles. You don’t have to worry about fuel injection systems, radiators, or starter motors, as well as the other problems that usually accompany a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.

If you are one of the people that use renewable energy such as solar or wind, then the costs and convenience become an even better advantage. Not to mention you can have virtually no emission at all from your vehicle. Some countries even offer “green energy” you can purchase from the electric companies. A lot of the Ev on the road today are even made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, plastic bags, old car parts, and even old appliances. Safety issues can be resolved due to the fact that the EV has a lower center of gravity which makes it less likely to roll over in case of an accident. The lack of gasoline and oil make the possibility of fires and explosions even less of a concern in case of an accident.

7 major manufacturers make these vehicles: the absolute top of the line is Elon Musk’s Tesla Model X, it features falcon wing doors, and room for seven passengers, and offers up to 300 miles per charge. The BMW i3 is a luxury SUV which offers a more compact size and still room for up to five people. Nissan is the most popular, however, with the Nissan Leaf, it has all of the other advantages of an EV but costs much less than others. The Chevrolet Bolt offers up to 220 miles per charge and is, by all means, the lowest in cost to purchase. Ford has the Ford Focus electric, and it is affordable and keeps the look and driving feel of its conventional counterpart. It also offers up to 100 miles per charge. The Volkswagen offers us their version in the E-Golf which has about 80 miles per charge, it also retains the original look and feel of its gasoline-powered twin. The South Korean car-Kia gives us the Kia Soul EV, it looks like the original Soul yet offers up to 100 miles per charge.

It is important to note that sometimes the difference in which one you purchase is the warranty that comes with each vehicle, it is encouraged that anyone researches their choice to drive an EV. You should consider if you take longer trips or not if you have access to proper charging stations in your city or town. You should also take note of passenger size and the vehicle’s ability to travel a distance without problems or maybe even consider a gas/electric hybrid if you have to drive over a greater distance. Whatever decision you make, it is environmentally conscious and that is an important thing with the amount of pollution in our environment today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.