A Student’s Guide to Alternative Fuel Vehicles Electric Vehicles

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Chevrolet Electric Cars

Electricity — stored in

Switching on the juice

Electric have been around for a long time. In the early there were more vehicles than there gasoline-powered cars. The vehicle is a Rauch and Lang Electric built around 1922.

back then was very It also was hard to start a engine; you had to turn and turn and a crank in front of the car to get it to start. did not have a key to start the car like we do Gasoline vehicles were noisy and put out lots of smoke. The either had no mufflers, or the mufflers do a good job.

So, electric were a BIG hit! At one time were 50,000 EVs on the roads and of the United States.

But EVs soon away like the horse-drawn Ways of cheaply making were discovered. A new invention an electric starter was made.

It the car with a key instead of a crank. A car could go much farther an electric one. So, gasoline-powered soon became the main of transporting people.

Automobile are making cars cleaner and Ten cars built today the same amount of pollution you’d get from just one car 15 years ago. And oil companies are cleaner fuels like a new called reformulated gasoline.

But EVs are on the road.

Electric Vehicles. Here in California

California has been a place for cars. take people to work, to the store, to school. Trucks all sorts of goods from and factories to our stores.

Our state would literally to a stop without cars and

California has more than 23 registered vehicles. And all those exhaust produces a large of air pollution. Cars, trucks and cause the largest amount of air — about 35 percent.

In the state agency that is for protecting California’s air quality a rule to reduce the pollution cars. The California Air Resources (ARB) decided that in 1998, two percent of all vehicles in California would have to zero emissions. That have meant that 20,000 vehicles sold year would have electric vehicles.

In the mid-1990s, the however, changed its mind a huge lobbying effort by the companies. ARB decided not to mandate the of EVs, but to instead let automobile voluntarily sell Zero-Emission (ZEVs) from 1998 to Then, starting in 2003, ten or one out of every ten cars sold, have to be a zero-emission vehicle. As the approached, the agency changed the even further.

The compromise extremely low-emission vehicles to get ZEV credits, but required that companies only sell two pure-ZEVS.

Our vehicles also use a lot of California’s cars and trucks 14.5 billion gallons of each year! That’s gasoline to fill a line of trucks stretched bumper to from San Francisco to San Diego AND

Nearly all of California’s cars and use only gasoline and diesel, made from oil. produces only half of the oil it The rest comes from and foreign sources.

The United States, as a whole, more than one-half of the oil it from other countries mostly from the Middle and South America. If there to be a disruption of oil or gasoline supplies, have lots of problems. So, other types of fuels alternative fuels — to our trucks and cars will California and our country.

How Do Electric Work?

Electric vehicles the Ford Ranger Electric above on the left) don’t gasoline in an engine. They use stored on the car in batteries. Sometimes, 12 or 24 or more, are needed to power the

Just like a remote-controlled, electric car, EVs have an motor that turns the and a battery to run that motor.

One of the modern EVs was the General Motors GM changed its name and started the GM EV1 in 1997. This sleek car even set a World Record of than 180 miles per hour!

The EV1 is aerodynamic. This means air slides around the body of the car easily. The less air resistance or the less energy is needed to the car at freeway speeds.

The EV1 is as aerodynamic as jet fighter aircraft!

To charge an batteries, the car is usually plugged in at In the picture to the left, an Impact vehicle is plugged into a charging unit attached to a The Impact is not yet available for sale.

EVs can plug right into a electrical wall outlet. need a larger outlet, the kind that a stove or clothes dryer plug

Electricity, the same energy lights your lamps and your TV, is stored in batteries on an EV.

The can be lead acid batteries, the batteries you find in our flashlight or in gasoline cars. Or they can be (nickel-cadmium) like the kind run portable video recorders or a video game player only much larger.

batteries that hold energy and last longer are developed. In 2001, by the time fifth graders are ready to electric vehicles should be to go 150 to 200 miles before recharging.

How far can an EV go? How do they cost?

Most EVs however, can only go about 100 before you need to plug in and recharge their batteries. are not like the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going, and and going. But, 50 to 100 miles is for most people who only a short distance to and from to and from school, or to do some like the Ford Th!nk Electric Vehicle on the right.

EVs with special batteries can go a distance. The car on the right is made by a in Massachusetts called Solectria. It is the Sunrise.

In 1995, a Solectria set a world record for going 238 on one charge.

Electric vehicles are expensive to buy than gasoline but when more and more EVs are the price of EVs should drop to the same as gasoline cars.

EVs Available Today

Some like the Toyota RAV-4 EV are by major auto companies. electric vehicles built are made by small car companies, or by who build them in their own as a hobby. Some people cars from kits and them look like roadsters or like sports

Other people convert cars into electric They pull out the motor and gas and put an electric motor and batteries the car. Sometimes, the batteries go the trunk or even under the seat. they go where there is room.

Beginning in nearly all of the major auto — Ford, General Toyota, Chrysler and Honda at least one model electric That numbers has dropped in with many auto working on hybrid vehices a combination of a small internal engine and an electric motor.

Vehicles are EVs, too!

are other types of electric too. Many cities electric-powered buses, trolleys, or light-rail. Even most are electric.

Other places use electric buses with because they don’t wires over the roads.

One of places is Yosemite National in California where two new electric started being used in 1995. The buses are almost so the buses don’t disturb to the national park.

Eventually, all the in Yosemite will be electric

Other people are using bicycles. The picture on the left is an bicycle made by ZAP Power of Northern California.

The motor is just above the rear and under the seat. The bag that’s from the middle holds the

The bike can go 20 miles per hour, and it can 20 miles before needing a

Most people use bicycles for Some people use bicycles for to school or work. Having an bike means you can get to work or without sweating.

For people who disabilities, an electric-powered bike allow them freedom to be

What About Solar-Powered

Unfortunately, electric cars probably not be solar-powered. Solar also called photovoltaic produce too little power. are not practical to power a full-sized car.

Some colleges, race solar-powered cars. The on the right is the solar car from Polytechnic University in Pomona, — CalPoly Pomona for

The back of the car is covered with cells, but all those solar only produce enough to run an electric hair dryer. 1,500 watts.

That’s not energy to run a heavy vehicle. The Pomona solar car is also light, less than 400 It’s not strong enough to be in and protect a driver in an accident another car or truck.

The solar car is rather uncomfortable. Students to climb into the car and almost lie in it. It also doesn’t turn very well.

Solar give students a chance to a better car and to work on advanced in automobile design, engineering and Building cars allows to dream about ways to cars more efficient and to use other than gasoline.

In 1990, the U.S. Department of by National Renewable Energy (NREL) started sponsoring the Junior Solar Sprint for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. JSS teams construct model cars and race them in competitions.

Who knows, maybe ONE a student just like will invent a real car that we ALL can drive.

Read on.

Gasoline .

Alcohols — and methanol.

Compressed natural gas — natural gas under pressure.

Electricity — in batteries.

Fuel Cell — zero-emission vehicles of the

Hybrid Vehicles — a couple of different energy or motors.

Hydrogen — a special type of gas.

natural gas (LNG) — gas that is very, very

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hydrocarbon gases under low

Liquids made from — gasoline and diesel that doesn’t come petroleum.

Biodiesel — a lot diesel fuel, but made plant oil or animal fat .


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