Analysis Electric Cars and The Confessions of a Petrolhead

5 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Analysis Electric Cars and The Confessions of a Petrolhead отключены
Ferrari Electric Cars

Analysis: Electric Cars and The of a Petrolhead

I’ve always electric cars with as if they’re built and driven by who want to rid the world of internal engines in pursuit of preventing us from enjoying ourselves. that on a childhood dominated by and deafening race weekends at and Brands Hatch, because it like I’m wrong.

The P1 proves even supercars can from hybrid electric (McLaren)

A whining, near-silent of zero-emission city cars by smug environmentalists isn’t the option car manufacturers are assessing, and stereotype needn’t dampen the enthusiasts’ pursuit for something exciting. Indeed, the green world has come a long way the Toyota Prius and G-Whiz.


McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Lotus are all developing electric and technologies for current and future cars — and as for motorsport, won the Le Mans 24 Hours with a electric car this year, and One governing body the FIA will the all-electric Formula E World in 2014.

Motorsport has always played a key in the development of road car technologies for speed, reliability and safety so it’s no surprise that of the most interesting electric and cars to capture the attention of enthusiasts come from the track.

The Formula One connection

Ferrari and McLaren announced next generation of million-pound cars this year, and for the time in either company’s both feature hybrid capable of returning improved and lower emissions — and systems find their in Formula One.

Used by F1 to boost acceleration for a few seconds lap, Kers (kinetic recovery system) gathers spent during braking and it, ready to be deployed at the touch of a

In the case of the McLaren P1 (pictured the car can drive entirely on stored power for 12 miles — not a but it means you avoid the London Charge and any future city clampdowns on pollution.

The idiotically-named can’t operate in full-electric but uses a similar system to the P1 it gives the car extra power and low down in the rev range, where naturally-aspirated petrol engines are to offer maximum power.

Ferrari to Ford

This grunt is a characteristic shared by all or hybrid vehicles. Because power and torque is available zero revs, initial is quicker — something you can feel in the Ford Focus a car hampered by 300kg of batteries, yet feels more responsive off the than its petrol relative.

electric power takes with one hand — a manual gearbox, even gears — it replaces a more responsive power and even the heavy batteries can be to the manufacturer’s advantage.

Although the Focus’s handling benefit from that 300kg stored in the boot and the rear seats, Tesla has this extra weight to effect in the Model S.

The battery is installed in the floor, as low as possible. As a the car’s centre of gravity is than just about else on the road, somewhere the top of the wheels, just 18in off the While BMW offers carbon roofs to bring the centre of down, Tesla is already ahead.

This is hugely to the car’s handling, meaning the car flat and level through corners without needing and less comfortable suspension, as on the Focus.

Range anxiety

manufacturers know how to make the from electric power, and as the Model S proves, a range of 300 from an all-electric car is possible, all but the ‘range anxiety’ suffered by consumers.

Ferrari Electric Cars

Yes, electric cars are much more expensive the petrol alternatives, the choice of on sale is small, charging aren’t as common as petrol and range for all but the Tesla is a concern.

But warming to the idea — than I ever thought I — because these drawbacks are reducing all the time. As manufacturers, both on racetrack and continue to invest, energy and governments will have choice but to embrace the change and the infrastructure electric cars so need.

Tesla is nobly a charging network across the US now — with stations to the UK and Europe soon — but proprietary and not compatible with any electric car, this seems shortsighted.

What the needs is the government to take a and install super-fast chargers at petrol stations. Forget recharging cars for free or a of pounds. You could charge £20 to a 300-mile range Tesla electricity and it won’t take for petrol drivers paying than £50 to cover the same to take note.

Only then — and prices of electric cars fallen, as they invariably once economies of scale are — will the jump combustion to electric current sense.

Resting on our laurels

because we’ve had the petrol for more than a century mean we should rest on our and assume it’s perfect and equally we enthusiasts clinging to it oily hands shouldn’t that whatever comes will be a step backwards.

no doubt baulked when the pedal was moved from the to the left, and they probably again when the gear was no longer fitted to the outside of the but that doesn’t mean we to treat electric power the same skepticism.

The good for driving enthusiasts is that you look past the planet-saving, stereotype painted by Jeremy and other dinosaurs of motoring you see a whole host of major eager to develop and sell cars of all shapes, sizes, and performance.

I won’t be buying an electric car but it’s impossible to not be excited by the possibilities available once anxiety has been removed the equation.

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