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Alternative Energy-Electric Cars

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Electric cars are some of the most popular non pollutant engines. This essay will give brief information on electric cars, their advantages and disadvantages and ecological issues involved with their use. An electric car derives its power from an electronic motor whose energy is stored in a battery, since it does not have a combustion engine, the battery is electronically charged through a socket.

The electronic motor powers the wheels directly hence eliminating the need for a conventional gearbox. Electric energy is stored a number of batteries built in the car, charging of the electric car domestically may take about 5 to 6 hours though it might take less than an hour when using high voltage current electricity supply (Boxwell,M. Pg.8)

Advantages of using Electric Cars

Ecological Advantages

Electric cars produce zero emissions to the environment; unlike internal combustion engines which emit a considerable amount of carbon to the environment. Should the use of electric cars become widespread, it would free the world from the dependence of oil and other fossil fuels whose extraction from the earth’s surface in many cases causes environmental pollution. When compared to an internal combustion engine, electric cars are relatively quieter thus contributing less to noise pollution.

Economic Advantages

Electric cars will cost the owner a relative less amount of money to maintain its engine, some have about 20 moving parts as compared to internal combustion engines which may be several hundreds. In between tasks or when idle, electric cars use no energy at all thus they may conserve some energy when not in use.

Advantages on Human Health

On human health issues, the vibration levels in electric cars are lower as compared to cars that use internal combustion engines. This makes passengers travelling in electric cars more comfortable and less inclined to car sickness or fatigue in the case of long distance travel (Marinescu,G.C&Otat,O,V).

Disadvantages of using Electric Cars

Ecological Disadvantages

Electric cars may themselves be “clean” but the toxic elements found in their batteries may spew toxic fumes especially after their disposal. Moreover not all electricity powering these cars is generated from renewable sources electric power production in many instances causes pollution.

Economic Disadvantages

The batteries that power these vehicles are quite expensive; it costs about 10,000 US dollars to obtain a long lasting lithium-ion battery whose lifespan is only about 4 years. All other accessories in the car such as air conditioners and radio use the batteries which may drain faster. The relative big size of the battery causes the cars to be quite heavy.

Electric cars require charging stations, they must therefore be a series of charging stations especially when one is travelling for long distances which is expensive. With the average car battery weighing 1000 pounds which is quite heavy, this is disadvantageous as the weight of the batteries makes them drain out faster and therefore need constant replacement which may be expensive in the long run.

Disadvantages on Human Health

The inability of electric cars to climb and accelerate quickly may expose the driver to danger especially when overtaking (Articlesbase)

Residential Case Study

Among the electric cars found in Seattle is the 2011 Nissan Leaf which costs about 32,780 US dollars but as a result of the federal government tax credit, the price comes down to 25,280 US dollars. The Ford Focus Electric is also available.  Nissan Leaf has a “23 kilowatt-hour lithium manganese battery that can be recharged within 8 hours and be used for 100miles. Energy costs come to about 408 US dollars a month. A charging station costs about 2,200 dollars a month; fore an average person who drives 200miles a week, it would cost the person 5464 US dollars to run the Nissan Leaf for a month (Autopia).

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