What are Electric Cars ?

Simply Electric Cars are cars powered by an electric motor drawing power from a battery usually Lithium-Ion. Electric cars are therefore limited by the effiency of the battery giving a range at present of around 70 miles. There has recently been some new technology developed at the University Of Colarado Boulder for Solid State Batteries that could double the range of Electric Cars details here

Electric Cars are ideal for commuting in large cities as most journeys are less than 70 miles per day which can be obtained from one charge and are more efficient at slower speeds. Electric cars also benefit from regenerative braking which puts energy back into the battery when the brakes are applied.

The costs of running an electric car are quite small working out at about 1.5 pence a mile to run. There are also the added benefits of no congestion charge in London and exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty as electric cars have no C02 emissions. Some councils also offer free parking for electric cars.

Gradually cities are introducing charging points for electric cars and these include London, Brighton and Hove, Newcastle and Gateshead. List of Charging Points in London Charging Points in the UK There is also a downloadable app at : http://chargeyourcar.org.uk/

The government has an innitiative to offer up to a £5,000 grant (now extended to 2017) for the purchase of new electric cars and £8,000 for electric vans. Details are listed here.

Enviromental issues of Electric Cars.

Electric Cars appear to be enviromentally friendly as having no exhaust they produce no C02 emissions. However carbon emissions are produced in the production of electricity. Many Power Stations use fossil fuels which are high in C02 emissions. A massive investment by governments is now needed to fund more enviromentally friendly ways to produce electricity. This could be in the form of nuclear power stations and expanding the development of solar power and wind turbines.

Electric Car Subsidy extended to 2017 - Government launches £500 million fund. April 2014

Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars are powered by both petrol (or diesel) engines and electric motors.The electric motor gets its power from batteries which are charged when the car is in motion The kinetic energy produced in braking is also used to charge the battery.The majority of the time the hybrid car is powered by the main engine using the electric motor to give more power in acceleration. In slow city traffic the electric motor can be used by itself.

Hydrogen Cars

Hydrogen cars are electric cars using hydrogen fuel cells as a storage for electrical energy. The fuel cell uses hydrogen as a fuel source and electricity is produced when hydrogen and oxygen are combined electochemically.

Electric Cars
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