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Old 06-23-2010, 08:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The death of the electric car

Did you know that the electric car has been around for more than a century? Really, no joke. ** (The electric car was among some of the earliest automobiles — small electric vehicles predate the Otto cycle upon which Diesel (diesel engine) and Benz (gasoline engine) based the automobile. Between 1832 and 1839 (the exact year is uncertain), Scottish businessman Robert Anderson invented the first crude electric carriage. Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, the Netherlands, designed the small-scale electric car, built by his assistant Christopher Becker in 1835.

Now ask yourself this, "If the electric car was here so long ago, why is it not here now?" Well the answer is simple, the oil companies made sure the info about this technology was kept as quiet as possible. The more electric cars out on the road equals less gas being purchased. This in turn would affect the oil companies' profits.

Since the late 1980s, electric vehicles have been promoted in the US through the use of tax credits. Electric cars are the most common form of what is defined by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) passenger automobiles, because they produce no emissions while being driven. The CARB had set progressive quotas for sales of ZEVs, but most were withdrawn after lobbying and a lawsuit by auto manufacturers complaining that EVs were economically infeasible due to an alleged "lack of consumer demand". Most of these lobbying influences are shown in a documentary, called Who Killed the Electric Car?.

In California, a regulation was placed on car dealerships to help reduce the air pollution being produced in the state of California. **(The California program was designed by the CARB to reduce air pollution and not specifically to promote electric vehicles. Under pressure from various manufactures, CARB replaced the zero emissions requirement with a combined requirement of a very small number of ZEVs to promote research and development, and a much larger number of partial zero-emissions vehicles (PZEVs), an administrative designation for a super ultra low emissions vehicle (SULEV), which emit about ten percent of the pollution of ordinary low emissions vehicles and are also certified for zero evaporative emissions. While effective in reaching the air pollution goals projected for the zero emissions requirement, the market effect was to permit the major manufacturers to quickly terminate their electric car programs and crush the vehicles.


Although some electric vehicles have very small motors, 20 hp (15 kW) or less and therefore have modest acceleration, the relatively constant torque of an electric motor even at very low speeds tends to increase the acceleration performance of an electric vehicle for the same rated motor power. Another early solution was American Motors' experimental Amitron piggyback system of batteries with one type designed for sustained speeds while a different set boosted acceleration when needed.

Electric vehicles can also utilize a direct motor-to-wheel configuration which increases the amount of available power. Having multiple motors connected directly to the wheels allows for each of the wheels to be used for both propulsion and as braking systems, thereby increasing traction. In some cases, the motor can be housed directly in the wheel, such as in the Whispering Wheel design, which lowers the vehicle's center of gravity and reduces the number of moving parts. When not fitted with an axle, differential, or transmission, electric vehicles have less drivetrain rotational inertia.

A gearless or single gear design in some EVs eliminates the need for gear shifting, giving such vehicles both smoother acceleration and smoother braking. Because the torque of an electric motor is a function of current, not rotational speed, electric vehicles have a high torque over a larger range of speeds during acceleration, as compared to an internal combustion engine. As there is no delay in developing torque in an EV, EV drivers report generally high satisfaction with acceleration.

For example, the Venturi Fetish delivers supercar acceleration despite a relatively modest 300 horsepower (220 kW), and a top speed of around 100 miles per hour. Some DC motor-equipped drag racer EVs, have simple two-speed transmissions to improve top speed[30][31]. The Tesla Roadster prototype can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4 seconds with a motor rated at 248 hp (185 kW). The Ronaele 300E Mustang is another performance car that has recently emerged, the pure electric can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 4 seconds with a motor rated at 300 horsepower (220 kW).


The following list of electric cars contains specs of the vehicle. These cars really are impressive if you think about it.

NAME: Baker Electric
COMMENT: The first electric car; it was reputedly easy to drive
TOP SPEED: 14 mph / 23 km/h
COST: US $2300 or €1,700
RANGE: 50 mi / 80 km

NAME: Detroit Electric
COMMENT: Sold mainly to women and physicians.
TOP SPEED: 20 mph / 32 km/h
COST: >US$3,000 or €2,250 depending on options
RANGE: 80 mi (130 km)

NAME: Henney Kilowatt
COMMENT: The first modern (transistor-based) electric car and outfitted with modern hydraulic brakes
TOP SPEED: 60 mph / 97 km/h
COST: ??

NAME: Skoda Favorit ELTRA 151L & 151 Pick-Up
COMMENT: Czech-built (first electric car prog. for eastern block mfr.), exported to Europe and N. America. Lead acid batt. 15 kW·h pack nominal; 84 V system with regen.
PRODUCTION: 1992–1994 UNITS BUILT <1100, perhaps 20 surviving
TOP SPEED:50 mph / 80 km/h (limiter)
COST: < US $20,000,
RANGE: 50 mi / 80 km

NAME: General Motors EV1
COMMENT: For lease only, all recovered from customers by General Motors and most destroyed
TOP SPEED: 80 mph / 129 km/h
COST: US$40,000 or €30,000
RANGE: 160 mi / 257 km
NAME: Honda EV Plus
COMMENT: First BEV from a major automaker without lead-acid batteries.
24 twelve volt NiMH batteries
PRODUCTION: 1997–1999 ~300
TOP SPEED: 80+ mph / 130+ km/h
COST: US$455 or €340/month for 36 month lease; or $53,000 or €40,000 without subsidies
RANGE: 80–110 mi / 130–180 km
NAME: Toyota RAV4 EV
COMMENT: Some leased and sold on US east and west coasts, supported. Toyota agreed to stop crushing.
PRODUCTION: 1997–2002 about 1249 produced
TOP SPEED: 78 mph / 125 km/h
COST: US$40,000 or €30,00 without subsidies
RANGE: 87 mi / 140 km
NAME: Ford Ranger EV
COMMENT: Some sold, most leased; almost all recovered and most destroyed. Ford allowed reconditioning and sale of a limited quantity to former leaseholders by lottery.
PRODUCTION:1998–2002 UNITS BUILT 1500, perhaps 200 surviving ~ COST: US$50,000 or €37,600; subsidized down to $20,000 or €15,000
TOP SPEED: 74 mi / 119 km
NAME: Nissan Altra EV
COMMENT: Mid-sized station wagon designed from the ground up as the first BEV to use Li-ion batteries, 100,000+ mi (160,000 km) battery lifetime PRODUCTION: 1998–2000 UNITS BUILT 133
TOP SPEED: 75+ mph / 120+ km/h
COST: US$470/month lease only
RANGE:120 mi / 193 km
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