Electric vehicles are a current hot topic, both in and out of the news, being discussed because of their significant efficiency and cost advantages over petroleum vehicles. One fully electric vehicle manufacturer frequents the mainstream media who goes by the name of Tesla. Tesla may be in the news due to their sleek, stylish, and innovative designs but they are heavily reported on because of the traction they have gained in the electric vehicle market. Tesla is exclusive because they have piqued the interest of a large group of consumers that have never before thought of owning an electric vehicle. This is because most of the other vehicles on the market are hybrids. By watching the market, I've concluded that a hybrid vehicle is not going to make the average consumer switch from an internal combustion vehicle within around 10 years. This is due to one primary reason which is that hybrids aren't stepping that far away from petroleum, they are still reliant on fossil fuels because they need to be filled up with petroleum periodically for full operational capacity or to ensure that the powertrain is in working condition. Ultimately, hybrids don't offer the significant advantages that fully electric vehicles have to offer. Plus, there are a variety of smaller factors such as poor aesthetics and a poor cost to value ratio. Stepping away from petroleum is essentially the fundamental reason for buying an electric vehicle, which is where Tesla has the advantage. According to Tesla's website, every vehicle manufactured is 100% electric, meaning it does not have an internal combustion engine in addition to an electric powertrain. This is why Tesla has essentially created the market for fully electric vehicles based on the amount of media coverage, consumer interest versus hybrid vehicles, and amount of Teslas currently on the road, especially in the Richmond market. With the increasing demand and popularity of electric vehicles, consumers have the opportunity to do more research on fully electric vehicles which entails the convenience of chargeability, efficiency, and positive environmental implications to determine which electric vehicle to purchase when in the market. Self-research is needed in order to make the best decision for each individual consumer and how it fits their needs because, in just a few short decades, electric vehicles will consume the majority of the car industry, both new and used vehicles. There is one main reason for this: emissions regulations. The United Kingdom has created legislation to ban gasoline and diesel powered cars beginning in 2040. With pollution being a hot topic in recent elections and political conversation, I predict the United States will follow suit with some form of similar legislation to analyze how it transforms the vehicle market and what implications it has on the consumers regarding cost and convenience. Which begs the question: are electric cars actually better for the environment than gas cars? Electric vehicles are superior to petroleum burning vehicles due to the nature of efficiency with regard to electric motors and emissions along with the implications of the increased load on the electric grid and the manufacturing disposal of batteries that will be addressed by reasoning to mitigate said implications.
Despite one of the most common concerns with fully electric vehicles which is the battery, accommodations are able to made to fully adopt electric vehicles now. The battery is a significant aspect of the electric vehicle because it dictates the range that the vehicle is able to travel under its own power without needing to be charged. A common term from owners of electric cars is "range anxiety". Briefly, the term indicates that the driver is worried about running out of charge during long trips and being inconvenienced by long wait times and charging times at charging stations which are currently at reserved availability across the country. However, Tesla is diligently working with business and government to implement numerous SuperCharging stations across the United States. Tesla's goal is to essentially create a large scale electric charging infrastructure based upon the premise of convenience and fast charging times. This is where hybrids have an advantage currently. Hybrids operate on battery power until the charge runs low then the internal combustion engine "generator" engages to recharge the batteries on the go or in a high load situation such as merging onto the highway. Hybrid vehicles are defined as vehicles that contain an electric propulsion system and an internal combustion engine, both of which can be used for primary propulsion. Although, the batteries in hybrids aren't nearly as large as fully electric vehicles, they do offer a backup generator petroleum engine to recharge the batteries when they are near depletion to help the range be more on par or exceed the range of high-range fully electric vehicles. The range for the average hybrid vehicle is around 30 miles on battery power only but it earns its worth from the petroleum generator boosting range to around 500 miles on average. According to Tesla's website, their average range on only battery power is around 300 miles. Another great benefit of a hybrid is the avoidance of long charging times and the scarcity of charging stations which can inconvenience long trips. The lack of public charging stations and long charging times surprisingly don't have a significant impact on the majority of electric vehicles in regards to the daily commute because one would most likely charge the vehicle overnight or while at work. If one doesn't have access to power where the vehicle is parked then it would be highly inconvenient to wait for the vehicle to charge while running errands, especially with the current availability of charging stations that aren't for Teslas, which is virtually nonexistent.
A major concern of current electric vehicles is the high production costs and battery capacity which is directly correlated with range. The capacity of batteries is measured in Kilowatt-Hours, the higher the kWh rating, the farther the distance the vehicle can travel on a single charge. The national average price for electricity is $0.12 per kWh. In a Tesla Model S, if 40 miles were driven per day until near battery depletion, using a 240-volt outlet will only take 1 hour and 21 minutes to recharge and only costing $1.58 using 13.2 kWh. If the Tesla owner is using a 120-volt outlet, which is more common, then Tesla states that it will take 12 hours and 16 minutes to charge and only costing $2.12 using 17.7 kWh. Essentially, electric vehicle owners will want to renovate their charging situation to adopt the faster 240-volt charging system. My 2013 Scion FR-S has a 13-gallon gas tank and achieves 30 miles per gallon on average with mostly highway driving. Therefore, I almost achieve 400 miles per tank. My last fill up costed $2.27 per gallon using regular octane gasoline which ended up totaling about $25 at 11 gallons, and I generally fill up once per week. This is significantly more expensive than recharging an electric vehicle. The most common battery type used in electric vehicles is the lithium-ion battery which allows for the greatest capacity to cost ratio. Fortunately, with the increase in mobile devices, lithium-ion batteries have become much more prevalent and less expensive. I believe this is most if not all of the reasons why electric vehicles are even remotely affordable and attainable. The predicted life of a lithium-ion battery pack is between eight and ten years. But, the lifespan and performance over that lifespan can be increased by proper maintenance. The most effective way to manage a lithium-ion battery is to discharge and charge the battery consistently and slowly. For Example, Tesla's SuperCharging system will prematurely deplete the life and capacity of the battery due to its extremely high rate of charge in order to make it more convenient for owners to charge their vehicles while running errands. Charging cycles are responsible for the life of the battery as well. Take a battery that is discharged consistently over a week of highway commuting and charged at the end of the week versus a battery that is charged from 75% to 100% daily, the battery retains the memory of its charge when the charging cycle occurs. Therefore, it is best to discharge a battery near depletion and then charge it fully to prevent the battery from thinking a 75% charge is a depleted battery. Driver attitude is one of the biggest factors in vehicle longevity, even with petroleum vehicles. If a vehicle is driven very aggressively on a regular basis, that vehicle experiences more wear and tear on all driveline and suspension components which could cause premature failure and definite short life. This relates back to the charging cycle, the faster the battery is depleted, the less life it will experience over time.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...