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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...