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The buzz behind - Electric cars

Updated on August 22, 2013

An electric car, an automobile that are propelled by an electric motor runs purely on stored battery power. It should not be mistaken with hybrid cars, which use electric and fossil fuel to propel the car. Over the past few years it has come obvious to, manufacturers and consumer that electric cars are the way forward.

The main limiting factors currently are the millage on a full recharge, the to speed of the vehicles and the shear weight of the batteries and their life expectancy and ultimate cost of replacement.

Currently theses issue are being polished out with new generations of batteries being developed which run longer, are lighter and charge much faster. There also cars that also use solar power to continuously charge the car as it moves and energy saving techniques like saving the kinetic energy of the car and using it to charge the batteries.

History of electric cars

Electric cars have been around almost as long as fossil fuel cars. The electric cars began gaining popularity in the early 1890s when electricity, became popular with the first cars being developed in Germany. With combustion technology developing at and the easy availability of fossil fuels and the poor battery lives of the car battery and poor availability of electricity, electric cars literally died out, until recently.

The German Flocken Elektrowagen produced in 1888, regarded as the first electric car of the world, with later models being produced


  • Environmentally friendly. Exhaust fumes and pollutants, But one may argue power plant producing the electricity may emit them.
  • Performance benefits. Electric cars are quiet, offer smooth driving and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance.
  • Efficiency; Electric vehicles convert about 60% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels—conventional fossil fuel cars only convert about 20% of the energy stored in fossil fuel to power at the wheels.(This estimate is on a relatively new cars, it reduces with time and poor maintenance)
  • Reduce energy dependence. Electricity is a domestic energy source in a clean green way (Solar,hydro to name just a few), which all countries can produce, reducing reliance on the few oil producing nations

Some cities provide FREE charging stations
Some cities provide FREE charging stations

Current limiting factors

  1. First and foremost is the price of the cars. Most cars are in the $30 - 40,000 range which is well above the normal fuel guzzlers range for similar sized cars. The better looking cars usually have super-car prices
  2. Battery life, most requiring full battery change every 3 to four years on average
  3. Charge time; some charge times are as long as 12 hours!!!, but the average being 6-8 hrs from full discharge. Newer models claim low charge times of 40 minutes, (High end models.)
  4. Charge ports. This will limit your travel destinations and how far you can go and where you can go, but most urban cities now have ports.
  5. Range per full charge, ranges form 35 miles to 250miles on a fully charged battery.
  6. Top speeds, ranging from 35mph - 130mph, but the higher the top speed the higher the price

Other factors that have limited the cars is the general look of the cars, with most being small and compact, which most people don-not find attractive. People want to be environmentally friendly but with style.

Upcoming Cars

The electric car business is growing with companies such as Tesla making high-end cars such as the Model S, which will set you back a good buck, with approximately 200 miles to a full charge, and a charge time of about 40 minutes. (There is a supercharger that can half the charging time) The superchargers are solar powered and currently there are 17 stations in the United States . It also offers the option to change the battery within 30 seconds.

Other notables are the BMW i3 which has the shortest charge time of 30 minutes and the 2013 Nissan Leaf. The lower end cars have a short range on a full charge and generally take longer to charger some as long as 7 hours to charge with disappointing ranges of about 70 miles to the charge.

The global economic recession in the late 2000s led to increased calls for automakers to abandon fuel-inefficient car, which were seen as a symbol of the excess that caused the recession, in favor of small cars, and electric cars, the future of these cars seems very good.

The world also becoming more "Green" and environmentally aware and there is a yearning for a more efficient cleaner way of moving around.


Would you buy an electric car

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There are still many alternatives currently available and in developments. These include natural fuels, bio-fuels and hydrogen power being alternatives currently coming up and will compete with their environmentally friendly electric cars.


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    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 6 years ago from United States

      Good hub. Thanks for the information.

    • Majidsiko profile image

      Majidsiko 6 years ago from Kenya

      @cammie. There are some people out there who can convert your car to hybrid and few who can electrify it, but it may be too costly, you better buying a new one. There are a lot of dealers who offer trade-in discounts, it may apply when u buying an electric car>

    • Cammie 1016 profile image

      Cammie 1016 6 years ago

      we need to be able to trade our old cars for new electric ones, or they could find a way to fix the old cars, I dunno...

    • Majidsiko profile image

      Majidsiko 6 years ago from Kenya

      The fossil fuels will dry up so if not in our life time, in our children's that's for sure. If we reduce dependence we will automatically reduce conflict and corruption in many countries

    • GoGreenTips profile image

      Greg Johnson 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      It will be something if we ever really get serious about electric cars. Think of the savings, economic, energy, social and political. It is a daunting task to keep the fossil fuels flowing into this country and i fear we are running out of time.