Visualizing America’s Electric Vehicle Future

Visualizing Americas Electric Vehicle Future

Alayna Martinez, Senior Staff Writer

The average American spends more than 293 hours in a car each year, according to a survey from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety. Because of this amount of time spent on the roads, it isn’t surprising to find that transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States. To solve this crisis, Americans need to make their vehicles as clean as possible. Electric cars could be the answer.  Student at Hubbard High School, Joshua Arceneaux states, “Making the transition to electric cars will prevent global warming and also help prevent the destruction of  Earth’s urban centers.” Emissions from cars and trucks are bad for the environment and health. Air pollutants cause asthma, bronchitis, cancer, and premature death, sources state.

“There are really three types of electric cars that consumers can buy, explains a site titled EnelX.  They are: 1) Battery-Electric Vehicles: A car that is solely powered by electricity and does not rely on gasoline in any capacity is how electric cars work. Some examples of BEV’s include:   • BMW i3   • Chevy Bolt   • Chevy Spark   • Nissan LEAF   • Honda Clarity   • Ford Focus Electric   • Tesla Model 3   • Tesla Model X   • Volkswagen e-Golf   • Jaguar I-Pace   • Hyundai Kona EV   • Hyundai Ioniq Electric   • Kia Soul EV   • Mitsubishi i-MiEV 

2) Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): These are the most common types of an electric vehicle. Both plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles come equipped with regenerative braking, which recaptures the energy when braking or decelerating, which would otherwise be lost in a traditional gasoline car.   3) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): Became popularized by Toyota when the company released the Prius Hybrid. All plug-in electric cars are hybrids, but not all hybrids are PHEVs. Hybrid Vehicle are vehicles that rely primarily on gas, but do contain some electric components like regenerative braking. Examples of hybrid vehicles that do not use a plug to charge, but contain hybrid elements, are cars like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic. Both the Camry and the Civic are available as standard gas and hybrid options.

Now that one is a little more familiar with the types of electric cars, let’s consider the advantages.  Electric cars generate less carbon dioxide emissions than cars powered by oil. Additionally, electric cars produce lower tailpipe emissions than conventional vehicles do. However, some are concerned that manufacturing an electric car battery would generate more CO2 emissions than building a traditional vehicle would. To solve this issue, electric vehicle manufacturers have been taking many steps, including the reduced use of environmentally harmful forms of energy in plants. Despite its downside during the production stage, electric cars still produce far less harmful emissions than gas-powered cars do over their lifespan. Brody Snyder, a senior at HHS remarked, “Electric cars are the better option since they run on a cleaner power source.” And indeed they do.

Besides the environmental benefits, there are also financial advantages. The initial cost of an electric car is typically higher than that of a conventional car. The running costs are what makes the electric car surpass a fossil fuel car. There are not any internal combustion engines in electric cars so the cost of engine maintenance would be eliminated. The most significant possible maintenance expense for them occurs when replacing a battery pack.  Unlike conventional cars powered by gasoline or diesel, electric cars generally run on electricity stored in their battery. Lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars can be recharged by connecting them to an external electrical outlet. Owners can charge their car at home by installing a charging point, or at a commercial charging station. 

Whether one is partial to petrol-driven cars or excited by the prospect of electric cars, it’s necessary to admit that electric cars are the undeniable future.  So focus on the benefits as that will ease the transition.