Switch to Fun and Economical Electric Vehicles

Change over to economical electric vehicles, includes cost savings when owning an electric car, environmental benefits and comparing gas and electric vehicles.

| October/November 2002

  • An electric vehicle is ideal for in-town commuting and running errands.
    An electric vehicle is ideal for in-town commuting and running errands.
    EYEWIRE
  • Illeya Stewart plugs an EV into a charging station outside her ceramic studio in Willits, California.
    Illeya Stewart plugs an EV into a charging station outside her ceramic studio in Willits, California.
    MICHAEL HACKLEMAN
  • Chart: Comparing gas and electric cars.
    Chart: Comparing gas and electric cars.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Michael Hackleman points out the motor, controller and battery packs under the hood of his converted 1992 Honda Civic
    Michael Hackleman points out the motor, controller and battery packs under the hood of his converted 1992 Honda Civic "VX".
    MICHAEL HACKLEMAN
  • The Panasonic-E-hybrid bicycle.
    The Panasonic-E-hybrid bicycle.
    MICHAEL HACKLEMAN
  • The EVSkeeter recumbent bicycle.
    The EVSkeeter recumbent bicycle.
    MICHAEL HACKLEMAN
  • Mel Bankoff uses his Gizmo electric vehicle to commute to work.
    Mel Bankoff uses his Gizmo electric vehicle to commute to work.
    COURTESY KRONOSPORT
  • For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Voloci electric motorbike.
    For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Voloci electric motorbike.
    COURTESY ZAPI
  • Switch to economical electric vehicles, an eco-friendly way to save the planet and save money.
    Switch to economical electric vehicles, an eco-friendly way to save the planet and save money.
    PHOTO: EYEWIRE
  • Fly down the highway in the Sparrow electric car, which can maintain speeds of 70 mph.
    Fly down the highway in the Sparrow electric car, which can maintain speeds of 70 mph.
    COURTESY CORBIN MOTORS
  • NEVs are being used in the Clean Cities program that encourages use of alternative fuel vehicles.
    NEVs are being used in the Clean Cities program that encourages use of alternative fuel vehicles.
    COURTESY NEVCO
  • Toyota's RAV4 electric vehicle can travel 126 miles on one charge.
    Toyota's RAV4 electric vehicle can travel 126 miles on one charge.
    COURTESY TOYOTA
  • For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Zappy folding e-scooter.
    For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Zappy folding e-scooter.
    COURTESY ZAPI

  • An electric vehicle is ideal for in-town commuting and running errands.
  • Illeya Stewart plugs an EV into a charging station outside her ceramic studio in Willits, California.
  • Chart: Comparing gas and electric cars.
  • Michael Hackleman points out the motor, controller and battery packs under the hood of his converted 1992 Honda Civic
  • The Panasonic-E-hybrid bicycle.
  • The EVSkeeter recumbent bicycle.
  • Mel Bankoff uses his Gizmo electric vehicle to commute to work.
  • For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Voloci electric motorbike.
  • Switch to economical electric vehicles, an eco-friendly way to save the planet and save money.
  • Fly down the highway in the Sparrow electric car, which can maintain speeds of 70 mph.
  • NEVs are being used in the Clean Cities program that encourages use of alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Toyota's RAV4 electric vehicle can travel 126 miles on one charge.
  • For non-polluting, scootin' style try the Zappy folding e-scooter.

Learn about the cost savings and environmental benefits of owning economical electric vehicles.

Learn About Electric Vehicles

Wise Driving Tips for Electric Vehicles
Banking on Electric Car Batteries
Converting a Gas Engine Car to an Electric Powered Car

Economical Electric Vehicles

For cruising or commuting, an electric car or bike is the most energy-efficient, economical, reliable and fun transportation option. Electric vehicles (EVs) also are the cleanest vehicles on the road today: No smog-producing pollution pours from their tailpipes, qualifying them for zero-emission status.

Large auto and oil companies say this claim is just smoke and mirrors, that EVs are just "emission-elsewhere" vehicles, and that pollution from the electric power plants that charge EVs offsets any gain in local air quality. But that's simply not true, say the California Air Quality Management Districts and the California Energy Commission. Their studies find coal-fired electric power plants operate at efficiencies three times that of cars with gasoline engines. Transportation via internal combustion engines that use gas and oil is responsible for more than 17 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. In industrialized countries, cars spew 75 percent of carbon monoxide emissions, 48 percent of nitrogen oxide (smog) and 40 percent of hydrocarbon pollutants into the atmosphere. Mile for mile, electric vehicles travel with one-half the resource depletion and one-fifteenth the air pollution.



EVs are easily three to four times more efficient than internal combustion engines. While the major automotive and oil industries point out the limited amount of energy a battery pack contains relative to a tank of gasoline, they fail to address an ugly truth about internal combustion engine technology: The engine itself wastes an average of 60 percent of any fuel's energy, whether it's gasoline, diesel, alcohol, methane, compressed natural gas, propane, bio-fuel or hydrogen. Engines waste this energy as heat, vibration and exhaust. The silence of an electric vehicle is a mute testament to its efficiency.

Electric Vehicle Nuts and Bolts



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