Why We Need Electric Cars

Electric cars promise to bring about a transportation transformation whose time has come.

| October/November 2006

  • electric cars - Ford Escape hybrid
    A Ford Escape Hybrid converted to a plug-in hybrid.
  • electric cars - Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid
    A Toyota Prius Hybrid converted to a plug-in hybrid.
  • electric cars - EV1
    The electric car that almost changed the world, GM’s EV1.
    Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
  • electric cars - EV1 promotional photos
    In the late 1990s, the all-electric EV1 was the most efficient car ever from an American automaker. It was fun, fast and required no gas.
    Sony Pictures Classics
  • electric cars - crushed EV1 cars
    GM discontinued the EV1 and crushed the existing fleet of cars.
    Sony Picture Classics
  • electric cars - plug-in hybrid and PV pane
    On short trips, plug-in hybrid cars operate almost solely on electricity. And their batteries can be recharged with clean, renewable solar energy.
    Pete Northman/Energycs
  • electric cars - CO2 reductsion US map
    The map shows the potential state-by-state C02 reductions the country could achieve if electric and plug-in hybrids replaced gas engines. Even if electric cars were charged by existing utility grids (which mostly use fossil fuels), carbon dioxide emissions would be significantly lower. The national average reduction would be 42 percent. 
    Peter Lilienthal/NREL

  • electric cars - Ford Escape hybrid
  • electric cars - Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid
  • electric cars - EV1
  • electric cars - EV1 promotional photos
  • electric cars - crushed EV1 cars
  • electric cars - plug-in hybrid and PV pane
  • electric cars - CO2 reductsion US map

We already have the technology we need to cure our addiction to oil, stabilize the climate and maintain our standard of living, all at the same time. By transitioning to sustainable technologies, such as solar and wind power, we can achieve energy independence and stabilize human-induced climate change.

Increasing transportation efficiency is the best place to start efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a primary culprit in global warming. Of all CO2 emissions in the United States, about 33 percent comes from transportation.

Our electric vs. internal combustion engine chart shows the overwhelming advantages of electric cars — plug-in hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles (EVs) — over gasoline vehicles. With gasoline-electric hybrid power and all-electric power, we can achieve significant cost and environmental savings. By adding more batteries and recharging capability to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, we can have plug-in hybrids that offer the range of hybrids (500 miles or more), plus the benefit of all-electric power for short trips, which dramatically reduces the amount of gasoline used. EVs require no gasoline whatsoever and, when recharged from renewable energy sources, produce zero total emissions.

In fact, even if we switched from gasoline cars to EVs and plug-in hybrids recharged by our existing utility grids (which mostly use fossil fuels), we would see a 42 percent national average reduction in CO2 emissions, according to research by Peter Lilienthal of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

As we approach the peak of world oil extraction and witness the consequences of climate change, it is important to reflect on how the world’s most technologically advanced nation came to base its economy on the use of polluting, finite resources. It is also important to recognize that corporations exist, for the most part, for one reason: to make money. This gives us, the consumer, the ultimate power to shape corporate behavior through how we spend our money.

Sun to Wheel

Transportation efficiency is usually measured without regard for how fuel ends up in the tank, we just assume it will be there. It’s time to develop a better method, one that considers the finite nature of fossil fuels and how their use affects the planet’s ability to support life. Ultimately, almost all energy on Earth comes from the sun, so fuel efficiencies should be measured from sun to wheel.

9/13/2019 9:51:54 PM

Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents. Cheap and non-flammable, SF6 is a colourless, odourless, synthetic gas. It makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations. However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2). Just one kilogram of SF6 warms the Earth to the same extent as 24 people flying London to New York return. It also persists in the atmosphere for a long time, warming the Earth for at least 1,000 years. So when will Aljazeera investigate , especially why governments take no action and the electrical industry is not doing research for a replacement , and all push towards all electric , incompetence or collusion or corruption ?

7/16/2014 3:22:38 AM

The rate of carbon dioxide gas is in an increasing mode and it is polluting our environment that we all know. We have to start reducing the source from where this carbon dioxide gas is getting generated. Mainly because of the running of the vehicles more and more carbon dioxide gas gets generated. Now-a-days, most of the people are having cars, they are depending on them. It is not bad but, we have to minimize the unwanted use of it. Also, we have the solution of electric cars that we can follow. If the vehicle has some issues then also there is some chance of more carbon dioxide gas generation. We people have to check all these issues and have to try our best to get them solved soon. For any repair or servicing in my BMW, I prefer to visit a http://performingimports.com/services/bmw-repair/ so that my BMW will get proper servicing.

6/17/2014 5:08:49 AM

Directly the answer is to control the pollution of environment we need electric cars. The carbon dioxide gas which also termed as CO2 that gets out from the cars, buses, trucks and from all other vehicles during their run is one of the primary culprit in global warming. So, we have to fight against this primary culprit and have to save our environment. Yes, we do have the solution in terms of electric cars. Electric cars are made to cope with the issue of environment pollution. So, we people have to start adopting such environment friendly vehicle. Along with adopting such vehicle its maintenance and servicing also need concern. So, to achieve the same we have to prefer some finest or we can say trained mechanic and a professional repair center. For my Saab car I am used to visit the http://www.medwayimports.com/Service.aspx in every six months for the servicing and a for a check up of my car. As I am completely dependent on my Saab so, it is a bit risky to avoid its regular maintenance and servicing. So, it is better to service and repair the vehicle when needed.

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