Origin of Electric Vehicles And Their Prospects In Current Scenario

An electric vehicle also known by the name of electric drive vehicle is a type of vehicle that makes use of electric motors for impulsion. This form of vehicle came into existence in the mid nineteenth century. At that time it was a preferable mode of travelling. People were fond of the comfort and ease to handle this form of vehicle that was not achieved by gasoline motor vehicle at that time. Electric cars, trains, electric aeroplanes, boats, motorcycles, lorries, scooters and spacecraft mobile vehicles are some of the standard electric vehicles.

There are many pros and cons of electric vehicles. Though, with the gradual decline in the level of gasoline resources and fossil fuels, electricity has once again taken the limelight to propel vehicles. The electric vehicles differ from traditional motor vehicles in a form that they are operated by electricity. There are broader methods of producing electricity, for example it can be generated by fossil fuels, wind energy, solar energy, tidal power, nuclear energy or by combination of any of them. The energy produced can then be used in the vehicles with the help of overhead lines, inductive charging mode or by making a direct connection with the help of electric cables. The electric energy is then stored in the vehicles in batteries, supercapicitors or flywheels.

Toyota Prius has launched a hybrid electric-gasoline vehicle in the year 2003. It was the first electric vehicle of its type at that time. There are several other auto companies which are looking to experiment in the upcoming years as well after its success.

Mitsubishi Recalls 14,700 Electric Vehicles

In yet another body blow for the electric vehicle industry it was today revealed that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is recalling 14,700 electric vehicles due to brake problems. These issues are exclusively associated with the company’s electric vehicles and even though this recall is relatively small compared to the number of petrol vehicles which have been recalled over the years it is still around 50% of overall sales of these particular vehicles.

What cars are being recalled?

The company has revealed that 3,400 i-MiEV EVs and 2,400 MINICAB-MiEV vehicles have been recalled in Japan with around 8,900 i-MiEV vehicles also being recalled in Europe. While there have been no accidents directly associated with the ongoing brake problem the company has obviously erred on the side of caution with regards to such an important aspect of the vehicle. It is believed that only one particular part of the braking system has been found to have problems and this will be relatively easy for the company to fix once the cars have been recalled.

What is the cost of this recall?

While the number of vehicles set to be recalled is relatively small, and the direct financial implications are relatively minor in the overall picture, it is more the image of the company and EVs which will suffer. If you look back towards the end of 2012 we had the issue of the Nissan Leaf battery problem which was headline news for some time and did more damage to the electric vehicle industry. This fresh issue will be headline news for the next few days at a time when the electric vehicle industry is looking to penetrate the worldwide consumer sector.

Does this impact Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle strategy?

While there is no doubt this has done short-term damage to the reputation of Mitsubishi it is also worth noting that the company has erred on the side of caution and recalled these vehicles before there have been any accidents. The issue itself relates to the distance at which a vehicle will travel when under braking which has been extended due to problems with an electric pump. Historically we have seen scandals in other areas of the automobile industry where issues and problems have been ignored for some time but Mitsubishi has reacted as soon as possible.

In some ways we should be taking our hats off to the company for the speed at which it has reacted, the fact that no accidents have been directly linked the problem and the fact that vehicles will be repaired at no cost to the owner.

One step forward, two steps back with the electric vehicle industry

At this moment in time it seems as if the electric vehicle market takes one step forward and two steps back with a number of high-profile issues having grabbed the headlines. This does mask to a great extent developments in technology and battery power which have made the modern-day electric vehicle very different to that of its counterpart just 10 years ago or even five years ago. Once these “issues” have been ironed out then we should see more positive feedback and more positive headlines about the industry although at the moment Mitsubishi Electric Vehicles are certainly grabbing more than their fair share of media attention.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how consumers react to this latest difficulty with an electric vehicle as it does nothing for the sector’s public relations. It is very easy to get scared about certain issues such as this announced by Mitsubishi but the fact is that the company highlighted the problem, there have been no accidents and all vehicles affected have been recalled. Whether the speed at which new electric vehicles are released to the market slows down in the short to medium term, with perhaps more safety checks and testing required, remains to be seen.

Hybrid Vehicles Rise To The Top Of The Car Market

For many years people have often owned or driven cars that are not only to help for transportation purposes but are also there for improving the overall mobility experience.

In recent past times, people also drove cars to show off or flaunt their status symbol or just for the sake of casual and fun joy rides.

But those good times are turning into rare dreams now. For every motorist, it’s really getting harder and harder each day. Almost everybody, may it be a student or a retired senior person, is troubled and concerned about the zooming up gasoline or oil prices.

Given the constantly rising increases in gasoline prices, which come almost on a weekly basis, there is no wonder why people are forced to limit the use of car to a basic necessity.

Hybrid vehicles

During the start of the new millennium, giant car manufacturers had heralded great news about the development of modern cars that would significantly cut oil consumption.

Japanese car makers Toyota and Honda started with their research on alternative fuel efficient transmission systems and soon became the pioneers in this particular endeavor. Their United States and German counterparts followed the trend soon.

That was the emergence of hybrid vehicles in the now sluggish global car industry.

But what exactly are hybrid vehicles? Literally, the word ‘hybrid’ means a crossover or integration of two systems or components. Applying this term for vehicles, it means a combination of two types of cars, the gasoline powered cars and the electric powered cars.

Before understanding the hybrids further, let’s get familiarized with the two mentioned car types.

The gas-powered and electric-powered vehicles

The gas-powered cars are the predecessor of all the other types of cars that came after it. The first invented car and all the other cars and modifications that follow it until the end of the 20th century are all gas-powered cars.

Gas powered cars are, you guessed it right, run by gasoline or oil. These cars have made oil exported fro the Middle East and other nations valued like gold, because of its volatile pricing.

Many years of research and development has enabled the manufacturers to add key improvements in the newer models of the gas-powered cars. Some of them are truly superior over the others. However, their owners and users have always been complaining about their increasing bills for oil consumption.

At the same time, the environmentalists are complaining about such cars’ air pollution. They are raising strong concerns over the combustion process that produces bi-products that are harmful to nature.

The first attempt of car makers to address the increasingly rising and agitating concerns about higher oil prices and depleting ozone layer in the atmosphere was that of electric cars.

But alas, on practical grounds, those efforts were proven futile and non-feasible. Electric powered cars were turned down as impractical because their mileage and speed would not match the capacity of the gas-powered vehicles by a great margin.

A powerful combination

So, if the gas-powered vehicles were too expensive and pollution causing to maintain but really fast and reliable, and if the electric cars are not fast and reliable, but significantly cut costs of oil expenses and reduce pollution, why not combine both?

Smart integration and the ‘meeting half way’ option for the electric and gas powered cars paved the way for the rise of the hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid vehicle system consists of both gas powered engine and battery set powered motor, and a fine balance of the two power sources to manage the transmission. It truly combines the strength of both car types and addresses the concerns arising from each car types too.

However, many experts and car fanatics are still disappointed with the hybrid car’s inability to reduce oil bills as massively and tremendously as anticipated by the public before its introduction to the market.

A big concern is about the purchase price for hybrid vehicles. It’s still way, way higher. Also, due to their complex designs, many people fear that their maintenance costs will be significantly more than the gas powered cars.

It has been just a few years since the emergence of hybrid vehicles. In the future, very soon, as the production cost would go down, the prices of hybrid cars would certainly be dragged down to an affordable level.

The Pros And Cons Of Electric Vehicles

We have all at some time seen (and probably travelled in) trains, trams, buses and boats that are powered by electricity. What is perhaps less well known is that the first battery powered vehicles were on the market in the early 1900’s. These electrified carriages had a top speed of around 14 miles per hour and a range of about 18 miles. These automobiles remained popular until the development of the internal combustion engine, which made possible vehicles of greater power, speed and range.

The issue of global warming due to pollution has become a hot issue. Oil prices have been escalating like never before. These factors, together with the realization that the earth’s reserves of oil will run out within the next few decades, have led to renewed interest and research into electric vehicles. These vehicles have several major advantages over gasoline powered vehicles.

The motors that power these vehicles emit no noxious exhaust gases. This is good news for the environment which currently absorbs millions of tons of exhaust fumes daily. These carbon dioxide emissions are seen as contributing significantly to global warming, while other exhaust gases increasingly pollute our air.

Electricity is cheaper than gasoline, so battery powered cars are cheaper to run. They will become more economically viable as the price of crude oil continues to escalate. It has been estimated that the energy required to run an electric car is approximately one fifth that required to run a gasoline powered car. This gap will widen as the oil price continues to rise.

Battery powered cars require less maintenance. They do not need regular oil changes and are not subject to the same wear and tear as internal combustion engines. In addition they have far fewer moving parts that need to be maintained.

The major disadvantage at this stage is the limited range made possible by current battery technology. Battery powered cars typically have a range of around one or two hundred miles before needing to be recharged, and a typical charge takes several hours. As with any rechargeable battery, the car’s batteries have a finite number of charge/discharge cycles and in time will need replacement.

Electric cars are still very expensive, due mainly to the high cost of batteries. Surveys have revealed that US and English consumers are not willing to pay more for an electric car with limited range, and this inhibits the mass transition from gasoline to battery powered cars. However, as battery technology improves we can expect to see more battery powered vehicles on the road. Mass production will result in lower prices.

Both gasoline and electric cars have advantages and disadvantages. It is, however, becoming very clear that our current rate of oil consumption is not sustainable (in terms of cost, availability and pollution) and that sooner rather than later we will have to find a viable alternative. Right now, electrically powered vehicles offer the only alternative.