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Electric Cars

2012 December 7

By Neftali (Nef) Hernandez

Technologies that make life simpler usually start to gain market share, get public acceptance and finally prevail over others.  Wi-Fi wireless technology, for example.  When it started, it was not user friendly or faster than an Ethernet cable.  However it was convenient and gave people the freedom to be detached from their desk or office table.  Now Wi-Fi is widely used to access the internet everywhere.  The same thing happened with digital cameras.  At the beginning I got used to the expression “digital cameras will never replace film cameras, because they will never have the same resolution.”  Guess what? They have replaced almost completely, film cameras.

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In my opinion environmentally friendly technologies that meet the same criteria won’t be the exception, especially, Electric Vehicles (EVs).  You can find out more about environmentally friendly vehicles at EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide

I am confident that many of the shortcomings (lack of infrastructure to “plug into,” range on a full charge, battery lifespan) will eventually be overcome.  Today some experimental EVs can even give you almost 300 miles per charge and have the option of fully charging the battery in less than 4 hours.  “Four hours?  That is a lot.” Yes, it is.  But if you get in the habit of recharging your car every time you stop in your home, you may never have to wait the 4 hours.

American automobile makers are wonderful innovators and have been moving into EV manufacturing over the last several years, even pushing EPA to come up with a new sticker.

This is creating a healthy competition that will bring more affordable EVs to the general public and will likely give people greater confidence in these cars.  Is an EV better for you than the combustion engine cars of today?  Answering this is very subjective because it depends on your unique needs.  I know my answer is not that clear.  However the environmental benefits of EV are growing (zero emissions of pollution and lower noise levels) so if you ask me… Do you think that an EV could replace my combustion engine car?  My answer is simple “Yes, it will, someday.” 

The next big thing for the EVs might be designing them in such a way that they can be disassembled and their components reused or recycled easily when the vehicle reaches it usable life, minimizing waste for generations to come.  Such an approach might be applied to many things that we produce, but I’ll save that for another blog.

 About the Author: Neftali Hernandez grew up in Puerto Rico and is an Environmental Scientist with EPA Region 7′s Drinking Water Branch.  He is a member of EPA’s Water Emergency Response Group and has a bachelor of science degree in biology and a masters of science degree in environmental health from the University of Puerto Rico.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Alma Moreno Lahm permalink
    December 11, 2012

    Nef, thanks for a change provoking article! I recall about 2 years ago reading an article in my daughter’s high school newspaper about the Volt, a car that runs on a battery and has gasoline back-up. I was surprised to hear that such a car was being developed and intrigued by the possibilities, yet skeptical of it’s practicality given our gasoline driven infrastructure. I believe it’s out now. I haven’t checked it out yet, but your article has reminded me that I do need to look at this new option as I prepare to replace my vehicle. Change happens one person at a time, and while the Volt might not be my ultimate choice, I am committed to a final choice that will lessen the negative impact on the environment.

    • Neftali permalink
      December 11, 2012

      Alma,

      Thanks for the comment. There are many websites that can help you get informed about essential information for the purchase of a new vehicle including hybrids and electric cars. I personally like the Kelly Blue Book website because in addition to the car prices and reviews it gives you the “cost to own price” for a 5 year period. The Consumer Reports also publish a New Car Buying Guide every year in January. So this is a good time to get information if you going to buy a new vehicle.
      Good luck,
      Neftali

  2. cmclau02 permalink*
    December 11, 2012

    Here is an interesting infographic I ran across this morning about Green Transportation in the Phillipines…

    http://visual.ly/philippines-green-transportation-revolution

  3. alke.com permalink
    March 26, 2013

    Thank you for this article is very interesting
    http://www.alke.com/electric-vehicles/electric-van.html

  4. VCR permalink
    May 31, 2013

    Thank you for this article; the idea of dissembling or “recycling” the cars for future use is an amazing idea, especially with the current pricing of the Leading EVs (I.E. Tesla).

    It’s just a matter of time before Google’s Self-Driving car is made to not only be self-driving, but also self-charging… THAT will be an interesting time indeed :)

    -Serge of http://VINCheckReport.com

  5. Danish Albert permalink
    July 10, 2013

    Really electric cars are very useful as we know these cars are made to control environment pollution. Actually to protect the environment from being polluted the branded car makers decided to implement a methodology to protect the environment and the methodology is so called Electric car concept. This is an good methodology I can say to protect the environment from being polluted. .

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  6. Danish Rich permalink
    August 5, 2013

    I love these electric cars not only because of these are stylish and luxurious but also as these are environment friendly that these cars produce less carbon dioxide gas so our environment gets less pollute. To control this pollution level of our environment the branded car makers have decided to bring an invention so called electric cars so that the environment gets less polluted. From my point of view it is a nice step taken by the Branded car makers all over the world. .

  7. Adam Root permalink
    August 6, 2013

    To control the pollution level of our environment, the branded car makers of all over the world has decided to make an invention so called Electric cars to get out of this large problem and free the environment from these type of pollutions. So, this invention is now on roads and is appreciated by all peoples. Actually after having this Electric car we have to maintain this car else it may create problem for us and we have to pay a huge amount of money to repair center to repair our car. So if we maintain our car the small issues of car will not occur and if some problem beyond our capacity arises then we have to repair it from good repair centers that charge reasonable price and provide good services for our vehicles smoother running and better performance. .

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