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Electric Cars

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Interest in electric cars has been rising in the past few years and, not surprisingly, came to a fervor pitch in the past couple months as gasoline prices shot through the roof. Sales of vehicles like the Toyota Prius skyrocketed and sales of vehicle like the Chevy Suburban fell apart like... a mid-eighties GM car*.

With that stage set, GM introduced (a while ago) the Chevy Volt.

It's a plug-in electric hybrid car, which means that it is powered by an electric motor that's fed off a battery. The battery can be charged from the grid and will take the car up to 40 miles, after which point an on-board generator will kick in. I'm not sure what the technical term for this is, but I would call it a serial electric drive system.

This differs from Toyota's system (called "Hybrid Synergy Drive") because theirs is a parallel system; that is to say that both the electric and the internal combustion engine power the wheels (most of the time).

I personally find the Chevy system to be very elegant. Why? Because the car's driven off pure electricity. Sure, it uses gasoline to power that system, but, as technologies progress, that electricity could be generated by anything. Perhaps a diesel system, which is more efficient? What about a fuel cell? The point is, it separates electricity generation from vehicle propulsion, and isolated the gasoline engine. I like that.

So there are a lot of people excited about this car. Some, however, are skeptical about GM's commitment to the idea. This is, after all, the corporation that brought us the EV1, the not-incredibly-popular all-electric car that they later unceremoniously destroyed despite the protests of a few dedicated fans. GM also has a history of not-entirely-supporting good ideas and failing to hedge their bets against changing consumer taste.

Will they follow through with this? Only time will tell.

* That, my friends, is experience talking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt electric are the future of automotive industry.I like it so much and also spend a lot of time on electric cars and know well about these cars and there is a need to upgrade the charging system of electric cars.So these cars are getting in fame.Good work done on the blog,its very interesting and all about electric.However,if you want to check the Vin,engine number etc of your car so have a look on kia vin checker.

11:48 PM, September 15, 2014  
Blogger Unknown said...

Without any doubts electric cars are our future. And even now Tesla is gaining more and more popularity among car fans. If you want to decode vin number then it is possible to use universal tesla vin decoder for this purpose.

2:07 AM, December 09, 2014  

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