Blog Post 7: Transportation

The Electric Car

Lately many automobile companies have begun production of electric vehicles that offer all electric power to replace the necessity of gas. Many are seeing these new electric vehicles as the first of its kind, but this is not so. General Motors introduced a fully functional electric car in 1996 that never seemed to catch on in America, except with the people who bought them. Why if we had an electric car in 1996, are the roads not covered with electric cars?

The electric car, powered by an electric motor, is has its fuel stored in batteries underneath the hood. The electric car is advantageous because it does not pollute at nearly the rate of conventional combustion engines, but unfortunately it only becomes popular when gas prices are high. Some barriers to the electric car’s popularity are its price, infrastructure, and range anxiety. The price of the electric car is higher, due to the expensive battery, but one could argue that the electric car is worth the price due to no gas payments and less maintenance possibilities than the combustion engine. Infrastructure and range anxiety put the nail in the coffin of the EV1. The General Motors’ EV1 could only travel a distance of 100 miles on one charge and the fact that there is no recharge infrastructure in place, that doesn’t leave much room for traveling far. “The average American drives less than 40 miles per day (Edwards)” though, and in between trips the car could be recharged. Why is it that people feel they must have indefinite range in order to accomplish their everyday tasks? Perhaps the electric car would replace the conventional automobile if people were not worried about road trips. There could and should be a future for these viable and functional alternatives. 

Edwards, O. (2006). EV1. Smithsonian, 37(3), 44-46. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

EV-1 Unplugged: GM Disconnects Electric Car. (2000). Electricity Journal, 13(2), 12. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Raut, Anil K.. Role of electric vehicles in reducing air pollution: a case of Katmandu, Nepal. The Clean Air Initiative.

Sperling, Daniel and Deborah Gordon (2009). Two billion cars: driving toward sustainability.Oxford University Press, New York. pp. 22–26. ISBN 978-0-19-537664-7

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  1. The hybrid car is a technological marvel along with commanding a higher price so I could not afford one. Last year, I opted for a used 2003 Toyota Corolla so I would not have any car payments besides it really is efficient with gas. In my opinion, I really like the idea of owning a hybrid car but even for the average middle class family or single person is this feasible to purchase a hybrid car when they now make higher efficient gas motor vehicles today at half of the cost. Yes, depending on the person’s priorities they may want to purchase after doing their due diligence in making sure this car makes sense.

    Besides, the battery on these types of cars last for years but “according to an October 2008 report by Consumer Reports magazine, the cost to replace a battery on a Toyota Prius runs $2,000 to $3,000″(Livestrong, n.d.). Another concern is the repair costs of the hybrid car due to the complexity with having 2 motors after owning one for years. Maybe Toyota offers incentives for their customers on oil changes and repair costs. However, everything we encounter has advantages and disadvantages for becoming more sustainable. But, the economy is a big factor in how people spend their money especially when it comes to cars even though we love a certain type and model our pocketbooks may state a different case.

    I liked when you told us about taking the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) as an alternative method of transportion for yourself and also using your bicycle as well. Thank you for sharing because the more people you tell about your experience than they will want to see for themselves. I think educating people on alternative methods of transportation is very important.

    Regards, Sonya

    Lifestrong (n.d) What Is The Downside of Hybrid Vehicles?, Retrieved September 22, 2011, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/136824-what-is-downside-hybrid-vehicles/

  2. Interesting post about utilizing Electric cars to reduce the carbon footprint for the average citizen traveling less than 40 miles per day. You must also look into an electric car rental program, a first of its kind at this scale, being implemented by the city of Paris in collaboration with a local for profit company. The program is called “AutoLib” from automotive liberty or car freedom! It is defining a change in mindsets of the people at the governmental as well as corporate level to deem it a feasible idea in promoting “car renting” as opposed to “car owning”. This would not only help reduce carbon emissions but also promote share-a-ride concept.

    Electric motoring with Autolib’,Retrieved September 27, 2011, from
    http://www.paris.fr/english/english/electric-motoring-with-autolib/rub_8118_actu_96858_port_19237

    Ayesha B

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