Electric

Cars

by Miguel Cervantes Martinez

Miguel Cervantes Martinez is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Electrical Engineering.

Miguel Cervantes Martinez is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Electrical Engineering.

For many people, the electric cars are considered a new development in the automotive industry. Some people even think that they are futuristic. However, these cars have existed for more than one century. 

Before the rising of the internal combustion engines by gas in the early 1900s, the electric cars were the most popular mode of motorized transportation. An example of this is an article published in the New York Times in 1911, in which the electric car had long been recognized as “ideal” because it was cleaner and more economic than the gasoline-powered cars of that time [1].

Nowadays, electric cars are again emerging as an alternative to the fuel burning vehicles. The main reason is the pollution from automobile emissions. According to CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Quebec, [2], energy costs for an electric car are estimated to be 3 to 5 time lower than for a traditional gas vehicle. Also, there are other benefits: no oil changes, no tune ups and significant benefits to the environment.

Today, many consumers are still confused about this technology. Although the electric car seems to be a good solution to the environment problem, there are some concerns about them. Higher purchase price, battery life, range, and the availability of charging stations are some of the problems to deal with. 

Hybrids cars, which combine electrical and internal combustion engines, offer lower prices at purchase; however, they are not so good in terms of energy savings and environmental impact. It is not expected that electric cars replace the internal combustion engines any time soon, but the reality is that they are growing, and each time more automakers companies have a model for sale.


Sources:
[1] “Electric Vehicles Attract Attention”. New York Times. 1911-11-12.
[2] http://electricvehicles.caa.ca/