Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tesla Electric Car

This classy sports car is stylish, economical, sustainable and electric; a car truly in a class of its own. Clearly there are more important things but the Tesla electric car is nice to look at. Sleek, sporty, sophisticated and available in metallic and non metallic sporty colours of red, yellow, blue, green, purple and of course black.

Anyone with an interest in electric cars as an alternative drive should take a look at the Tesla Electric car. This car succeeds where other EVs (electric vehicles) have failed. Past issues of design, performance and efficiency have been addressed and resolved. The car is a real head turner. No car, electric or otherwise, can beat this vehicle for looks or design. Fitted with full luxury interior and modern specs this is a car of unparralled beauty.

The biggest complaint with EVs has been the mileage covered before a recharge facility had to be found. The Tesla carries an on board charger and can travel over 200 miles before it requires a recharge. Recharge time on this vehicle is also faster with a full recharge from complete depletion possible in just over three hours. Ideally the only recharge required will be overnight. The car can be plugged in at the end of the day and ready to go again in the morning. The Tesla is twice as efficient as a Prius, the next best vehicle on the market in terms of efficiency.

The other concern with EVs and hybrids has been speed, or more specifically lack of speed. Not anymore! The Tesla has resolved that problem too. Zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph and the acceleration of the Tesla Electric Car is much more available to enjoy, without changing gears this car will just go.

Because electricity can be generated from a number of sources the Tesla electric car frees consumers from heavy oil dependence for transportation. 65% of American oil dependence is in the area of transportation. Imagining the ramifications of decreasing American oil dependence by 65% is easy;

  • carbon emissions are hugely diminished;
  • a primary reason for war in the world is eliminated
  • the environment is one step closer to being saved

The performance specs of this car are so awesome even the racing car industry will be able to thrive, guilt free.

Sceptics may wonder if using electricity to power vehicles isn’t just replacing depletion of one energy resource for another. They would be wrong. Electricity can be generated from coal, solar, hydro, wind and nuclear sources. The resources required to harness the energy and the amount of energy used are both significantly reduced using electricity over oil. And electricity is adaptable, as the world changes and technologies advance, electricity production and use is malleable enough to change right along with technology. The Tesla EV can be powered by 100% renewable energy sources.

Another, perhaps more selfish reason for considering an EV is the incentives increasingly offered by government bodies to switch. For example Sacramento offers free parking to EV drivers as well as free charging stations and San Joaquin Valley are giving one to three thousand dollars cash to EV drivers.

The Tesla car company is a company of designers, engineers and most importantly visionaries. Without wanting to compromise on the joy of driving this company strives to create the sustainable cars of the future. The tires and the battery of every Tesla vehicle are recyclable and the cost is built into the purchase price of the car, so recycling is an easy choice for the consumer.

Tesla co-founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning wanted to create EVs that didn’t just contribute to environmental sustainability; they wanted the driver to continue enjoying the driving experience, the thrill of the road, the feeling of speed and power that makes driving for the sake of driving a pleasure. To achieve their goal, these visionaries teamed with Lotus who are the acknowledged leader worldwide in sports car assemblies, to create an electric vehicle with enhanced engineering capabilities. In doing so Tesla have successfully realized their dream in the Tesla electric car.

The Latest News About The Ford Electric Car

Plans for a Ford electric car were recently announced at the Detroit auto show.  Ford Motor Company has a goal to start selling the electric car by 2011. With green efforts being made nationwide and support from President Barack Obama, William C. Ford Jr., Ford’s executive chairman, said, “It is clear society is headed down this road.”

What Is An Electric Car?

An electric car is called an alternative fuel car in today’s green market.  While traditional cars use gasoline in an internal combustion engine, an electric car uses motor controllers and electric motors.  Most of the time the electrical power comes from battery packs in the car.  The battery is rechargeable.  Some electric cars also store the electricity in a flywheel or in ultracapacitors.  An electric car is not the same as a hybrid.

What Is Project M?

Ford announced their plans and intends to make a limit of 10,000 electric cars in 2011.  It is estimated the car will need a 6 hour charge to run for about 100 miles.  Derrick M. Kuzak, the chief of global product development for Ford, felt, “It’s the right time to take this step, but it would be presumptive to try and predict what the market is ultimately going to look like.”

Why Is It Called Project M?

Ford partnered with Magna International Inc. to develop a completely electric vehicle.  Ford has been selling plug-in Escape Hybrids since 2004.  Magna is working with Ford to create a pure electric vehicle on the Focus platform to be formally released in 2010.  Chief technology chief for Magna, Ted Robertson, said, “Magna wants to be a leader and in the forefront of any new technology being developed.  There are few suppliers who can do a whole vehicle and Magna is one of those.  It was a great marriage.”

Magna pulled up to Detroit in a converted Ford Focus without Ford’s knowledge.  Lisa Drake, chief engineer for hybrid programs at Ford, indicated, “It was a phenomenal car.  We were highly, highly impressed.”

Where There Other Ford Electric Cars?

In 2002, the Ford company gave up on the Ford electric car Think.  After putting $123 million into the Think, Ford decided to invest in hybrid electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells.  At the time, not enough customers in the United States were interested in the Think.  With little interest in the Think, Ford was ready to scrap them until Norway decided to take them in 2004.  Today Ford is ready to re-enter the electric car market because of greater interest in green solutions thanks to rising gas prices.

Will There Be A Commercial Ford Electric Car?

Ford was officially the first of the three major car manufacturers to announce a purely battery electric power light commercial vehicle for distribution in North America.  Referred to as the Transit EV, this new electric commercial vehicle will be available in 2010 at Ford dealerships in the United States.  The vehicle will drive much like a car and hold 1,760 pounds of cargo.  The cost of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle is much less over time, which is a major benefit for commercial users.

The Future Of Ford Electric Cars

Ford has plans to develop additional hybrid technology along with new electric cars.  Daniel Backer, the head of the Safe Climate Campaign, says, “I think the days of the gasoline engine are numbered, even if we don’t know exactly what that number is.”  Additionally, President Barack Obama has shown great interest in developing green transportation technologies.  This raises public awareness about the importance of electric car technology with regard to protecting our environment.  With increasing gas costs and a larger demand for advanced technology, Ford electric cars seem to be here to stay this time.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Save the Earth, Save Some Dough, Save Your Sanity

As we have all been noticing, the price to fill up our gas tanks crawls higher and higher. While many people see the new Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) as trends, this so-called trend may be one of the only ways to gain relief from the enormous costs just to get to work, school, or necessary places. For those who want to follow the trend of HEVs, but want to know more about them, keep on reading.

What is so extraordinary under the hood to make this a hybrid? 

While a traditional car has a gasoline engine, the hybrids tote a gasoline engine and an electric motor which runs on a battery. Simply, these two components work together to power the car. The electric motor operates while the car is idling and when pressing the petal to the metal. This motor can work up to 20 miles per hour.  Upon reaching this threshold, the gasoline engine takes the workload to gain speed.   To qualify as a hybrid car, the car must be able to drive at least 300 miles before refueling, be able to be refueled easily and quickly, and keep up with the traditional traffic on the road, among other elements.

So, what is so great about these hybrid electric cars? 

Many elements of the hybrid make it the perfect car. Besides not having to fork out so much dough on gas, the hybrids are great for many reasons. With 45 to 70 miles per gallon, hybrid cars allow for lower fuel costs.  Because these cars possess better gas mileage, the pollutants are reduced.  By lessening the personal amount of pollution we dump into our environment, we can have an active role in helping our environment to heal itself, control the greenhouse effect, and possibly reverse a great deal of damage we have caused.  Lighter materials are also used to produce these amazing machines. The hybrid cars, as of now, are holding their value much longer than a traditional car. Purchasing a new hybrid car may also save you even more money than you know. Many states offer tax incentives for new hybrid car purchases. These cars tend to be much quieter than traditional cars as well. Your automotive insurance agent may be another source of information for you. Your current rate may be lowered for having a hybrid car.

Are there any negatives for hybrids? 

Like all cars, negative aspects do exist.  First, many people do not like the exterior look of the hybrid cars (depending on the model).  Another possible negative aspect is the transition from the electric motor to the gasoline engine. When this occurs, a slight shudder may be felt momentarily during the transition of power elements.

What about the future of the hybrid electric car? 

Environmentalists love hybrid cars and suggest that they will only get better with time. Many environmentalists anticipate that hybrid cars will get fuel mileage up to 190 miles per gallon. Even lower fuel emissions are to follow the jump in miles per gallon. The hybrid cars will also cause the traditional cars to depreciate value quicker due to the demand of the hybrids. Because even more money is being thrown into the hybrid car bucket, these futuristic ideas may not be too far away.

Who makes hybrid cars and how do I decided what to buy?

Many companies are now investing money in the hybrid market. Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Lexus, Saturn, Mercury, Nissan, and many other car producers are currently in the hybrid zone. Now, you must decide which hybrid to purchase. Your first plan of action is to evaluate your current driving situation (i.e.: Is it responsible to purchase this car? Will it save you money?). If you are buying this car for environmental reasons mainly, this question may not be a factor for you. Research the various models that are available to you in your area. Another good idea is to see if your state offers tax incentives for buying a new hybrid car. Now, the main concern is finding a body style and size that fits you. From here, just use the traditional methods for buying a car, but imagine all the good you will be doing by buying a hybrid vehicle.

Considering all the information before you, making the transition from a traditional car to a hybrid car may still be difficult for you; for me, however, I plan to buy a hybrid in the near future.  Improving the environment while saving a tremendous amount of money on gasoline is enough for me. While the monthly payment may be a little more (depending on the traditional car vs. hybrid car), saving the planet is well worth the investment.

Electric Car Conversion


Want to help save the environment by performing your own electric car conversion? All across the globe, gas prices are becoming a serious problem. It seems that every day you hear about another record price for oil. This is especially concerning when you think of where that extra money is going to. Oil producing countries such as Russia, Venezuela and those in the Middle East aren’t exactly renown for their fondness towards the western world. We keep hearing about alternative energy sources, but where are they? By performing your own electric conversion you can eliminate your consumption of oil today. Read on, and I’ll tell you how this can be achieved.

The Good News

Not many people realize that any ordinary car can be converted into an electric car; a car that runs entirely on electricity. Instead of filling up on gas at the petrol station, you would recharge your car by plugging it into an ordinary power outlet. Since your car will not be burning any fuel, there will be no emissions. With no combustion engine, your car will be almost completely silent.

The Bad News

On the down side, after the electric conversion, your car will be much heavier. This is due to the added weight of the batteries. The conversion itself is an expensive process. Your car’s engine is completely removed and replaced with an electric motor. The exhaust system is also removed as there are no emissions from the electric motor. In addition to the new motor, an electric car conversion requires a power controller, separate electric motors to power devices such as the air conditioner and power-steering, a vacuum pump for the car’s power brakes, an electric heater for heat, a charging system, and around fifty lead-acid batteries in order to hold sufficient charge. As speed is moderated by the power controller, the car’s clutch system will also be removed and the transmission pinned permanently into second gear. You can expect the cost of an electric car conversion, not including labor, to be in the vicinity of $10 000. Replacement of the batteries, which will be necessary about once every three years, will your costs around $2000 each time.

More About Batteries

The reason why lead batteries are used is that they are currently the most cost effective solution. Although it would approximately double the car’s range to replace the lead batteries with NiMH, the cost would be ten to fifteen times greater. Unfortunately, lead batteries are bad for the environment and have a slow recharge time of up to ten hours. This is why there is so much interest in alternative fuel cells. When hydrogen fuel cells become widely available, electric car conversions will be much more feasible for the average person.

Electric Motors Explained

Electric car conversions will typically use a DC motor, but it is also possible to use an AC motor. DC motors of the type used in forklifts are often suitable. A DC motor for electric car conversion may be around 20 000 watts, and the controller used will have a rating double that. A DC motor can be overdriven with more power than its rating, in order to boost acceleration, but this can only be sustained for a short amount of time without causing serious damage to the motor. AC motors tend to be more expensive than the DC variety, but they can be used to recharge the battery from braking force, a technique called regen.


With all the difficulties involved in electric car conversions, the undeniable fact is that they result in a car that is cheaper to run. Assuming electricity costs of 8 cents per kilo-watt hour, cost per mile will be 2 cents per mile. This compares to 4 cents per mile for a gasoline powered car with a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon. Also, in addition to the environmental benefits of an electric car conversion, there is the reassurance of knowing that your money is not going into the coffers of oil producing cartels on the other side of the world.

Electric Cars Demystified

The growing green movement is increasingly impacting the types of motor vehicles people are buying. Added to this environmentally friendly approach to transportation is the ever-climbing price of fuel. As such, the question of the electric car is becoming a topic of frequent discussion.

History of the Electric Car

Although the exact year is debated, it is known that between 1832-1839 a type of electric carriage was designed in Scotland by Robert Anderson. The electric cars enjoyed a heyday of sorts right up until the 1920s when the gasoline powered cars overtook the market. Some of the reasons why this happened are still among the problems affecting the viability of electric cars today. The main factors are the limited range of vehicles and the price.

How The Electric Cars Work

Some electric cars are powered by a bank of batteries that store the power needed to make the vehicle move, while others use fuel cells. Batteries and fuel cells replace the gas tank found in gasoline-powered vehicles.

Fuel cells, unlike batteries use hydrogen from a hydrogen tank which is mixed with oxygen and is then converted to electricity to power the vehicle. Electric cars that use fuels cells never really run down as do those that use pure electric power and need to be recharged. Once there is hydrogen (the fuel) and the mixing apparatus is working the car will go.

Another significant difference in how electric cars work compared to a gas or diesel vehicle is that there is no engine as we know it but rather one or more electric motors which control the wheels and gearbox of the vehicle.

The batteries are charged overnight using a charger plugged into a regular electric outlet so that the vehicle can be driven once the batteries are fully powered. Electric cars are generally powered by lead-acid, although newer types of batteries are being developed such as sodium-sulfur and zinc-chlorine.

Types of Electric Cars

Some of the newer electric cars on the market today include the Tesla Roadster, the Phoenix SUT, the Honda EV Plus, and the UEV Spyder.

If you really want an electric vehicle and cannot afford the price or as is often the case cannot find one, consider converting your vehicle into an electric car.

What’s Great About Electric Cars?

The main benefits of electric cars are:

  1. They are much cleaner than other types of vehicles as they cause much less pollution.
  2. They are said to be much more durable than traditional cars.
  3. They have regenerative braking
  4. Lower fuel costs: electric cars get their power from electricity and even the sun (yes, some have solar panels).
  5. They are low maintenance; unlike traditional motor vehicles electric cars have just one main moving part that needs regular tune-ups.

Some Issues with The Electric Cars

Currently, the major issue with electric cars is the distance they can go once charged – not very far. Some need to be recharged after every 100 miles or less. In addition to the issue of range, electric cars are still not yet at the stage where they can be called reliable, as it generally takes many hours for batteries to be fully recharged.

Electric cars are generally quite expensive, many going for in excess of $30,000. This is the kind of price few car buyers can afford, especially when you can’t drive them for long periods of time or for great distances.

Most electric vehicles can travel up to 60 miles per hour, although there are now prototypes that can go up to 100 miles per hour.

The time of the electric car may well be now, although there are few purely electric cars on the market currently, as most are hybrids. These are generally referred to as HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles). The powers that be in the auto industry predict that electric cars will be the norm rather than the exception in another 20 or so years.

What’s New in the Electric Car World?

With the ever increasing price of gas and no end in sight, the interest in motor vehicles that use alternative sources of fuel is growing. As of 2008 there are at least 18 brands of electric cars on the market.

Recent Development in Electric Cars

Many automobile manufacturers are turning towards offering electric cars to consumers. One of the newest to get in on the sector is Tata Motors. The Company chairman’s report at an annual general meeting revealed that the electric car will be produced in collaboration with a company based in Norway. The Tata electric car should be available by the end of 2008 and internationally by sometime in 2009.

In mid-July, Mitsubishi Motors announced that their i-MiEV electric cars should be on the market beginning in 2009. The Company plans on completing and selling at least 2,000 of the i-MiEV within the first year of its launch.

The continuing research and interest in electric cars have led to major development. One area where the most focus is being placed is on increasing the mileage between recharges. Currently this is the biggest challenge facing the industry. Currently electric cars using lead-acid batteries (the most common type) are said to travel up to 80 miles per charge. The newly improved lithium ion batteries boast a range of 250-300 miles per charge. However, these are quite expensive.

Nissan recently revealed that the company plans on rolling out electric cars in the USA and Japan by 2010. The automaker plans to extend its range by introducing an international roll out of these cars by 2012.  Nissan is not the only automaker planning on extending its range of electric cars in the foreseeable future.  According to Nissan, electric cars should generate a profit in just a few years.

Interestingly, not only are some car manufacturers looking at improving the abilities of electric cars, but some like GM, are thinking ahead. GM is also looking at the infrastructure available to recharge electric cars to ensure consumer safety. In the latter part of July, General Motors reported that it was forging ties with a US organization, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), to look at issues such as: how many garages have the correct plugs needed and if these plugs are in the right place in the garage, how many persons do not have garages, and putting in place strategies for public charging facilities. In March, Ford Motor Company also revealed that they are working with EPRI to determine how the Ford Escape can “fit into the nation’s electric power grid…”

The major innovations and improvements so far has been in the batteries used to power electric cars. One company already working hard on improving battery-power is Superlattice Power Inc. Superlattice is working on a material that will work with the standard Lithium Ion Polymer battery to increase both speed and range of electric cars. With this new technology, Superlattice envisions that its new battery will enable electric cars to be driven at least 200 miles before needing to be recharged.

The Future of the Electric Car

 In the next three to five years, many countries will have seen an increase in the fleet of such cars on the road. Thailand for example is looking at offering improved incentives to its automakers to produce hybrid vehicles as a matter of priority.

For those who want to keep abreast of developments in alternate-fuel vehicles, there are many sites on the Internet that are useful. Not only do they have helpful articles, but they provide current data to keep you informed.

Most challenges facing electric cars have been solved except for the battery issue. Many are now larger and therefore roomier than before.  Like regular gas-powered cars, electric cars also have onboard GPS systems and radio.  The future is still ahead of us, but electric cars are bound to have all the bells and whistles of a traditional gas powered car due to all the attention this technology is currently getting.