Electric Vehicle Challenges For Wide Adoption

It is fun to watch a Tesla Car glide down the road and know that it is all-electric, still, the industry has a ways to go before electric cars can compete on price for the consumer – before wide adoption is fully feasible. Trust me when I tell you, I am not against EVs, it’s just I see so many challenges – cost, weight, subsidies, efficiencies, range, charging infrastructure, etc. And, I cringe when I listen to folks explain how to pave that proverbial ‘road to hell’ with the Good Intentions Paving Company LLC. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?

Here are a Five Points on the Future of Electric Vehicles and the Real Challenges Facing the Industry:

1). Current Battery Weight: EV batteries significantly increase the weight of cars – proponents say that’s okay because new lightweight materials will keep weight down. True, but if those lightweight materials can do that, they can do it also for gasoline, diesel, natural gas, hydrogen or steam run cars too. Meaning more competition, A 100 mpg car due to low weight is now a huge selling point.

2). End of Life Battery Disposal: Where do all these batteries go with chemicals that are not so good for environment? Proponents say; it’s not that big of deal. Still, if old cell phones are considered hazardous waste partly due to the batteries inside, then car batteries which are much bigger with huge amounts of material are even more problematic.

3). Slow Growth: Currently electric vehicles make us such a small percentage of the total, that they are not making any real difference in the use of fossil fuels, so if that is the goal, it will take decades to achieve and need massive government intervention – hasn’t government intervened in the free-markets enough lately (Healthcare, Biofuels for instance) and how has that worked out for us?

4). Electric Vehicle Rebates: When government gives rebates we all end up paying for it in higher taxes. If EVs cost on average $10,000 more, and we give rebates, we are subsidizing a sector over another sector, picking and choosing winners. It’s wiser to allow EV industry to pony up and find ways to lower prices to compete.

5). Electric Vehicles Are Quiet: Proponents say that’s a good thing. But, tell that to the kid or cyclist that didn’t hear them coming and got smushed. Some EVs now have “sound” to alert people they are coming, and you can choose the sound you like, several options. That’s nice, but defeats the concept and/or benefits of such serenity associated with EVs. Sound also takes energy to make, ask any audio installer of sound systems for cars, often a second battery or batteries is/are added for larger systems.

The electric vehicle industry will have to solve these challenges before consumers will have full buy-in or before EVs can supplant the cars we drive today. Please consider this.

Electric Vehicle Connectors

Green is no longer just a color; it’s a movement rooted in environmentalism and sustainability. As people around the world have realized that we need to protect the planet if we want it to stay healthy and beautiful for future generations, more and more products have entered the market to push the green movement forward. Electric cars are one of those developments, giving consumers the choice to be more environmentally friendly in their everyday transportation. Although most Americans own and use gas-powered cars, electric vehicles are growing in popularity and as their technology progresses, they will become even more convenient and appreciated. Electric vehicle connectors are an integral part of this new form of transportation; the cars need them to power up. But before we get into specifics, let’s look at the basics of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are a type of automobile that uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. Unlike gas-powered cars, they are fueled by electricity, which can come from a variety of sources (fossil fuels and nuclear power, but also renewable sources like tidal, solar, and wind power). They require less maintenance because they don’t have as many parts as traditional vehicles, and they offer tax benefits. Electric vehicles are also easy to charge at home, run on renewable energy, and emit no pollution from their tailpipes. There are many benefits to owning an electric car, but like most things, they come with disadvantages too. Electric vehicles can take several hours to charge and aren’t able to last on long road trips. They will also increase the demand for electricity and there are very few models currently available.

Charging up an electric vehicle is easy, but it will require some patience. The most convenient (but also expensive) option would be to purchase a charging station for home use. If you charge your car overnight, it will always be ready for the morning commute.

To make the process of charging an electric car more convenient, national societies and commissions work together to establish industry standards for electric vehicle connectors. The common connector for the United States is the J1772 combo plug, which was chosen by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It allows for AC and DC charging, is 43mm in diameter, and contains five pins. Designed for single phase electrical systems with 120 V or 240 V, electric vehicle connectors use a 1 kHz square wave at +/- 12 volts on the pilot pin (to detect the vehicle, communicate the maximum allowable current, and control the charging process). These connectors will often be located outside, so it is important that they are able to withstand environmental concerns like wind, rain, and heat. They are also equipped with many safety features like shock protection, connector pins located on the inside (so humans have no physical access), and pins that have zero voltage when not in use.

Technological advancements and growing popularity are helping consumers see electric vehicles as a viable alternative to their gas-guzzling automobiles, but it will take a while longer for them to truly compete. Right now, electric cars are just a great alternative for environmentally conscious drivers looking to make a change.

Some Safety Precautions When Working on a Hybrid Vehicle

There are many benefits to owning a hybrid vehicle. Probably the best reason to purchase one of these vehicles is in order to keep the pain at the pump at a minimum. Did you know that there are some precautions to take if you plan on working on one of these vehicles yourself though? First of all, it is true that working on a standard gas-only consuming vehicle is very much the same to working on a hybrid, but you should keep in mind that the battery voltage is much higher.

While each hybrid vehicle is different, each operates under the same principals. It has an internal-combustion engine like all other vehicles, but as a back up power supply, it possesses an electric motor as well. When it comes to working on hybrids, you should know that you are in for something completely different. These vehicles possess more computers and sensors, not to mention they pack a lot of power.

These hybrid vehicles feature high powered battery packs located at the back of the cars which can produce 200 to 275 volts of electricity at up to 80 amps. Honda hybrids produce 144 volts. Keep in mind that 50 volts is enough to kill some people. If someone has only had experience working on non-hybrid vehicles, they could easily make a mistake that could electrocute them pretty badly, even leading to death.

Therefore, if you work on cars and are thinking about working on your own hybrid, keep this in mind. Before you work on your new hybrid car, make sure you have read the manual. Reading a licensed repair manual, such as those prepared by Chilton or Haines would be a good idea as well. If you are a novice at car repair, you may want to leave it to the professionals. One of the best precautions to take though is to make sure that your vehicle is completely powered down before you attempt to work on it. Make sure that you have removed the keys from the ignition, as the vehicle will start the engine if the battery needs charging.

Some hybrid vehicles have already taken this potential danger into consideration. For example, Toyota has made all of the high voltage cables in their hybrid vehicles bright orange. This will be a big help in preventing you from making any spur of the moment mistakes. Also, in their Prius model, they have made it so that when the car is powered off, no power is running through these cables. Another precaution that has been taken in this car is the service plug located on the battery. When this plug is removed from the battery, no energy is able to leave it.

If you are the proud owner of a hybrid vehicle, there is no reason to get paranoid about working on your vehicle. It still remains a very safe endeavor, just as long as you are aware of the added danger and take the proper precautions in order to prevent it.