Alt Fuel #2 – Plug-In Electric Vehicles

The very stuff of science-fiction, since when I was seven I believed that in twenty years either cars would fly or whizz around to the hum of electricity. Today, fully electric vehicles are a reality, such as the Tesla Roadster, electric scooters or the upcoming Chevy Volt.

Pros:
– They don’t pollute (zero emissions).
– Very powerful and torquey.
– If cellphones are anything to go by, battery performance has improved drastically in recent years and will continue to do so.

Cons:
– Still very new and unproven technologically, which leads to all sorts of reliability and efficiency issues.
– Low autonomy (Tesla Roadster: 393km between charges – very crap)
– Long battery-charging times (though I don’t doubt this problem will be solved over time).
– The energy crisis will shift its focus. Will power grids be able to support everyone charging their EV at the same time?
– Your house has to have to have a garage with a plug (perhaps even a special, non-conventional one). I have a garage space beneath the block of flats where I live, but I don’t have my own private electricity source. So people like me and people who park their car on the street are automatically excluded from owning an electric car. This is one of the most hindering aspects that will make EVs very hard to catch on.
– You don’t have trouble finding petrol, diesel, and to a lesser extent, LPG. Try finding somewhere to recharge your EV when you’re far from home. Good luck with that.

Intro
Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids
Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Biodiesel, bioethanol and such
Carbon-neutral Algae-based fuels
Hydrogen fuel cells
LPG
Hybrid Retrofitting
Petrol/Diesel

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