Several decades ago, the very idea of electric cars seemed absurd. With the advanced technologies of the XXI century, however, the long-awaited dream was finally turned into reality. The number of electric cars is still admittedly low in the market.
However, compared to the previous sales statistics, the demand for electric cars is slowly increasing. Therefore, it can be expected that in several decades, electric cars will become part and parcel of everyday reality and an integral part of the life of an average citizen.
The physics of an electric car is rather easy to calculate; based on the power generated by a battery, it presupposes that an energy battery supplies the car with the force to move.
Though previously, electric cars were associated with electricity for the most part, which seemed rather reasonable, at present, they are related to the phenomenon of a fuel cell. The latter is used as the converter of the chemical energy, which is generated by the fuel, to the electrical one, which is required to supply the car with the necessary power.
At present, electric cars offer their owners a relatively impressive amount of services and advantages for a comparatively low price. With the application of the eternal combustion engines into the design of an electric car, the opportunity for the latter to be recharged extremely quickly has emerged.
In addition, a range of complementary services, such as the incorporation of the battery switch technology into the car design, has contributed to an impressive rise in the popularity of the product.
Despite the numerous technological advances and the groundbreaking technology, including modern media and its integration into the lives of everyday people, the very concept of an electric car still makes one think of the distant future.
Though electric cars seem to be very promising and are slowly becoming more affordable, there still are alternatives, which need to be considered.
What Makes It Tick: Electric Cars and Their “Anatomy”
Before going any further, one must mention that over the past few years, a very thick line has been drawn between electric cars and cell fuel cars. Though the two are often considered a synonym, they, in fact, have a range of unique details and features, which deserve being considered closer.
A hydrogen fuel car is known for its original source of energy. Needless to say, the energy comes from hydrogen fuel cells. In an electric car, in its turn, energy comes from a battery, which is charged with electricity. Though a seemingly minor difference, this detail sets the two types of vehicles apart.
What fuel cells are capable of
A fuel cell is another phenomenon that is worth paying special attention to when considering the concept of an electric car.
Traditionally defined as an electrochemical cell, which facilitates the process of converting chemical energy into fuel, a fuel cell, or, as it is also often referred to, the PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) cell (Wu, Yuan, Martin and Wang 106) has, in fact, been suggested as another source of the fuel for electric cars only recently.
Another modification of an electric car, a fuel cell car supposedly has better properties; for example, it can be characterized as a more durable and by far more efficient vehicle.
Despite its environmental friendliness, a traditional electric car can be considered a rather mild way of encouraging people for being environmentally aware; though not damaging the nature with polluted air and water, the specified type of cars may still produce pollution in the process of generating the fuel (Dincer 3).
Battery switch technology
With the invention of the battery switch technology, the entire concept of the electric car was reinvented completely. The given event, in its turn, has had a major impact on the way in which electric cars are represented in the present-day market. Speaking of the general principle of electric car work, the following picture outlines the key processes in a rather successful way:
As the picture provided above shows, the principles of an electric car operation are rather simple compared to those of a traditional diesel or hybrid car.
Simplifying these principles to the point where only three basic elements are introduced , one will be able to realize that the concept of an electric car, or a fuel cell car, for that matter, can basically be shrunk to three key details, i.e., the battery, which provides the car with electricity, the controller, in which the transformation of the electric energy into the mechanic one occurs, and the process of starting the motor, which, in its turn, was powered by the electricity produced by a battery. Thus, electric energy is transformed into a mechanical one inside an electric car (Goonan 4).
Discussion and Summary: Electric Cars in the XXI Century
Judging by the fact that the evolution of electric cars has gone as far as denying the basic premise for the concept to exist, i.e., the use of electricity as the key source for the fuel, electric cars have clearly become an integral part of the XXI century and a staple of the era. Indeed, the progress that electric cars have made over the past few decades is stunning.
First and most obvious, electric cars have reinvented the design principles that are traditionally accepted in the car industry. Since diesel cars, as well as more advanced hybrids, relied on the power of traditional types of fuel, it was natural that they took the shapes that presupposed a minimal rate of friction.
Indeed, for a hybrid or a diesel car, the specifics of the car surface defined such essential features of the vehicle as to the speed, the friction rate, etc. With an electric car, the amount of the consumed fuel does not seem to be an issue any longer, seeing how fast people managed to shift towards the futuristic and even ingenious designs of electric cars, which could look literally the way that their constructors wanted them to look like.
Finally, the issue of environmental awareness should be touched upon. Even though a range of environmental policies has been developed in order to protect the environment from the harmful effects of industries, tourism, etc., the effects of numerous negative factors are quite tangible in a number of “green” regions.
As a result, such a solution as an electric car seems the next most reasonable step to undertake after reconsidering the significance of the current industries and identifying the possible avenues of minimizing their threat. Even though electric cars remain unattainable for most of the population, the enhancement of their production shows that their daily use may become a possibility soon.
Dincer, Ibrahim. “Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies for Sustainable Future.” Jordan Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, 2.1 (2008), 1–14.
Goonan, Thomas G. “Effect of Electric and Hybrid Cars on Lithium Demand.” Lithium Use in Batteries. 2012. 4–5. 2014.
Green Car Congress. n. d. 2014.
Wu, Jinfeng, Xiao Z. Yuan, Jonathan J. Martin and Haijiang Wang. “A Review of PEM Fuel Cell Durability: Degradation Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategies.” Journal of Power Sources 184.10 (2008), 104–119.