Did you know some of the first cars were electric vehicles? That’s right, they were DC motors powered by lead acid batteries. They didn’t go very fast, or far and barely worked in the cold. But they were some of the first
We have come a long way from then.
Internal combustion engines didn’t become popular until oil companies started producing gasoline as a cheap fuel. Gas was cheap, easy to transport and the infrastructure needed was easier to develop than that needed for electricity. You can plop a gas station anywhere and simply ship gasoline to it and you were good to go.
Technology would need to catch up in order for an electric car to be a viable option in the gasoline dominated industry. 1997 was the first glimmer of hope with GM’s EV-1 but it did not gain much traction.
At the turn of the century fuel prices were steadily rising causing the industry to shift and make more room for an electric powered alternative. The newer cars first came out with a practice range but took a fairly long time to recharge and had a large price tag. Not really affordable for the average consumer still.
However 20 years on the EV continues to improve. Their range has expanded significantly to give the every day driver security that they won’t run out of power commuting to work. Pricing has dropped and government incentives continue to pop up making the purchase even more attractive. And there is a much better infrastructure of recharging stations. Most governments have plans to add stations to many public places like in PEI.
EV Cars and their parts
A traditional vehicle has 2,000 moving parts: pistons, cams, gears, pumps, fans, just to name a few. That is a lot of moving parts to have to buy and potentially repair. EV’s typically have less than 100 moving parts. As those are mass produced on the same scale as their gas powered siblings the costs will significantly go down. Only 100 potential pieces to break instead of 2,000 means potentially more reliability as well.
As popularity grows the biggest challenge is being able to provide power to the vehicles in a similar way to that of gas stations. Sure you can use your home to power your car overnight or when it’s in the driveway but the convenience of gas stations is that you can pop in any time and refill if you’re running on empty. Consumers need that same convenience when they are out running around town or on a road trip.
As of today there is three types of charging stations level 1, level 2 and level 3.
Level 1 is basically the equivalent to a wall outlet. It can charge a typical car in about a day.
Level 2 is a step up and would charge your car in about 6-8 hours
Level 3 could charge 80% of your car in about 30min
Typically level 3 is for commercial use. This is where governments would invest money into placing these charges in public places like malls and parking garages.
Level 2 is something you might consider to install at your home. This will ensure you come home from work at night, plug in your car and it’s fully charged and ready to go for the next day.
Why go with an electric car?
Well beyond it being more sustainable for a greener earth in the long run it’s likely going to be more affordable for you too. For a Tesla model 3 it would cost about $15 in electricity for 480km of driving. Whereas a gas powered car could cost as much as $37 for the same distance. That add’s up over the cars lifetime.
Where do Solar panels come in from this?
By shifting from a gas powered car to an electric vehicle your electricity costs will undoubtedly go up. Sure you do not have to pay for gasoline anymore which is great but now some of that cost you will now be giving to places like Maritime electric, BC Hydro, OPG or your local electricity provider.
Someone has to provide you with electricity for your new demands.
But why not generate that electricity yourself. Getting solar panels is like striking oil in your backyard!
To learn more about electric vehicles and their role in our future energy consumption visit sunly.ca/blog/electric-vehicles-past-present-and-future.
To learn more about how to reduce your energy costs even further by installing solar panels visit https://sunly.ca/.