MODERN AND DEVELOPING ELECTRIC AND HYBRID CARS

Modern and Developing Electric Hybrid Cars

Modern and Developing Electric Hybrid Cars

Various researches state that the transport sector in general is the main contributor to global warming. Electric and hybrid vehicles do not burn any gasoline so they have no tailpipe emission. But in production of the energy they use in motion, a lot of greenhouse gases are emitted. A good example is coal powered power plants. They are said to produce twice carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases than natural gas-powered power plants.

Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gasses that are emitted in large amount; it results from burning of fossil fuels, trees, and wood products. Carbon dioxide is emitted in production of energy used to fire electric and hybrid cars .Methane is another greenhouse gas produced during production and transportation of coal and other sources of energy used in production of electricity used in firing electric cars. Nitrous oxide is third greenhouse gas emitted during production of energy used in firing up electric and hybrid cars. Fluorinated gases, are a group of greenhouse gases that contain fluorine, emitted during burning of fossil fuels and other non renewable sources of energy that are used in production of electricity used in firing up electric and hybrid cars.( Stephan, & Sullivan.2008).

Research have found that electric cars produce half the gaseous waste produced by cars that use gasoline even with the production and manufacturing of the batteries used by electric cars accounted for. All vehicles go through three stages, manufacturing, operation and end of life. Every stage in the life cycle of the electric vehicles, there is emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. The life cycle of electric cars begin when raw material are extracted, refined, polished, transported and finally manufactured into the car itself. The emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases starts at this early stage because the batteries used to store electricity by electric cars are lithium-ion batteries that are material and energy intensive (Jeong, & Oh, 2002).

During the manufacturing of electric cars, there is more production of greenhouse gases. A good example can be; in manufacturing of a midsized electric or hybrid vehicle, there is an average of 15 % more emission of the greenhouse gases. For manufacturing of larger vehicles of the sort result to even more emissions that can range to 68 % (Stephan & Sullivan, 2008). The emissions reduce as the cars are driven. The electric and hybrid cars reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emission in the first eighteen months of service. The gaseous waste emitted reduces significantly till the end of the electric and hybrid cars lives.

A life cycle cost analysis is done in 5, 10 or 15 year lifetime period (Samaras & Meisterling, 2008). Production impact is more important for electric vehicles than gasoline powered vehicles. For a case of let’s say 12,340 miles per year for specific economic factors, the life cycle cost results show that even if the electric vehicles may cost more than conventional cars, in the end the general cost of electric and hybrid vehicles is lower compared to the gasoline powered vehicles(Samaras & Meisterling, 2008) . In another case, if an electric vehicle has 200,000 miles in a lifetime, then it has a global warming potential of 26% compared to gasoline vehicles which has a global warming potential of 28% (Samaras & Meisterling, 2008).

There is a less fuel cost of electric vehicles since electricity used can be saved efficiently by the electric car. However, reduced fuel cost by the electric vehicle may translate to higher cost of maintenance and vehicle insurance. A battery electric vehicle costs more than a fuel cell electric vehicle in mass production. Electricity used to power a battery electric vehicle costs considerably less than the hydrogen used to power a fuel cell electric vehicle. The annual fuel saving by a battery electric vehicle owner can range from $99 to $499 depending on the cost of electricity used to charge the batteries (Jeong, & Oh, 2002). So it can be concluded that battery electric vehicles have the lowest cost per mile.

Electric vehicles can be said to have a longer life as compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. The internal combustion engine wears down quickly due to its subjection to pressure, too much heat or too much cold and synchronised friction. There is also a high cost of fitting homes with recharging stations for electric vehicles. This makes it hard for most people to own their own recharging stations (Jeong, & Oh, 2002).

In summary, the batteries used by electric cars are expensive. This is because the durability of a battery should be equal to a cars lifetime. This makes maintenance of the batteries also high. Registration cost for electric vehicles varies according to the weight or extra weight of a vehicle. Electric vehicles do not emit any greenhouse gas from the tailpipe so they are not subject to inspection and maintenance in the United States. Electricity sold at recharging stations is easily taxed but it is hard to tax recharging stations situated at people’s homes. This is because it would require a different metre circuit for the recharging unit.

References

Jeong, K. S., & Oh, B. S. (2002). Fuel economy and life-cycle cost analysis of a fuel cell hybrid vehicle. Journal of Power Sources, 105(1), 58-65.

Samaras, C., & Meisterling, K. (2008). Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from plug-in hybrid vehicles: implications for policy. Environmental science & technology, 42(9), 3170-3176.

Stephan, C. H., & Sullivan, J. (2008). Environmental and energy implications of plug-in hybrid- electric vehicles. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(4), 1185-1190.