Electric Cars An electric car is a new type of car that is becoming more popular. They are run off of electricity, not gas.


Electric Car: Vehicle that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device.

Charging Station: A charging station is similar to a gas station but it takes more time to charge. It is sourced by an electric power source that charges a battery in the hood of the car. When charging at home it uses the same power plug in as anything else.

Mileage: distance measured in miles. This relates to the topic because the weather condition that the car is being driven in can dictate how far it can travel. The weather could decrease the distance the car is able to travel if the battery is too cold/hot.

Wind Energy: Wind energy is a form of solar energy. Wind energy (or wind power) describes the process by which wind is used to generate electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. A generator can convert mechanical power into electricity. The power sources that charge electric cars come from numerous different sources. One source is wind energy, without the sources to create energy EV cannot be charged.

Sharing Program: opportunity to rent a car from a destination. This is important to understand because it is not like a typical car renting program. Users will subscribe to an electric vehicle company and pay a monthly fee as well as a fee per minute or mile. They can go to any station from the company through which they have a subscription and use a car and return it at another station on their own time. One example in Blueindy located in Indianapolis.

Incentives: A reward for purchasing an electric car. Understanding that a reward is offered for electric cars will help you understand the major need for electric vehicles. Some countries such as china and Japan use an incentive system to promote consumers to purchase an EV. Giving an incentive will ensure that more people will get an electric car because they will get it for a cheaper price or get a tax break on it from the government which makes in a win-win situation for the environment and the buyer.

How does an electric engine run?

An electric vehicle uses electricity to power itself. It has a different kind of motor in it than a typical car that is on the road. An electric car is powered by an electric motor instead of a gas engine (Berman,What is an). The electric motor gets its power from a controller that regulates the power based on the the use of the acceleration pedal. The electric motor also accelerates at a different rate than a normal car does. In a gas powered engine it takes time to work its way up to the desired speed, this is measured in RPMs. In an electric car “switching on an electric motor is similar to turning on a light bulb. A bulb turns on immediately when you flick a switch; it doesn't need time to build up power. The peak power of an EV is always at zero RPMs” (George). An electric car can speed up quickly and won't waste energy while doing so. In fact, “Electric motors develop their highest torque from zero RPMs—meaning fast (and silent) zero-to-60 acceleration times... only taking 2.75 seconds”(Berman, What is an). This shows how much different an electric vehicle motor is compared to a gas engine because of how fast the electric current can travel to power the car. The trade off is that the car battery that runs the car only has a limited amount of power.

What happens if the car runs out of battery while in use?

An electric car has alternative ways to getting around besides only relying on battery power. A fully charged electric car can drive about “80 miles of real-world driving range”(Berman, How far literally). In a scenario where the driver drove more than expected or they forgot to charge their car and it runs out of power then there is a backup system. The car will always be able to run even when the battery isn't charged, in the video, “Energy 101: Electric Vehicles”, posted by the U.S. Department of Energy states that all electric cars have a backup power source of gas. Having gas as a backup source is key to being able to get around. In cases where a car loses battery power it will automatically kick into a mode that uses gas to power the engine. The driver won't even realize that the car has changed modes because the car will drive the same. In addition to using gas if the car runs out of power the driver can also locate a charging station. Electric car charging stations are becoming more relevant because the government is becoming more involved in providing them.

How can the government influence the use of electric cars?

The government can do many things to promote the use of electric vehicles to citizens. Some government systems, both in the United States and different countries, offer benefits and incentives to make buying an electric car seem more appealing to consumers. In California the government has several plans in place to promote the use of electric cars. The state of California is asking for more tax money but in return the utilities department will provide assets that will help electric car owners. A reporter at Bloomberg says that California will “use the money to install 1,800 electric car charging stations”(Chediak). In addition to the government adding more charging stations to make the use of electric cars more convenient some states also have other plans in mind. The article, “No Time for Pessimism about Electric Cars”, says that some states are also offering an incentive program for purchasing an electric car (Carley). The policies vary upon state but it could include things like a tax break or a stipend that can go towards the purchasers cost of the car. By promoting electric cars the government believes that if they are more widely used it will positively impact the environment.

How is an electric car better for the environment?

An electric car is much better for the environment for several reasons because it is more resourceful and an EV does not emit harmful chemicals into the air like a regular gas powered car. The power source they use is produced from several sources such as coal, wind energy, solar and nuclear power (Rowley). Electric vehicles use renewable sources that will not harm the environment to get their energy. In addition to electric vehicles being a clean alternative compared to gas powered cars they are also much more efficient. The cars don't waste the energy that they use- the energy is consumed very productively. The article, “Energy 101: Electric Vehicles” published by US Department of Energy states that “at Least 80% of the battery power in electric cars go directly to moving the car." In other words this means that the energy isn't getting blown out of the radiator or exhaust pipe like it would in a typical gas powered vehicle. The rise in popularity of electric cars is increasing because of their eco-friendly capabilities. They are popping up more and more places including electric vehicle sharing programs.

What is an electric vehicle sharing program?

An electric vehicle sharing program is an opportunity to easily rent a car from a variety of locations near the renter. The purpose of an electric vehicle sharing program is to be able to pick up a car at a convenient location. Unlike a typical car rental place these programs are self run. When looking to rent a car the user will first need to subscribe to a company that has a large population of cars in their area so that it is ideal for the driver. One company that models an electric car rental system is Blueindy. The renter from this company will have a monthly subscription fee to the company, this will allow them to pick up a car from a charging station. A subscription fee from Blueindy is “$9.99 a month” and there will be additional fees on top of that for car usage. If you subscribe for a year then it will be “$4 for 20 minutes and then $0.20 per minute”("How does it work"). The cars are placed around a specific area at a charging station. To access a car Blueindy states that the user will need to “go to any reservation kiosk you want and hold your card over the reader to unlock the car”("How does it work”). If the car is charged and has enough mileage then the subscriber can use it. When done with the car the driver will drop it off and plug it in at the nearest charging station. Their is technology in the car that will let you know where the closest charging station is so that you don't run out of power (“Energy 101: Electric Vehicles”). After driving the car the driver will then get a bill that is based of of how many minutes they used the car for. The sharing program is just one way that electric cars are promoted in addition to the government and private organizations. Overall, an electric car is a great way to have a clean way of transportation that is low maintenance, affordable and easy to use.

This video, "Energy 101: Electric Vehicles," gives extra information about the pros of owning an electric car. It mentions positive impacts it will have for the environment and the owner. It explains how efficient an electric car is and how it can be recharged. It gives insight about what will occur in the future for electric vehicles and why they are becoming popular in the United States.


Berman, Brad."What Is An Electric Car? Electric Vehicles, Plugin Hybrids, EVs, PHEVs." PluginCars.com. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.plugincars.com/electric-cars>. Accessed 08 Feb. 2017.

Berman, Bradley. "How Far (Literally) Can the Electric Car Go?" Popular Mechanics. 08 Feb. 2016. Web.<http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/a19331/how-far-literally-can-the-electric-car-go/?scrlybrkr=43e0a78a>. 03 Feb. 2017.

Chediak, Mark. "California Utilities Want $1 Billion to Promote Electric Cars." Bloomberg.com.Bloomberg, 20 Jan. 2017. Web. <https://www.bloomberg.com/ne ws/articles/2017-01-20/edison-seeks-570-million -to-expand-electric-vehicle-charging>. Accessed 23 Jan. 2017.

“Energy 101: Electric Vehicles.” Youtube, uploaded by U.S. Department of Energy, 9 Jan 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M69GBL0IDzI&scrlybrkr=10b62d1a. Accessed 2 Feb. 2017.

George, Patrick."How Does Horsepower Figure Into Electric Cars?" HowStuffWorks. 06 Dec. 2011. Web.<http://auto.howstuffworks.com/how-does-horsepower-figure- into-electric-cars.htm>. Accessed08 Feb. 2017.

"How does it work?" Blue-indy.com. N.p., 07 Oct. 2015. Web. <https://www.blue-indy.com/how-does-it-work>. Accessed 2 Feb. 2017.

Rowley, Sylvia. "Electric Vision: A New Era in Motoring: Carbon Confusion: The UK's ElectricitySupply Relies Heavily on Fossil Fuels, so just how Eco-Friendly are Electric Cars?" TheGuardian: 5. Mar 12 2011. ProQuest,http://search.proquest.com /news/docview/857237323 /878A AA176C5A43EEPQ/1?accountid=42214. 26Jan. 2017.

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