With its sleek, futuristic design, the electric cars of today look like the latest in modern automotive inventions. However, electric cars first enjoyed popularity back in the 19th century. These cars are propelled by electric motors, which use electrical energy stored in batteries. Although they fell out of popularity in recent decades, electric cars are now enjoying a comeback due to concerns about rising oil prices and the global need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Early electric cars were preferred over gasoline models due to the higher levels of comfort and ease of operation afforded by them. Electric cars did not have the vibration, smell and noise associated with gasoline cars, and they did not need gear changing, which was the most difficult part of driving a gasoline car. As they did not require a manual hand crank to start, they were also marketed as most suited to female drivers. The only drawback at the time was the relatively slow speed that the electric car could travel at.
Advances in technology led to gasoline cars exceeding electric ones in terms of comfort and range and also meant that the prices of gasoline cars were greatly reducing. This led to the rapid decline of electric cars from major markets.
Recent awareness of the risks that gasoline automobiles pose to the environment have led to a renaissance in the popularity of the electric car. The growing scarcity of oil and the rising prices of oil have also played a major part in the revived interest for electric cars. Electric cars are now believed to much more cheaper to maintain and run compared to gasoline cars due to advancements in technology, despite its initial high cost. The reason for this high start up cost is the price of the batteries, and this is the main reason that is stopping consumers from choosing electric cars over gasoline ones. Other than the expensive batteries that need to be changed regularly, electric cars actually incur very low maintenance costs in comparison to gasoline cars.
Another worrying point that stops consumers from purchasing electric cars is the worry that they will run out of energy before they reach their destination. However, electric car manufacturers are now on a drive to ensure that charging stations for electric cars are available more widely. In comparison to gasoline cars, electric cars also take a much longer time for recharging. However, this fits in well with a healthy driving pattern, where the driver takes a break to stretch and have some refreshments, allowing plenty of time for the car to recharge its batteries. Extension trailers are also available for hire for longer trips where a charging station may not be accessible.
The most popular electric car of all time is the Nissan LEAF, which is a five door hatchback car. This car produces no pollutive or greenhouse gases and has won several awards for being green.
Over the course of the next year, there are several other makes and models that are due for release such as the BMW i3, which is described as high tech and futuristic, but as tasteful as any gasoline BMW.
Another exciting model is the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, which is a beast of a machine with its modern looks and green credentials.
Teresa Kent is a writer of many genres. Currently she is writing about electric cars and power relays by researching.