The idea of going green and running on solar and electric power has become more and more popular over the years. Many people are investing in electric or hybrid cars. Even though at the time it may seem as though this is saving you a huge chunk of money, it could be just as hazardous to the environment as most other gas cars.
Some may think that electric cars are a relatively new invention, but they have been around much longer than you may realize. It may surprise some of the biggest muscle car fans that until about 1900, an electric car had the vehicular land speed record.
The electric car first made its appearance in the 1830s. Improved battery technology made these cars run better, and were much more desirable to many. Because they did not use up oxygen, they were used to transport coal out of mines. This method was much safer for the miners at the time.
As the 1900s began to approach, electric cars became more popular for everyone, especially as it moved to America. The top speed of these vehicles was 20 mph, which was an impressive feat at the time. At the turn of the century, 38 percent of American vehicles were powered by electricity, while only 22 used gas. The other 40 percent used steam.
From the 1910s to the 1980s, electric cars plummeted in popularity. This was mostly because of the new advances in gas vehicles. The electric cars couldnt compete with the long distances their gas-powered counterparts could travel. This became increasingly important as new highways were created, and people began traveling between cities more frequently.
By the 1990s people began looking once again towards the electric car. The energy crises of the previous 20 years had some searching for a more efficient way to run their vehicles.
Electric cars dont just generate their own source of power. They rely on electricity, or in some cases, a combination of electricity and gas to run. Studies run in recent years show that electric cars in many ways arent as good for the environment as we previously have thought. They produce close to the same amount of carbon as an efficient gas car, plus their batteries run out much faster, making it necessary to replace.
For those who have not seen the process firsthand, it appears as though electricity is cleaner to produce. In many ways, the production of electricity is just as destructive. The first power plants were run on waterpower and coal, but today we use:
· Nuclear power
· Natural gas
· Solar energy
· Tidal power
Until we move towards more environmentally friendly methods of generating electricity, such as solar energy and tidal power, electric cars arent as green as they are portrayed to be.
Before investing in an electric car, look at the advantages and disadvantages. With a few key changes, they can become great cars for the environment; but until then, they arent as good for the environment as we are led to believe. Just because you dont see the exhaust coming out of your own car, doesnt mean it isnt coming out of the power plant a few miles away.
By +Cassie Costner
Having worked with an electrician in Salt Lake City firsthand, Cassie has researched the way electricity is produced. She has researched the benefits of electric cars, and how solar energy can change their effectiveness.