The Controversy of Electric Cars

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In 2008 a man named Elon Musk changed the world forever. He revolutionized the electric car industry with the release of the Tesla roadster, The first competitive fully electric car on the market.

A 2008 Tesla Roadster

Almost every other car manufacturer has followed suit with Tesla. With brands like Audi and Porsche; manufacturers that are known for their exotic sports cars and large V10’s have begun producing fully electric cars. On the other end of the spectrum brands such as Volkswagen and Nissan, which are popular on the economy side of the market, have started to produce fully electric cars.

It is hard to deny the advantages electric cars have on their gasoline competitors. For example, they make peak torque at zero rpm’s opposed to gasoline motors that have to rev to a certain rpm to make the most power available. This is an enormous advantage in a side to side comparison. The instant the driver of an electric vehicle touches the throttle the car reacts with all of its available torque, while the driver of the gasoline powered car touches the throttle the car reacts with the amount of torque available at that rpm. On the other perspective of performance the average range of an electric car is about 250 miles compared to the average gasoline car getting a 300 mile range, making them very competitive in the distance aspect of performance.

The Politics
Many lawmakers and celebrities have praised electric cars because they are considered to be a greener alternative to your average car. The question that now arises is how are they better for the environment. At first glance they definitely seem to be better because when they are driven there is no fuel being burned, so they are producing zero carbon monoxide. What these companies do not tell you though is what goes into the production of these vehicles. For example, when producing an electric there is an estimated 25,000 pounds of carbon monoxide put Into the environment, opposed to the 16,000 pounds that is emitted from the production of a standard car.

Another controversy is how the electric cars are powered. While most electric cars are charged at their owners’ home, how their house receives electricity is the controversial part. As the vast majority of the United States is powered by non renewable power sources like coal and natural gas. Vinod Khosla, a co founder of Sun Micro systems, said “electric cars are coal powered Cars.”

A meme depicting how electric and internal combustion cars effect the environment.

With the endless expansion of modern technology’s resources being poured into electric cars, many people worry that gasoline powered cars will be phased out sooner than later. Mr. Skinner, the shop teacher at Sheridan High school, said “I can work on my gasoline just fine” showing the worry some people have about electric cars and how it could be hard to adapt to having one. He also said “It’ll be a long time till they are perfected and a long time till we can effectively charge them”. This is a very prevalent issue as the vast majority of charging stations are located in large cities, not allowing people in a more rural setting to have as much availability to these cars. No matter one’s opinion on these cars, it seems that they will be here for a while, as they are rapidly gaining traction in the marketplace. They may even be the leading type of vehicle one day.