Mi next car, if any, will probably be electric.
Electric cars not only are cool, silent, and have no emissions; but they also have less moving parts, and especially, no internal combustion engine. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate engines, I am actually a sucker for them. Having built a couple of engines from scratch, I can talk shop. When you see what happens inside one of them, you cannot help but marvel. It is a miracle of engineering.
It is actually pretty crazy. In a regular four cylinder engine, gasoline is fed into it, and explodes inside the cylinder about 30 times a second when cruising. Modern vehicles have two camshafts, one crankshaft, four valves and a piston and a connecting rod per cylinder. All of them move. VIOLENTLY. and then you have water pumps, oil pumps, etc. More than 100 moving parts.
The electric motor has ONE, the rotor. If you disassemble it, well, you’ll find the ball bearings, so if you count every ball in the bearing etc., maybe 30.
Now, let’s talk about the energy source. I have heard this argument that electric vehicles are using electricity from dirty sources. Well, that may be true for now, but:
- the price of energy generation today works in such way, that renewable energies can be cheaper to put in place, than just operating an existing coal or diesel plant
- Stationary engines (used in diesel and natural gas generators) can be run more efficiently, because they can be operated at their peak performance speed. This is quite important, and while I cannot find a definitive answer, because it depends highly on fuel type, brand, and driving style; the efficiency of an automobile’s engine is around 30%, whereas stationary engine is closer to 50%.
- Part of the reason why electric cars are so efficient, is because they recapture energy when braking. That’s right, whenever an electric car is reducing its speed, is recharging the batteries. A gasoline powered car, just dissipates all of the energy from the brakes as heat.
If we don’t replace the vehicles, we’ll never be able to capitalize on these efficiencies, nor the transition.