Can you think of some every day technologies that are over one hundred years old? Here are some off the top of my head; the incandescent light bulb, film based photography - the internal combustion engine. Incandescent lights are slowly being phased out in favor of CFLs (and at some point LEDs). Virtually everyone now uses a digital camera - some twenty somethings have probably never used a film camera. Now it’s the turn of the internal combustion engine to fade into the sunset.
Gottlieb Daimler invented the prototype of the modern gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) in 1885. This makes the basic technology powering our cars, 125 years old! Granted, many improvements have been made in this time, but we have reached the end of the line. The world’s supply of oil is finite and shrinking. As other countries (China, India) become more prosperous, the number of cars and the competition for oil, is increasing. In the not too distant future, China will have the greatest number of cars, eclipsing the United States. India will not be far behind. If that were not enough, there’s global warming, which some believe is partially caused by burning fossil fuels.
The good news is that we have a solution - replace the internal combustion engine (ICE) in our cars with an electric motor. Unlike oil, electricity can be generated from a wide variety of sources. There is not much doubt that electric motors will replace internal combustion engines in our cars. Every car manufacturer is planning to introduce some form of electric vehicle, either this year or sometime in 2011. GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Nissan plan to introduce electric cars, either this year or sometime in 2011. Two new manufacturers (Tesla, Think,) are already producing electric cars, and of course there is the Toyota Prius Hybrid.
There are really only two questions. How long is it going to take for electric motors to replace the internal combustion engine in a significant percentage of cars? Which electric technology will prevail? The current classifications of electric cars are: hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and pure electric vehicles (BEV). In addition to these types, there is the fuel cell powered electric vehicle.
We intend to explore all classifications of electric vehicles, batteries, and current developments.
Our universal iPhone/iPad app, CarFacts, will be updated periodically with additional functions applicable to electric vehicles.