Electric cars are not a new concept, as we think people have been using them for a long time. In fact, in the 1900s, people used more electric cars than gasoline-powered cars. In the 1920s, as the popularity of cars grew, gasoline was very expensive. Starting a gas van was also a very laborious process, there was no key to igniting the engine, actually a rod that fitted into the front of the car and had to be turned over and over again to start the car.
Not only were gas powered cars boring, they also emitted a lot of smoke and were very noisy because either the silencers used were not good or there were no silencers at all. Believe it or not, at one point electric cars were so popular that there were about 50,000 electric cars on the streets of the United States.
When new discoveries were made to make gasoline cheaper, electric cars began to disappear from the market. The discovery of the electric starter made way for the exit of the crank and the car was started with a key: a gasoline-powered car could cover more distance than the electric car, so gasoline-powered cars became more popular than the electric car.
Now, once again, green” electric cars are becoming popular again because of the awareness of the need to protect the environment and reduce the risks posed by greenhouse gas emissions.
Gasoline is not used to run an electric car, it runs on the energy stored in batteries in the car. The operation of an electric car is similar to that of a remote-controlled car, since both have an electric motor that turns the wheel and a battery that drives the motor.
Charging the batteries can either be done all night or some cars need to be connected to a normal electrical wall, some need a large socket, e.g. what is used for an electric cooker or an electric tumble dryer. These are the different ways in which electricity is stored in cars.
The batteries used to power the cars must either be lead batteries similar to those used in flashlights, or Ni-Cad (Nickel-Cadium) used for portable video recorders or video games that are only much larger. Much work is being done to upgrade the batteries to store more energy and last longer. Until the 5th graders are ready to drive in 2001, we should have electric cars that can travel 150 to 200 miles before they need to be recharged.
Car manufacturers and scientists are constantly striving to produce better and greener cars. The revival of electric cars and the challenge to make them more attractive is going up and attracting more people to switch to electric cars.