Humans have now started replacing old resources and means of transports exploiting the same resources, with new ones, being more sustainable for the environment and most importantly, being renewable. The resources that appeared with the first and second industrial revolutions, the so-called fossil fuels, will exhaust in fifty years.
To be prepare to this significant event, new researches, on different resources, have been carried out. An important requirement for the new resources in order to be considered, is their environmental sustainability.
These resources must be used, only if they do not represent a risk for the environment. The automotive sector, being the one causing the majority of environmental problems, is getting prepared through the development of new electric or hydrogen engines.
Electric motors have already been successful with some automobile manufacturers. They consist of one or more rechargeable batteries, transmitting their energy to the electric motor.
All the major automobile manufacturers are trying to develop new systems, to improve the performance of electric cars. Such devices can already be found on the market.
Ford Focus Electric
One of the best cars on the market is the Ford Focus Electric. With two lithium-ion batteries, weighing 300 kg, its battery life is estimated to be about 130 km (it also depends on your driving). It is obviously not recommended for long journeys, although it enjoys a good power of 145 horses. The battery charging time is 11 hours if recharged at home, whereas if you use public facilities, you can even get away with about 4 hours’ battery charging time.
Kia Soul EV
Moving to the other side of the world, the Korean Kia has launched the Soul EV. This model has a more compact frame, that provides greater comfort for the driver and passengers. The charging door is inserted on the front side, and this is what makes it different from the fuel or diesel model. The self-sufficiency of this car is slightly longer (it can last up to 170 km), but even this model is not ideal for long journeys. The engine provides a maximum speed of about 140 km / h and the batteries are placed in the floor panel, so as not to reduce the space for the passenger compartment. The car’s power, along with its noiseless drive, gives to the car a special charm.
The Renault Zoe, instead, is among the best economy cars of this generation of electric cars. Thanks to its price and a self-sufficiency that can reach up to 200 km, this new car of the French automaker, has a lighter design. It is a very comfortable, elegant and quiet car, with an automatic transmission that allows a comfortable driving. It is more convenient to install the recharging unit at home. That is why, before purchasing it, you will need to plan where you will install the recharging unit. The basic version already offers a seven-inch screen with a GPS and electric mirrors. The Zen version has a better sound system, and it can also come with 16” alloy wheels for the most demanding customers.
The Peugeot i-on, deserve a special place among the city cars. With a length of about 3 meters and a half, this car doesn’t need much space to park and is perfect in city environments. Practical and of course eco-sustainable, this French city car has a declared self-sufficiency of 150 km, but in reality it’s probably less. However, it is very convenient and comfortable for getting around town or for short journeys. The acceleration is not very high, in fact, the car reaches 100 km per hour in about 16 seconds, but it gets up to 130 km / h as top speed. The engine delivers a power of about 65 HP. The interiors are well equipped, with CD, mp3, USB socket and Bluetooth hands-free system. The glasses offer a very good visibility in all directions.
Tesla Model S
One of the very best models regarding performance, is definitely the Tesla Model S. The American company, founded in 2003 only to develop electric cars, is among the first placed on the market thanks to this product. The best feature of the model is a range of around 450 km, arriving at 500 km with the 85D model. To reach 100 km / h, the car takes approximately 6 seconds, or 3 seconds with the 85D model. The power of the model is shown when the maximum speed is reached. It is far superior to many electric cars, competing on the market. This car is able to get, in fact, to 250 km / h, without losing too much in maneuverability and in command of the vehicle. 5 meters long, but less than a meter and a half high, the Model S is a very sporty version of the electric car, but it performs well, as a station wagon too, with its 5 fixed seats and two extra seats that allow two children in the luggage area. The price is around €80,000.
Let’s go back to the East, where the Japanese company Nissan has produced a very competitive product on the electric cars market. It is a more compact sedan, than the Tesla Model S and with a very characteristic front compartment. The start is pretty quick and quiet, with a power of 254nm. With a full tank, its self-sufficiency should be around, but probably is no more than 190 km. The digital dashboard shows constantly the power used and its recovery during braking, a specific characteristic of electric cars. The gearbox is automatic and operates under the driving, reversing and parking options. The charging time at home is about of eight hours, but if you want to use a rapid charging point and recharge it up to 80%, the recharging time is much lower. The price, including the eco-incentives is only of €18,000 not bad at all for a car that is definitely not the best for the performance, but definitely a convenient and reliable electric car.
The BMW comes up with the i3 model, probably the first electric minivan of today’s e-car generation. The i3 is a very light and silent car, thanks to its low-weight materials used to build it. It has lithium batteries of 18.8 kWh of capacity, that give to the car a self-sufficiency of 150 km. For those who also usually uses the car for longer journeys, the Range Extender would be a better solution. With extra 9.5 liters of fuel, the Range Extender, can increase the operating time of more than a hundred kilometers. Because of its dimensions, easy driving and new design, especially on the front, this electric car can be considered among the best on the market. The only real drawback may be the capacity of the luggage compartment, limited by the volume of the electric motor. The standard provided equipment includes useful distance sensors and Bluetooth, with different options such as the GPS enhanced with a 10-inch screen.
Electric cars are becoming more popular. At the moment, the price difference between an e-car and its corresponding conventional engine model, doesn’t make the purchase very advantageous, except for those who spend thousands of kilometers driving. In fact, this important investment can only be compensated by an extensive usage of the car.