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Tim Zarak

28, November 2017


Kendall Sooter

Sourced: Electric Cars

The evolution of the automobile has come a very long way. Most people credit Henry

Ford and the Model T as the first automobile, but it was in fact Karl Benz from Germany in 1885

that made the first gasoline automobile. The first production automobiles in 1900s, only went

about twenty miles per hour and had no safety features. Since then, engineers have been working

to make cars safer and faster than ever before. Even going as far as building the supercars of

today, like the Venom F5 which has a top speed of 301 mph. However, in the early 2000s car

manufactures started to shift their interest away from gasoline, and into hybrid and electric cars.

Hybrids are cars that utilize a gas internal combustion engine and an electric motor, to run

cleaner and boost mileage per gallon. Toyota is the crown jewel in the hybrid market, with their

line of Prius models. In fact, in April of 2016, Toyota announced that they had sold nine million

Prius hybrids worldwide since its first release in 1997. All electric cars are on the rise, thanks to

Tesla for popularizing the market with their technological innovations in their cars. In this essay,

I will be talking about gas powered cars and the problems we are facing with them, along with

the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars and their future commercial use.

Desire, Passion, Thrill, Driving Emotion, push to start, vrroomm! Engine roars, tires

screech, you are turning into a red streak as you travel zero to sixty-two in three seconds flat.

This is the first few seconds of the Ferrari 488 GTB commercial from Ferraris website. Besides
the design of the car, commercials reel you in with just one noise, the roar of the engine. They

get you to imagine that noise as your driving down the road showcasing the speed and power

under the hood of your potentially new car. Lets say you do purchase a Ferrari or another type

of exotic car. What does it actually entail? Having a car like that portrays wealth, speed, and

power. In reality though, you have a nice gas guzzling ten miles per gallon car that you can only

drive short distances, because of premium gas prices and fear of something happening to it.

Thats not all, owning an exotic, sport, or four-wheel drive vehicles, also comes with high cost

insurance premiums. Insurance rates for these types of cars can range from 1200-2200 dollars a

year. Movies and television shows like the Fast and Furious and the Grand Tour, glorify the

awesomeness of owning these cars without disclaiming the externalities entailed to them.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to owning a gas-powered car that everyone can attest to, is that big

sign with a bunch of numbers on it in front of the gas station. A seemingly harmless sign, has an

ever-looming burden on the people that see it. This is because, gas prices are always fluctuating.

A number of reasons, like natural disasters or maintenance can cause raised prices. The main

reason for high prices, is the cost of crude oil. Purchasing crude oil accounts for 72 percent of the

price of gasoline, and the remaining 28 percent is for refinement and distribution. In 2012,

California experienced record high gas prices at $4.50. This spike in price, was from the shut

down of an Exxon refinery and major oil pipelines. It was also during this spike, that Toyota

nearly sold double the amount of hybrids from 2011. Besides the rising gas prices, consumers are

switching to hybrids to be more eco friendly. Gasoline comes from the refinement of petroleum,

which is a fossil fuel. Burning fossil fuels, release a ton of carbon dioxide and pollutants into the

atmosphere. The rise in CO2 levels traps in heat, and creates global warming. Which in turn,

causes oceans to rise from melting polar ice caps and relocates animals that are following their
food sources. In 2016, the planets atmosphere passed its CO2 threshold of 400 parts per million.

Carbon dioxide levels have not been this high since the ice age, several million years ago. If

hybrid cars were more popular around the world in the early 2000s, we would still be under the

atmospheres threshold level. Hybrid cars emit about 23.3 less pounds of carbon than

conventional cars, and over time could have drastically reduced emissions in the air.

Have you ever been in public parking areas, and seen these little machines next to some

parking spots? This ladies and gentlemen, is a sign of the future. Those little machines are

actually charging stations for electric cars. It is like having a personal gas pump for your parking

spot, and sometimes it is free. This is just one convenience enjoyed by owners of electric cars. If

youre the type of person that wants to be environmentally friendly, save money, and have

technological innovation, then switching to an electric car is for you. Electric cars produce zero

emissions, meaning it does not need to burn fuel to operate. Making them the healthiest and

cleanest vehicles to drive for the environment. Electric cars might be a little expensive to

purchase, but the money you save by not buying gas is worth it. There are three methods you can

use to charge your car. The first method is the slowest, called level 1 charging. This is basically

using a cord to connect your car to a standard 120v outlet at home. This yields about two to five

miles per hour of charging. Second, is the most standard method of charging called level 2

charging. Charging is done by those little machine I mentioned earlier, called EVSE, or electric

vehicle service equipment. EVSEs can be found throughput cities and can be installed in your

home. The downside to installing a level 2 charging station in your home, is that it will cost you

roughly five to six hundred dollars. Not to mention, around a three-hundred dollar installation fee

depending on your electrician. However, there are federal and state incentives to installing these

stations, and can pay for up to thirty percent of the costs in tax credits and rebates. Charging with
these yields ten to twenty-five miles per hour of charge. If you are paying the national average of

$0.11 per kilowatt hour using a level 2 charging station, you would be able to add seventy-five

miles to a Nissan Leaf for less than three dollars. For a more commonly known electric car like

the Tesla Model S, it cost ten dollars to go from a dead battery to a fully charged one. Lastly,

there is level 3 charging, also known as dc fast charging. As you can tell by the name, this is the

fastest charging method. Using fast charging stations, can charge your cars battery up to 80% in

thirty minutes. People using DC fast chargers must pay more or have an account to use these,

because of the convenience they offer. A popular provider for DC fast charging is NRG EVgo,

which has plans available for a $15 membership fee, plus $0.10 per minute for fast-charging

sessions. This sounds like a lot, but most cars get fully charged or get significant mileage for

only three dollars for thirty minutes. Other plans offered come without a monthly fee, and cost

$11 for thirty minutes of fast-charging. The biggest drawback for electric car owners in the wait

time to charge your car. You pay more to fill up a gas tank, but you spend significantly less time

at the pump filling up. Electric vehicles are great for the average work commute or short trips

around town, which is what most people use their cars for anyways. You would need to buy an

electric vehicle with a 200 plus range to make those long-distance trips. Thankfully, more

affordable models are being made like the Tesla model 3. The model 3 has a range of 220 miles

and a price tag of $35,000. Other cars like the Nissan Leaf has a range of 150 miles and runs

about $25,000. The Chevy Volt will run about $34,000 and has a range of 420 miles. However,

the Volt does not offer DC fast charging. An affordable EV will have a cost between 25-50

thousand dollars, and you would need to see which one best suits your needs. If you are

concerned about speed, EVs might not be for you. Most EVs go zero to sixty between five and

eight seconds. However, if you can afford a $68,000 plus price tag, then the Tesla model S is the
car you want. This EV can do zero to sixty in just 2.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest and

most affordable electric car with that kind of acceleration. The coolest thing about owning an

electric vehicle, is the tech thats inside it. Most EVs utilize a built-in touch screen display that is

used for basic car control functions and other special features. These features include a rear-view

camera, that uses the display for viewing. Other uses for the display, include maps that can be

used for directions or finding the nearest charging station. Most also offer Bluetooth connectivity

so you can seamlessly play music or answer calls from your phone without actually using your

phone. More intelligent features that are offered in Tesla cars, include self-driving and parking.

This incorporates your cars gps and cameras to guide your vehicle safely to its destination while

avoiding collision from other cars. Other cars offer apps that you can use to communicate with

your car. Features in the app range from turning on your car remotely, or locating it. However,

there is a scary problem to having an electric car. They face the probability of being hacked. An

article from roadshow by cnet states, New cars that go on sale are increasingly connected to the

Internet and mobile devices, with features such as being able to use your phone to remotely start

a car or get engine diagnostics. These features are meant to add convenience for drivers, but they

also give hackers more opportunities to take control of vehicle systems. Although hackers have

not been able to take control of the motion of your car, they can engage heating and cooling

systems, open doors and windows, and engage the brakes. USA today has article for Tesla

stating, For the second time, Chinese security researchers were able to hack a Tesla Model X,

turning on the brakes remotely and getting the doors and trunk to open and close while blinking

the lights. To combat the risk of hacking, manufactures routinely deploy system updates that

make it harder to get control of the car.

As I stated earlier, we have globally passed the carbon threshold in the atmosphere. To

prevent further carbon emissions, countries are opting into making policies to outlaw the further

production of gasoline powered cars. Right now, ten countries have made policies for the future

to have cars be zero-emission. The UK plans to be zero-emission by 2040, while other countries

like Norway are set at 2025. To do this, countries will need all electric commercial vehicles, like

semi-trucks. Thanks to genius that is Tesla, they released the unveiling of their new Tesla Semi

this year. The Tesla semi boasts performance that exceeds diesel in every way. This is because

the Tesla semi was designed to meet the logistics industrys needs. It can accelerate zero to sixty

miles per hour in just twenty seconds while pulling the legal max of 80,000 pounds. A diesel

truck would take about a minute to pull of this feat. It can achieve this, because it has the

aerodynamics of a supercar. The Tesla semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36, which is actually less

than the Bugatti Chiron supercar, which has a drag coefficient of 0.38. A standard semi trucks

drag coefficient is 0.65-0.7, the Tesla nearly cuts that in half. The Tesla semi has a range of 500

miles before it needs recharging. As Elon Musk said in the unveiling, You can deliver a load

out to the middle of nowhere and come back. A range of 500 miles is only half of what a diesel

semi can do, but most truck routes only do about 250 miles or fewer. This makes it economically

efficient for transport. Musk also talked about making a network of Megachargers, which are

beefed up DC fast chargers that will charge the Tesla semi. He plans to have the network of

chargers be 400 miles apart and run off solar energy. Musk chose them to be 400 miles apart,

because a trucker is mandated to take a 30-minute break every six hours of driving. During their

break, the semi would be able to get fully charged and ready to get to its destination. One of the

most unique things about the Tesla semi, is that the driver is positioned in the center of the truck.

This makes the truck easier to drive, and gives complete visibility of the road and your
surroundings. Two touchscreen displays positioned in front of the driver, offers access to the

cameras that are around the truck to give more visibility to whats around him. These cameras

also aid in the auto pilot to help avoid collisions. Another important feature that combats

truckers worst nightmares, is that its impossible for the Tesla semi to jackknife. Jackknifing in

a nut shell, is basically when the truck is turning in reverse and hits its trailer, making an acute

angle. To combat this, the each of the Tesla semis wheels have an independent motor on them.

Musk says, It will adjust the torque manually on each wheel so that jackknifing is impossible.

Your worst nightmare is gone with this truck. You dont have to worry about it. Another safety

feature that alleviates the cost on truckers, is an improved near indestructible windshield. Semi

trucks windshields crack about once a year, and are illegal to drive with a crack. The improved

durability of the windshield will save truckers a lot of money and keep them on the road. The

Tesla semi wows people with all its features, but what the industry really needs to see is the

costs. The logistics industry in driven by having costs down to tee. Musk explained in the

unveiling that on a 100-mile route with a full load and all the costs included, it be about $1.26 to

operate per mile. Its diesel competitor operates at $1.51 per mile with the same conditions. As I

stated earlier, the design of the Tesla semi came from what logistics economist said, were the

needs of the industry. Still economists will stay weary until they get to see how it preforms over

time. The Tesla semi is set for a 2019 production schedule.

In closing, gasoline powered cars are harming the environment by adding more carbon to

the atmosphere. Hybrids are a great alternative to reduce emissions, but they still emit carbon

into the atmosphere. In the next few decades, we will see countries banning the production of

new gas operated cars and switching to zero-emission electric cars. Electric cars are great for the

environment, but are pricey and take awhile to charge. They are great for short distance trips, and
will soon be able to drive farther and be more affordable. Having all electric commercial trucks

is a great idea for the future of the logistics industry, but time is needed to see the performance

before people fully invest in them. All in all, electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes will be

integrated into society in the near future.


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