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We in the Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego like Electric Vehicles. We believe for many applications, the benefits out way the disadvantages. The main disadvantage of a pure electric is range. That problem can partially be overcome with a hybrid vehicle. But the hybrid has the disadvantage of cost and complexity. But we believe for most applications, the advantages out way these disadvantages. Because of different applications, I would like to address the advantages of electric vehicles by dividing electric vehicles into four groups. These are 1.) Neighborhood Vehicles, 2.) Full Size Pure Electric Vehicles, 3.) Full size Hybrid Vehicles, and 4.) Heavy Vehicles.
Neighborhood Vehicles are small electric vehicles designed with a top speed of 25 mph. The are usually designed to transport one or two peopl around town. They are legal in most states on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. They are a very efficient means of getting to the local store. They are quiet and have no emissions. They have no oil or spark plugs to change, no carburetor or EFI to adjust, and no Smog Inspection is needed. If they have 3 wheels, they can be registered as a motor cycle which is less expensive than a truck or car. Maximum range between rechargings is usually between 30 and 60 miles.
Full size pure electric vehicles are full size cars, legal on any public road in any state. They can travel at freeway speeds. They are an efficient means of getting around town. Being a pure electric, they are quiet and have no emissions. They have no oil or spark plugs to change, no carburetor or EFI to adjust, and no Smog Inspection is needed. Maximum range between rechargings is usually between 40 and 100 miles. for those with lead-acid batteries, 80 - 200 miles with nickel metal hydride batteries, and as much as 350 miles with lithium batteries
Full size hybrid vehicles have a conventional gas or diesel engine in addition to the electric motor and batteries. They come in both parallel and series versions. In the parallel version, both the electric motor and/or the gas or diesel engine power the car through a drive train and wheels. In the series version, the gas or diesel engine is connected to an alternator (generator) that generates power to run the electric motor and/or recharge the batteries.
The big advantage of hybrid vehicles is they can operate at low speed with all the quiet efficiency of a pure electric, and yet have the range of any commercial vehicle. Because the gas or diesel engine only has to be large enough to power the vehicle at near maximum speed, the gas or diesel engine in a hybrid can be much smaller than a gas only or diesel only vehicle which must have an engine large enough to accelerate the vehicle up a freeway on ramp with full load and safely merge into traffic. In other words, the gas or diesel engine in a hybrid is only 10% to 30% of the size of a gas or diesel engine in a similar size vehicle. The hybrid, therefore, is much more efficient.
The ability of electric vehicles to efficiently and quietly move loads around town is not limited to size. Large electric vehicles are made to move water in a local delivery area, to move aircraft at an airport, and in hybrid form, to power a tractor designed to move trailers up to 80,000 lbs. The combination of tractor-trailer is often called an 18 wheeler.
We in the Electric Vehicle Association believe the need for electric vehicles will become more important as the need to reduce emissions increases and as the price of fuel increases.
--- Russ Lemon