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The Best Things About Buying an Electric Car

If you’re considering buying a car these days, you might want to think about buying electric. Electric cars are a greener way of driving, and they represent the future of cars. There are an awful lot of advantages to buying an electric car. Here are just some of the best things about them. These should encourage you to go out and buy one.


You’ll find that electric cars often end up being cheaper than a lot of regular cars. They’ll be cheaper to buy in some cases. But the main way in which you’re going to save money is that they are cheaper to run. You see electric cars don’t require petrol to run, and instead run on electricity. All you have to do is charge your car at an electricity port overnight, and you’re good to go. You will save so much money by using an electric car that it will more than make up for if you paid more to get one. It’s also convenient as it means you don’t have to pull over on journey’s to fill your car up with petrol. As the cost of petrol increases, it’s becoming less and less affordable. Going electric certainly makes sense in this capacity.

Preparing for the Future

When you buy an electric car, you’ll be helping the environment. But just as important as that you’ll be preparing for the future. There will come a time soon when electric cars will reign supreme. It might be quite a way off at this point, but it can’t hurt to prepare. Indeed, many car manufacturers are already taking steps to prepare, with the release of hybrids. In fact, it won’t be long before you’ll b e able to visit the GK Group and find hybrids alongside their vast selection of used cars. Hybrid cars symbolise the fact that many manufacturers know electric cars will shape the future. They want to try to integrate the green ethos of electric vehicles with their designs.


One of the best things about buying electric cars is the fact that they are eco-friendly. These days it’s important to look towards greener living. We need to look after the planet and take steps in our daily lives that will benefit the environment. One of the big ways to do this is through buying an electric car. Regular cars produce harmful CO2 emissions that are bad for the environment and pollute the ozone layer. Electric cars produce nothing of the sort. They run on electricity, not petrol and thus have no emissions. They can just be charged when they run low on electricity, so they make for a much more environmentally sound car.

Less Maintenance

A great advantage of an electric car over a regular one is the lack of maintenance. Electric cars contain fewer parts than regular cars. As a result, they are less prone to problems than normal cars are. What you look for in a car is reliability, and electric cars are reliable. They run on a charge so are less susceptible to poor conditions. With an electric car, you’ll likely find yourself in the service garage much less than you would with a regular car.

Pros and Cons of Buying an Electric Car


Electric cars are quite new on the market and have not yet been taken to by the masses. But they represent the future of eco-friendly automotive travel. There may come a time in a few years when electric cars overtake regular cars as the vehicle of choice.

In the meanwhile, you’ll want to consider whether you should by one. Here are some pros and cons of buying electric cars. These points may not apply in years to come, but for now here are some valid pros and cons.


Quiet – One of the major plus points of buying an electric car is the noise. Or the lack of noise to be precise. Electric cars are so quiet and smooth. The muscle car fad of the 80’s and 90’s seems to be over. These days people prefer their engines to purr not roar. With an electric car, you have an almost silent engine that adds up to maybe the quietest car on the market at the moment.

Cheaper to run – Electric cars work out cheaper to run than regular cars. There is no need for fuel top ups and oil changes. You’ll never have to visit a petrol station again and recoil in horror at the latest price hikes. All you need to run an electric car is to charge it at a special port or at home, and you’re good to go. A charge overnight while you sleep can give your car enough charge to do up to 100 miles before needing another charge.


Eco-friendly – The primary reason you should consider an electric car is that it’s eco-friendly. Forget about the harmful emissions and carbon monoxide output harming the environment. An electric car is a great way to get around, live your life and protect the environment at the same time. These days it’s important to take steps to look after the planet and electric cars are a great way to do this.


Long Recharge Time – One of the major drawbacks to electric cars is the time it takes to recharge them. It takes much longer than it does to refuel. Most electric cars take at least four hours to recharge fully. But some can even take fifteen to twenty hours. This is okay if you’re putting the car on charge as soon as you get home from work and leaving it overnight. But it’s not practical in the short term.

Maintenance Problems – Maintenance problems can be an issue with electric cars. If you’re experiencing problems with your luxury sedan, you can just pop to Mercedes Inchcape and get it looked at. You can get a full service, and spare parts changed and you’re good to go again. But if you have problems with your electric car you have much fewer options available. You can’t just pop down to your local mechanics. You might need to consult specialist individuals or companies. This can be a pain and may result in a more expensive process.

Lack of Choice – The problem with electric cars is that they’re still a pretty new concept. As a result, there is a significant lack of consumer choice on the market. There are only around twenty models of electric car on the market, and many of them look similar. And their style and design is the ultimate Marmite look – you either love it or hate it. There is also an issue with costs because electric cars can be much more expensive than regular cars.

Is hydrogen fuel cell technology a non-starter?

This article was written by www.asm-autos.co.uk, the UK’s leading vehicle salvage agents and experts in the ‘value my car’ market.

The majority of manufacturers are now producing ranges of electric plug-in vehicles (EVs), with the Government investing millions in supporting this young and growing market, giving alternative technologies significantly less press.

However, in America, manufacturers have recently moved into hydrogen fuel cell technology, or H2, which could yet provide the cleanest, most energy efficient fuel solution ever developed.

However, with electric making leaps forward, is H2 technology a case of too little, too late?

How does H2 work?

H2 technology successfully converts hydrogen gas and oxygen into energy via an in-car fuel cell, powering the motor to drive the car. This differs from electric technology as it utilises hydrogen fuel which is stored under pressure in a tank, similar to the way petrol is stored in traditional cars.

One of the advantages of fuel cell technology is that it is fully scalable; if you require more power, you can increase the size of the cell; large fuel cells can therefore be used to power buildings and very small cells used to power electrical equipment like MP3 players.

Environmental benefits

In comparison to conventional electric technology, H2 is better for the environment because it does not produce the level of emissions associated with generating electricity at power stations.

Hydrogen can be derived from natural gas in the atmosphere or produced from water using a process called electrolysis; the only by-product of the process is water vapour and a small amount of hydrogen. This abundant fuel source also gives countries the opportunity to develop independent energy supplies, reducing their reliance on the Middle East.

Energy efficiency

Both fuel cell and electric technology are more energy efficient in comparison to gasoline engines because they send a much higher percentage of energy towards powering the vehicle, with the latter losing energy in heat and friction during combustion.

While earlier prototypes offered direct hydrogen combustion, burning the gas to create energy in the same way petrol is burnt in conventional vehicles, this was a far less efficient energy process.

Toyota’s energy efficiency trial, which tested a range of alternative hydrogen technologies, including hydrogen to electric, saw H2 come out on top as the cleanest and most energy efficient.

Availability and cost

In America, a limited range of H2 cars are available, including the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, the Toyota HCFV-adv and the Mercedes-Benz F-Cell. Toyota have also recently released a new hydrogen fuel cell prototype, the FCV-R.

Like any new technology, fuel cells cars are expensive to produce, and the current range of models therefore come at a high price premium. However, provided that manufacturers are able to build production volumes, these costs will fall in the medium term.


Manufacturers hope to produce H2 vehicles which perform as well as well current petrol models. Although they offer slightly lower acceleration, newer models are likely to provide quicker, more powerful alternatives as the technology develops.

Offering the quietness and smoothness of an EV with fewer moving parts and simplified design, they are more robust than conventional petrol cars and have the potential to be longer-lasting. While the current crop of vehicles have longevity of 60,000 miles, the next generation are likely to last 3.5 times longer, the same as a conventional car.

Fuel cells can also be replaced relatively easily, involving much less costly processes than repairing a conventional petrol engine.


Hydrogen has garnered a reputation for being explosive following a major airship disaster in Hindenburg in 1937. However, hydrogen is no more unsafe than petrol, which is highly flammable and explosive, but has safely fuelled the passenger car market since its inception.

The current range of H2 vehicles are fitted with effective systems to reduce risk of explosion, and the technology is therefore as safe as any other on the market.


In America, lack of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure has restricted sales of fuel cell cars hugely. Although California has plans for the construction of 100 hydrogen stations, it will be a while until the consumer market catches on.

In the longer term, petrol fuel stations could easily be converted to accommodate hydrogen gas, underground pipes or trucks used to distribute the fuel. With this in mind, the US Government has developed the H2USA programme, joining forces with manufactures, agencies, gas suppliers, and fuel cell providers.

In the UK the Government has responded by setting up the UKH2Mobility scheme, collaborating with major players from the gas, car manufacturing and related support industries to develop the technology further:

“This country has a number of world-class companies that are developing exciting technologies in both the hydrogen energy and automotive value chains and it is vitally important that we identify what is required to make these cars a realistic proposition for UK consumers,” said UKH2Mobility’s Mark Prisk.

“UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure,” he added.

Race to the top

With electric technology already advancing across America and Europe, and governments investing heavily in electric charging infrastructure, some feel that H2 has emerged a little too late to make a significant impact on the car market, and could be brushed aside.

Manufacturers have already invested hundreds of millions in developing commercialised electric and hybrid vehicles, with the UK Government backing electric technology heavily. There is also the chance that a rival technology will be created, with Peugeot recently unveiling a car that can be successfully powered by air.

However, provided that car manufacturers and governments put energy efficiency first, there is no reason why hydrogen cannot become the next prime source of automotive fuel. It’s certainly an exciting time to be involved in the automotive industry.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses Coming On Line in Cleveland

Hydrogen powered vehicles can convert hydrogen into mechanical energy in two ways, through combusting the fuel to create power at the wheels or converting the hydrogen to electricity through a fuel cell, which sends the power to an electric motor.  So while technically, you don’t need to plug in a fuel cell electric vehicle, it is still very much an electric car.  I actually had the chance to ride in a fuel cell electric SUV at the Seoul Metropolitan Government last summer.  These vehicles show promise as a compliment or substitute for traditional electric drivetrains, since hydrogen fuel can be transported with minimal energy loss, and they allow for quick refueling.  However, the technology is still very, very expensive compared to plug-in electric vehicles.

Cleveland has not been known for much since Lebron James left, but in the past year, the city’s Regional Transit Authority has been partnering with NASA Glenn Research Center to develop a hydrogen powered fuel cell bus fleet.  This technology provides a great opportunity for Cleveland to showcase their commitment to sustainable, clean transportation.  However, right now, each bus costs $2 million dollars, in addition to the hydrogen fueling infrastructure requirements.


Cleveland RTA launches hydrogen buses

Metro Magazine

January 16, 2013

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), in coordination with NASA Glenn Research Center, launched a hydrogen bus project in Cleveland.

Customers on various routes may now experience a quieter and greener ride, powered by hydrogen, not diesel. This vehicle began carrying customers in January 2013.

RTA is the first transit system in Ohio — and one of the few in the nation — to produce its own hydrogen fuel using electrolysis, a process that separates water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The 40-foot bus has a capacity of 57 passengers and will be in service between six and eight hours daily on various RTA routes. The bus operates with nearly twice the fuel-efficiency as diesel-fueled bus; and is much quieter as well. The joint project between RTA and Glenn supports the development of new technologies and clean and renewable energy sources.

The hydrogen-fueled bus is on loan from United Technologies Corp. (UTC Power) and the electrolyzer is on loan from NASA Glenn. The entire program, which includes the fueling system and bus, is valued at $3 million. RTA Board members approved a $50,000 investment in this project, which pays for the installation and use of fueling equipment.

This goal of this collaboration between RTA and NASA Glenn is demonstrating the safety, fuel-efficiency, economy and reliability of hydrogen production and fueling using electrolysis. The fuel cell bus is powered by hydrogen and does not produce harmful emissions — the only emission is water vapor.



Electric Vehicles Available Now

Since 2008, we have been covering the electric vehicle market, and things have certainly changed since then.  Back in the day, an electric vehicle startup, Tesla Motors, perked international interest with the Tesla Roadster.  Then dozens of concepts, specialized automakers, and eletrofitters rolled in. I remember when it was only the little guys like ZAP, Think, Tesla, Zenn, etc. We’ve seen exotic supercars and concepts like the Eliica, Aptera, and Lightning GT, and low speed, neighborhood electric vehicles like the BG-100 and REVA. Some came to fruition, some did not.  This international attention  garnered the interested of the major automakers like Ford, GM, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.  These majors not only created concepts, but have begun delivering electric vehicles in mass.  Here are a few fully charged, highway capable 2012 models for the masses that you can order for delivery right now. In the US, these all qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

The 2012 Ford Focus EV is one of my favorites because, from the outside, you can’t even tell that it is an EV. The Ford Focus EV is built on the same glider as the third generation ICE model. The EPA rated its range at 76 miles per charge and a fuel economy of 105 MPG equivalent. Production began in December 2011, in Wayne, Michigan.

I had a chance to drive the first model of the  Mitsubishi i-MiEV at the 2010 New York Auto Show. I preferred it too the Mini-E, because it had more natural coasting and braking, and the battery was tucked under the carriage instead of being jammed in the back hatch area. On the Japanese test cycle, the vehicle has a 100 mile charge, but the EPA, the harsh critics they are, rated it at merely 62 miles. Over 20,000 of these little buggies have been sold worldwide. Prices vary widely regionally and so do tax incentives. In the Japanese market, the i-Miev is only $23,000 after subsidies, in Europe and the US it’s about $30,000, and $50,000 in Australia.

I have already spotted a few 2012 Nissan Leafs  in the wild already.  Although, I don’t know why so many people choose the seemingly trademark, “blue ocean” color.  The EPA rated this hatchback at 73 miles-per-charge. After tax incentives in the US, the price is solidly below $30k at $27,000.  Nissan is claiming an increase in range and a pretty significant decrease in price in the next model year.

We are all still wrapping our heads around a company from Palo Alto, California won the Motor Trend Car of the Year with the 2012 Tesla Model S. Not Detroit, Japan, or Germany, but essentially a company founded by a guy who made his first millions from PayPal. The award really means something though: that technology, innovation, and thinking outside the box in the automotive world can really evolve the industry in ways not possible through traditional thinking. Motor Trend states the $50,000 supercar (after US tax credits) “smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.” This simply was not possible before.

Wireless Electricity could open many doors for Electric Cars

This is a neat video I came across today describing wireless electricity technology. The basic premise behind it is that you can start with an electricity conducting item that creates a magnetic field and transfers its power wirelessly to a charging item. So the speaker, Eric Giler, explains its potential applications: recharging cell phones and powering TVs without cords. About 6 minutes into the presentation he notes possible applications for electric vehicles.

Interesting. At around 6 minutes he describes mats in electric car owner garages that could charge the vehicles without the hassle of plugging them in. This example really does not do justice to what this technology could potentially do for electric vehicle infrastructure. A couple things I thought of off the top of my head:

-Charging mats at stop lights in gridlocked cities like New York. Electric taxis could potentially never need to be recharged or refueled. I’m sure a lot of cab drivers would really appreciate that.
-Solar powered parking lots that wirelessly power electric vehicles. Go to the cafe for the free wifi internet and electric power.

What ideas would you guys come up with? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Source: TED