History of the Electric Car
The first attempts to power a vehicle with electricity began as early as the 1830’s. In the United States, the electric vehicle dominated the roads by 1900, until Henry Ford invented the gasoline powered vehicle in 1908. Then the combustion engine took the lead for the next one hundred and twenty years.
Science of the Electric Car
The all-electric vehicle relies on a battery to hold an electric charge. The electric charge comes from a special plug and socket, just like a household lamp. The electricity itself comes from a power plant that could rely on fossil fuels, the wind, or the sun. Different models of vehicles range from 75 up to 265 miles on a full charge.
Why Electric Vehicles?
Electric vehicles are called a “clean” technology because of the reduced impact on the environment. A cleaner environment means healthier people and a healthier planet. EV’s are becoming more common because people recognize the affordability of electric over gasoline, and because people recognize the urgency of reducing the carbon footprint of the planet!
Zero Impact Charging Station
The APSU charging station is powered by the sun! The solar canopy in the parking lot is directly connected to the charging station so that driving your car doesn’t require any fossil fuels. Other sources of alternative energy are solar, wind, biomass, tidal, hydroelectric and geothermal.
The carbon-based gases that contribute to climate change are Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide. The sources of these gases include fossil fuel burning vehicles, fossil fuel burning power plants (coal, natural gas), and industry. Even natural sources such as agriculture and sinkholes where the permafrost (frozen soil) melts, contribute to greenhouse gases by releasing carbon dioxide and methane. The links below explore aspects of greenhouse gases.
The Greenhouse Effect
Currently, greenhouse gases are so dense they are like a thick blanket wrapping the Earth. This thick layer does not allow the sun’s rays to bounce back out of the atmosphere as they naturally should. The extra rays of sun cause warming and climate change. Scientists study how warming temperatures cause severe drought and melting permafrost and ice caps. Also, the greenhouse effect causes an increase in the unpredictability, frequency and intensity of weather events such as wildfires due to droughts, hurricanes, windstorms, tornadoes, blizzards. Of great concern is rising sea levels due to the melting ice caps.