Electric vs. Electric

June 21, 2011 at 19:21 (Uncategorized)

Cleaning up folders on the computer leads to things I forgot I had, or had done.  I had a very brief foray into freelance journalism last year. Of all that I wrote only one was publish.  And this is it…

Green.  It’s a colour and it is a movement toward a better environment.  It is also a word that begins to sound silly the more you say it – green, green, green.  A lot of people are saying it and it doesn’t always sound silly.

Green car used to be a bit of an oxymoron but that is changing with the developments in electric cars.  They are becoming faster, sleeker and charging time is dwindling – the race is no longer for an alternative to petrol but to create the best electric car.

The electric car is not a new idea, they have been around from the beginning of car manufacturing and were the preferred automobile between the mid 19th century to the early 20th century.  The Ford Motor Company reduced the price of petrol cars leading to a decline in use of the electric car.  But the electric car was never truly forgotten, it was merely limited by the technology at hand and with recent developments in all spheres of technology, the electric car has received a lot of attention as the car of the future.

Tesla Roadster, the REVAi (also known as the G-Wiz), the Nissan Leaf and our very own Joule are a few examples of what is out there in terms of electric car for speed, size and affordability.  However, all of these use electricity to charge the battery within the car that powers the electric motor.  This electricity comes from power plants with their own eco disasters.  And the charging time for electric cars is still hours as opposed to the minutes it takes to refuel a petro or diesel car.

But there is another option among the electric cars, the Honda FCX Clarity.  The Clarity is also an electric car but it used hydrogen to create the electricity needed to move the car.  The Clarity does not run on hydrogen, the hydrogen, combined with oxygen, creates electricity within a fuel-cell rather than using batteries to store electricity.  This means the Clarity does not need to be charged at night, you fill up with hydrogen like you would with petrol.  And hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element.  So is this the best electric car?  Probably not.  Hydrogen does not occur naturally, it has to be created using either fossil fuels which results greenhouse gas emissions, or by using renewable resources such as the wind.

The finish line is not here yet and if things continue the way they are, who knows what will come out next.


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