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How green are electric car batteries - Research Paper Example

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How green are electric car batteries

However, this trend is yet to be noticed as most of the vehicles in this 21st century are still powered by traditional fuels; electric cars are yet to become popular among the masses.
The Electric Battery
An electric car along with all its accessories is powered by its battery. The electric battery drives a controller which is used to run the main electric motor of the car. Cars driven by gasoline and diesel also have batteries, but they are mainly used to start the engine of the vehicle and also power some of its accessories like the radio, television or the air-conditioner. Just like fuel-driven cars need to be reloaded, once they are exhausted of their fuel reserves, the electric car batteries are required to be recharged when they are depleted of their initial power. Therefore, electric batteries need to be strong and enduring in terms of their power and longevity. Till recently, battery manufacturers were yet to invent dependable electric batteries that could bring electric vehicles at par with the fuel-driven cars. However, the production of electric cars have become more affordable in recent times and the main automobile manufacturers are expected to produce such electric cars on a large scale (Lampton, 2011).
First Automobile powered by a Battery
In 1873, R. Davidson of Edinburgh showed that a road vehicle could be driven by an electric battery. He experimented by driving a four-wheeler truck powered by a primary battery made of iron/zinc. After this, in 1881, G. Trouve of France constructed a tricyle, weighing 160 kilograms (350 pounds), which became the first vehicle to be driven with the help of a “secondary Plante battery”. Trouve utilized two customized Siemens motors to drive a huge propelling wheel with the help of two chains which in turn drove the tricycle. The Plante battery helped the motors to develop the strength of 1/10 horsepower which enabled the tricycle to move at a speed of 12 kilometres per hour (7 miles per hour). Later, Trouve demonstrated that electric batteries could be used to drive other forms of vehicles too. During the same year, he experimented by operating a motor boat on the river Sienne which was powered by electric batteries. In the following year (1882), Professors William Ayrton and John Perry of England, also demonstrated the utility of electric batteries in driving transport vehicles. They had also developed a tricycle powered by an electric battery which had a capacity of 1 ? kilowatt hour. This battery consisted of ten Plante type battery cells made up of lead/acid. Apart from this, the tricycle had a direct current (DC) motor having the strength of ? horsepower, which was fitted under the driver’s seat. The electric battery supplied a current of 20 volts to the DC motor which in turn propelled the vehicle. The tricycle could travel at a speed between 16 and 40 kilometers per hour (between 10 and 25 miles an hour), the speed varying according to the type of land terrain traversed. This speed could be regulated by switching the batteries sequentially in series (Westbrook, 2001, pp.9-10). How Electric Car Batteries are Made In the present-day world, the two most popular forms of electric car batteries are the “advanced nickel metal hybride battery (NiMH)” and the “advanced automotive lithium ion (Li-ion) battery”. Majority of these two types of batteries are produced by firms in China, ...Show more

Summary

Cars have been an important medium of transport right from the time the first vehicles of communication were invented by man. Cars can be powered by petrol (gasoline), diesel or even electric batteries…
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