Electric Cars Essay Topics Personal Narratives Essays
Battery-powered electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have both seen advances in their development, and one or both of these technologies may represent the future of "green" automobiles.
Both technologies offer a cleaner alternative to internal combustion engines, and both use electric motors powered by electrochemical devices. For one, electric vehicles use energy stored in a battery, whereas fuel cell vehicles have stored fuel that reacts to produce energy.
When oxygen and hydrogen react, they produce only water and heat, making them "zero-emissions" vehicles (like battery-powered electric vehicles)."Probably the oldest [commercial] use of fuel cells is in the space program," said Drzal, who works on materials to make vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient.
While NASA could afford to pay virtually any price for them, for consumer vehicles, "you need fuel cells that are not only efficient, but cost-effective," Drzal told Live Science. Electric vehicles offer a promising alternative to internal-combustion vehicles because they don't directly burn fossil fuels.
The difference is, "with a fuel cell, you're able to decouple energy conversion from energy storage," he said.The two technologies face unique challenges in achieving widespread adoption, but both are promising, experts say.[Hyperloop, Jetpacks & More: 9 Futuristic Transit Ideas]"They're not necessarily competing technologies — they're similar and complementary," said Lawrence Drzal, a chemical engineer and materials scientist at Michigan State University in East Lansing.If the electricity used to charge the electric vehicle comes from a coal power plant, for example, it can be dirtier than even the worst internal-combustion vehicle, Peng said.The same reasoning applies to fuel cells — they're only as clean as the source of the hydrogen they use.And normal cars for regular people are going the same way.Combined, Ford and GM plan to offer 34 full electric models in the next five years.Many of today's electric vehicles run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries — the same kind found in most laptops.These are replacing the cheaper lead-acid batteries used in most older models of electric vehicles.The big-name car companies have plans to start giving Tesla some tough competition.Jaguar’s I-Pace electric SUV will be on sale soon, and Porsche is teasing a new concept Mission E Cross Turismo, which looks like an SUV’d Panamera (in a good way).