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Electric cars

I’ve just been reading about electric vehicles, which just might be a way of cooling down global warming before hydrogen powered vehicles finally come on stream.

There are two interesting companies: Tesla Motors, which is about to release a two-seater sports car – powered by electricity, capable of sprinting from 0-60mph in 4 seconds and costing, wait for it: $90,000. Not exactly a solution for the masses. However, it looks as though this company may become a sort of electric BMW or Mercedes (in fact I suspect Tesla will be acquired by one of the infernal combustion engine big boys, if it becomes successful).

The other company, Phoenix Motorcars is a little bit more down to earth and produces electric powered pick-up trucks, although it two is about to release an SUV powered by batteries. No word on the price, though. But what is interesting about Phoenix is that it will use a special battery which, it claims, can be charged to 95% capacity in only ten minutes. Very interesting.

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The problem with these electric wonders is that if you cannot find a suitable socket, you will either have to hang around for 6 hours or so, or hitch a lift with someone else – most probably in a ‘normal’ petrol powered car. The way round this potential shortcoming? Well, why not make these batteries removeable? Then a network of battery exchanges could be set up. You would drive in, change batteries and drive off, leaving your battery to be charged and passed on to the next electric vehicle (EV) owner. Yes, you would have to pay, but at least you would not have to worry about being left in the middle of nowhere. Indeed, to cover this eventuality, someone could set up a mobile EV battery replacement service.

Of course, for such a system to work well, batteries would need to become standardized.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the budding EV market over the next few years, I think.

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