The trouble with battery powered cars

Today we have realized that change is needed and the gas powered car can't last us forever. As I'm sure you know oil is not forever lasting and therefore we need an alternative. Right now manufacturer's are looking at electric vehicles as their alternative and this will work very well except for one problem, they like them to use batteries.

Lets start right from the beginning so you'll what I'm on about. All our cities and towns are built around the car, as in we have parking lots, roads gas stations etc. It's been this way for many years. Gas powered cars are perfect for this except for the pollution they create while driving. Think about they way you drive right now. The way things are designed is that you drive where ever you wanted to go and then back and repeat (like on your way to work). When you're out of fuel you just pull up to the gas station and fill up which takes all of about 3 minutes.

A current electric car.
Battery powered cars however go against the way things are designed right now. Most electric cars can go maybe 100km (62 miles)  per charge and this of course varies with temperature and how you drive. Right now batteries don't like really cold or really warm weather and of course with that efficiency drops. Now you may think this is fine because you will just charge it up at night and then drive to work again in the morning. This will work fine if you're using high voltage (battery powered cars take much longer on a regular voltage outlet) and only go to and from work. A lot people are very busy and will have to pick up their kids or want to go out after work and do shopping or what ever else and this is the major downfall of the battery powered car. You can't do this unless everything is very close to you. These cars take HOURS to charge and when it's being charged you obviously can't drive it.

This is why I don't think battery powered cars are the solution. I know battery and charging technology will improve over time but how long will this take? Over the past ten years battery technology really hasn't improved that much and I don't see it improving dramatically any time soon. So this means we're sort of stuck right now. This means lifestyles will have to change and gas stations will become obsolete, and if you haven't already noticed by how upset people get when facebook makes a new layout, no one likes change. Therefore they aren't going to want to change things when getting a new car, they'll simply choose a gas powered vehicle instead and we're right back to square one.
The solution for the everyday electric car.

There is however a solution and I think this is best way to integrate the electric car into what we have today. This is the Honda Clarity FCX and other hydrogen powered vehicles. Put simply this car has a hydrogen fuel cell which generates power on demand. This car has a fuel tank that takes hydrogen instead of gasoline or diesel. The fuel cell converts the hydrogen into electricity (There's a lot more to it than this, think of it as the super simplified version). The way it really works isn't important right now but what it does do is allow electric vehicles to work just the same as the conventional gas and diesel powered cars we're used to today. That being they can go for a few hundred miles on a tank, can be refuelled in a few minutes and be driven a few hundred miles again. These cars allow use to keep all of our current gas stations and just convert them to sell compressed hydrogen. They allow people to just get in and drive without thinking about charging or really planning things ahead. A car has never been a thing you had to really plan ahead to use. You just got in and drove, it was your freedom. The Honda allows this. The only difference the consumer really needs to know is this car takes hydrogen at the pump and not gas or diesel. That's it!

You may now be thinking that "It's very complicated to create compressed hydrogen and it's more work than it's worth." To this I would respond, at the moment we drill below the ocean and up north for oil. People are constantly searching for more and the process for refining the oil is also very complicated. Generally we manage this just fine. I would imagine creating hydrogen is just the same complexity and we will get that down in no time.

Some say it will take years more to get this technology working for us but I believe if we can just get these cars on the road it will happen sooner than we think and it *will* work for people today. No big change required. Battery powered cars are simply not setup for the infrastructure we have today and would require a lot of changes for people to adapt and more people to purchase battery powered cars. I think the sooner we get these cars out the better. As I mentioned before battery powered cars are just too limiting, I don't want to have to think about when I'm going to charge my car or what are the peak hours for electricity. I want to get in and drive the car and just spend a few minutes fuelling it up for hundreds of kilometers of travel again.


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