By Lowy Chang
As the name suggests, electric cars do not require gas but electricity, which is cheaper, and therefore, they are immune to the surge in gas prices. However, electric cars require completely different power systems, which result in an extra expense on machinery and battery, not to mention their high cost will raise the prices of electric cars. In order to meet the needs regarding speed and endurance and to expand battery capacity, the weight and cost of electric cars will have to be increased.
Technology bottlenecks have put a hold on the development of electric vehicles:
Power outage issue
The present way of estimating remaining battery life is based on voltage, whose inaccuracy has been a world-wide technology bottleneck to overcome. Such an inaccuracy will possibly lead to breakdowns and power outages of electric cars, which will be much more problematic than that of gas cars.
Power consumption of air conditioning
In general, at least one third of the miles on one charge will be sacrificed with the air conditioner on, whose power consumption is 3 to 4kw. In other words, an electric car that normally goes 90 km on one charge will only last 60 km with the air conditioner on.
Energy recycling difficulty
With the premise of driving safety, the amount of energy recycling while stopping and starting electric cars is limited: only 20% of energy is able to be recycled at most under current conditions. In light of traffic situations in the city which require numerous starts and stops while driving, the inadequacy of energy recycling will make a dent on electric cars’ endurance.
With increasing fund being put into developing energy saving technology of engine, the electric cars will become even more expensive. Hence, without the government’s subsidy policy or financial aid, purchasing pricey electric cars does not seem like such an economical idea.