Electric automobiles are vehicles that derive their power from electric motors. Many people may think that they are a fairly new invention, when actually, some of the earliest automobiles produced were already powered by electric motors that were fueled by batteries. However, due to the rapid development of internal combustion engines, electric vehicles were driven out of the market.
Electric motor systems are environmentally friendly and emits less pollution than combustion engines. They are also very energy-efficient. In fact, 75 percent of the energy stored in a battery reaches the wheels of an automobile, while only 20 percent of the chemical energy derived from gasoline is used by the wheels in an internal combustion engine.
Another advantage of electric automobiles is that they can provide power at the speed of an engine. This ensures strong acceleration performance for the electric vehicle.
The important factor that determines the cost and performance of electric automobiles are the batteries. Today, advancements in electric automotive technology have produced a number of battery types such as advanced lead-acid batteries, lithium polymer batteries and nickel metal hydride. However, even if an electric motor is extremely efficient, the capacity of the batteries is still very limited. For instance, the best batteries can store only a fraction of the energy of a gallon of gasoline in the same volume. The apparent solution to this is recharging. However, charging the battery fully may take a long time.
Electric automobiles still have a long way to go before they reach the mainstream market. Technology continues to improve and new innovations are constantly being introduced. Currently, hybrid vehicles like the gasoline-electric hybrid are enjoying considerable success. With the continued advancement in electric automobile technology, it may not be long before we see a more efficient and powerful electric automobile, and this time, they are likely to be on the market for good.