The Electric Car

A Brief History and What’s Next? 

The Beginning

At the end of the 19th century, any vehicle not pulled by a horse or mule was considered an alternative power vehicle, powered by steam, electricity or gasoline. But oil was discovered in Texas in 1901 and by 1920, gasoline fueled internal-combustion engine vehicles dominated the marketplace. Electricity and steam powered vehicles became distant also-rans. Oil was cheap, effective, readily available and easily transportable. It was also dirty, noisy and smelly but these characteristics were minor in comparison with its cost and availability.

Electric cars were introduced in the first half of the 19th century. At the end of the 20th century, electric vehicles held most world speed and distance records. They were cleaner, quieter, easier to operate and easier to maintain than steam or gasoline fueled cars but had a fatal weakness: battery technology limited the driving range of electric cars to between 40 and 50 miles before needing a 6 to 8 hour charge. Electric vehicles continued to be manufactured in the U.S. through 1939.

The ZEV Mandate

No electric cars were produced in the U.S. between 1939 and 1996. That changed when General Motors produced the EV1 in response to California’s 1991 zero emission vehicle mandate which required 2% of all new cars sold by major auto manufacturers in California in 1998 to meet ‘zero emission’ standards. The first EV1 autos used lead-acid batteries. Second generation GM EV1 cars had a range of 160 miles using nickel metal hydride batteries. A total of 4-5,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. under the ZEV mandate.

In 2001 GM and Daimler Chrysler sued California for regulating fuel economy in violation of U.S. law, after which California relaxed the zero emission vehicle mandate. In late 2003, GM cancelled the EV1 program and other manufacturers soon followed suit. The film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” suggested that GM’s EV1 program was canceled once California relaxed its zero emission vehicle mandate because 1) production was no longer essential; 2) electric cars impacted the oil industry; and 3) sale of electric cars adversely affected GM’s replacement parts after-market. Virtually all EV1 cars, leased to the public, were recalled and destroyed by GM who estimated that they invested $1 billion in development of the EV-1. General Motors recently announced that the electric Chevy Volt (hybrid electric vehicle) will be available for sale in the U.S. in 2010.

Enter the 21st Century

According to the US Department of Energy, more than 60,000 electric cars are in use in the US with more than 15,000 operational in California. More than 800 vehicles (mainly Toyota RAV4 EVs), produced during California’s zero emission mandate have survived with several logging more than 110,000 miles, proving durability and maintainability.

What’s next?

Although there is no zero emission mandates in place, the marketplace has spoken. The combination of high gasoline prices, global warming and the absurdity of U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil has inspired development and manufacture of electric vehicles.

o Five low-speed (neighborhood) model electric vehicles and six expressway capable electric vehicles are currently in production.

o In addition to Chrysler, Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, VW and Renault, a dozen or more new auto firms have introduced or plan to introduce electric cars by 2010.

o The industry is rapidly moving towards new battery technology. Tesla Motors and Miles Electric Vehicles amongst others are now using Lithium-ion battery technology.

Europe and Japan

Since the first oil embargo in 1973 Europe has shown a continuous interest in electric vehicles. Today, electric cars are being built across Europe from Norway to Italy. Not to be left out, Mitsubishi and Subaru announced that they would be manufacturing lithium ion-powered cars before 2010. Toyota and Honda and Nissan will also have production models available in the U.S.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

43 states and Washington D.C. allow operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) that can travel on streets which have a maximum 35 mph speed limit. Local jurisdictions have the right to ban their use or may require licensing and liability insurance. NEVs must have seatbelts, four wheels, windshield safety glass, windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, and turn signals but airbags aren’t required. NEVs cannot legally travel faster than 25 mph. They’re usually equipped with lead acid batteries offering a range of about 30 miles. Prices range from around $6000 to more than $14,000.

Freeway Electric Vehicles

Aside from Toyota RAV4 EVs, most electric vehicles operating in the U.S. in 2008 are NEVs. Freeway capable vehicles are expected to be readily available by 2010. In addition to Tesla, Chevy (Volt), Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda (hydrogen fuel cell technology) and Toyota, we can look for electric vehicles from Think (Norway), Smart EV (Mercedes) and Zenn (Toronto).

Electric Vehicle Benefits

o Pure electric vehicles are true zero emissions vehicles. No greenhouse gases are emitted during vehicle operation.

o Gasoline is eliminated, replaced by grid sourced electricity generated from traditional and increasingly renewable sources. Many electric vehicles have factory installed or aftermarket solar panels installed on roofs.

o Fuel cost (electricity) per mile is 20-25% of gasoline or flex-fuel cost.

o 95% of the energy used to recharge EVs comes from domestic sources. Dependence on foreign oil is reduced.

o Very low vehicle operation and maintenance costs.

o Self energy generation through regenerative braking.

o Simple battery recharging through standard household 110V outlets and recharging stations.

o Electric vehicles are in production and available today at prices in a similar range to that of traditional gasoline and hybrid cars. A few models are also available in the luxury price range.

Limitations

o 250-300 mileage range using Lithium-ion batteries

o Battery cost, weight, disposal

o Few commercial battery recharging stations

o At-home battery charging is not practical for apartment dwellers and those who cannot park near their home

Overcoming limitations

o EV mileage range will increase as battery technology improves.

o Battery footprint, cost and weight will be reduced through new technology.

o Battery recharging stations will spread as EV production increases

Implications and Consequences

o Physical vehicle characteristics and conveniences will change. Vehicles will take on non-traditional appearances

o Vehicle reliability and durability will increase

o Vehicle operating costs will decline as fuel costs, repair costs and replacement parts costs will all decline

o Reduced congestion due to smaller vehicle footprint

o More consumer choices

o Reduced dependence on fossil fuels, imported oil

Stan Gassman, BSC Sustainability Services, Copyright 2008-2009



Source by Stan Gassman

4 Most Important Things to Know About Florida Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bonds

When you're considering the start of a new business, such as an auto dealership, there are many different steps you'll need to take, and many different requirements you'll need to meet. When it comes to obtaining your Florida auto dealers license, there are numerous specifics, and one of the most essential will be obtaining the proper Florida dealer bond insurance.

Use this guide to find the 4 most important things to know about Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds, to make sure you handle everything you need in the right way.

1. Dealer Bonds Are Always Required:

There are 10 different Florida auto dealers license types according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, but regardless of which type you have or need, you will need to have Florida dealer bond insurance in place. That requirement remains consistent, however, other factors as described below will differ.

2. Different Amounts:

Depending on the type of license you are operating under, you'll need Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds in different amounts. All motor vehicle dealers in the state need a $ 25,000 bond, for example. However, recreational vehicle dealers only need a $ 10,000 surety bond.

Additionally, you'll also have the option to pursue a line of credit in the same amount, as opposed to traditional Florida dealer bond insurance. This is a less common option though and often places more potential burden on the business owner. It may be easier for you to obtain though, depending on credit statuses and so forth.

3. Deadlines and Renewals:

In the state of Florida, motor vehicle dealer surety bonds are set to expire annually. However, different license types will have different expiration dates, so it's important not to make any assumptions.

For example, Independent Dealers, who have a VI license and sell only used vehicles, have an expiration date of April 30. However, Franchise Dealers with VF licensing, who can sell both new and used cars, have a December 31 expiration. Recreational vehicle dealers, both RV and RU licensing, expire on September 30.

These differenting dates are important to keep in mind, because if you miss your renewal date, you can unknowingly be committing a serious crime, and face major consequences. The dates are also different so as to reduce processing time across the year instead of having one major rush.

4. Other Requirements are Necessary:

Florida dealer bond insurance is one of the primary requirements for licensure. However, it's certainly not the only one. You'll also need proper garage liability insurance with the correct established minimums, and you'll need to ensure you file the right HSMV paperwork with the right fees, get a Federal employee ID number, get fingerprinted, undergo pre-licensing training, and more.

Hopefully by now you've learned more about Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bonds, and the different needs and requirements, and varying steps in the process. There's a lot to sort through, but having all the information available upfront will make everything much easier and smoother.



Source by John Rothschild

Reading Games For Kids Should Involve The Basic Letters

The youngest kids around can easily use reading games for kids. These games can teach them about the alphabet. This is one of the most essential points of learning to read that any child should understand. A good game can help to make it easier for any child to understand this. There are many reasons why it is such a good idea to see how these games can teach kids how the ABC's can work.

Why the ABC's?

The alphabet is important simply for the fact that it is the main set of building blocks for reading. The alphabet includes individual letters that have their own sounds. They all have their own standards that could be used when getting them all arranged.

Letters can form words

A good point of getting reading games for kids to work with learning the alphabet involves how these games can include details on how different names are arranged. This comes from how letters can be used to create meanings for individual items in language. Understanding these letters will be a smart thing for any child to do.

Many games for the youngest kids can teach them how different letters can start certain words. Teaching the link between letters and items in a game can help to get any kid to learn how to read.

Arrangement of letters also helps

The largest part of learning the alphabet in reading games for kids involves how these letters can be used together to create a wide variety of sounds. These are all sounds that will be used in several types of words throughout the English language. Teaching kids how to mix these letters together can get them to understand how different types of words are formed and how they can be verbally said. This may be used to get any child to understand how well a word can be spoken.



Source by Marry Sumry

The Right Kind of Pressure Washer

There's something fun about using a pressure washer. Its like having a high powered squirt gun except you use it to clean things with. Save money by washing your own car, boat, even your home but make sure you get the right tool for the job.

Pressure washers are rated in psi. or pounds per square inch and the biggest problem for people who go out and buy them is they do not get one with enough power. You can go to the department store and buy a 1000 to 1700 psi washer for around a hundred bucks and you will not have enough working pressure to wash your car with, which is what most people buy them for. By the same token you can get one that is so powerful that it will take the paint right off whatever it is you're cleaning, and most of the cheaper ones are not adjustable, so be sure you either get one at the pressure you need or find one that lets you dial in the pressure to suit the job. A minimum of 2800 psi is needed for washing most cars.

You can get a pressure washer in almost any configuration you want. There are gasoline driven pressure washers and electric motor driven ones. The more expensive ones even have oil or propane fired heaters that let you wash with hot water which is ideal for making an engine look brand new, and the top of the line ones can even put out steam.

Beside washing your car and saving money on all those coin operated car washes, you can blast off that dirty driveway, clean the outside of your house, make short work of clearing out your gutters, and cleaning patio furniture and around swimming pools is a breeze with a pressure washer. You can even start your own business by getting a pressure washer and mounting it on a utility trailer along with a generator and water tank.



Source by David Watts

Information About Duplicate Car Keys

Depending on the brand and model of your car you might need to go to the dealer to have new copies of the keys made. Sometimes additional keys or transponders will over ride and mess up your cars security system which can at times void the warranty.

If you are looking for information on duplicate car keys there are lots of different places you can buy them. Many websites and companies exist that specialize in the selling of different kinds of keys. Many times they can also be made to be used in almost any vehicle.

Many of the newer vehicles and cars on the road today use transponder systems to unlock and lock the doors as well as other uses and features as well. Sometimes parts departments at the dealership can make more copies for you to use. Often lock smiths can come and unlock your car as well as make any additional copies that you may need.

Most often there are some things that need to be done to verify that the blank key will function correctly. The first thing is that the key has to be shaped and cut to the original key. Then the transponder must be programmed to correlate with the radio frequency of your car's system so it can unlock and then lock the doors and open the trunk.

You can reprogram keys yourself or you may want to have a professional do it for you. Both negative and positive aspects exist for both. If you program them yourself many times it takes lots of time to do it right but it can save you money as well. Going to a professional and having them do the work for you will not be as time consuming but it will also cost more.

Depending on the brand and model of your car you might need to go to the dealer to have new copies made. Sometimes additional keys or transponders will over ride and mess up your cars security system which can at times void the warranty. When you are leasing your car you may want to contact your dealer for details.

If the key has a computer chip in it then it has to be verified that it fits your vehicle. There are different brands of cars where you can create additional ones by using one that you have on you or one that came with the vehicle. The individual prices will vary depending on where you go and what kind of car you have.

If you are wanting to buy duplicate car keys then there are different stores and online retailers where you can buy them from. For additional information you can go online and visit your brands website for the specific ones that you may need. You also can visit your dealership for additional details.



Source by Stacey Kumar