On Saturday, August 28th, the annual Electric Vehicle Festival and Rally was held by the Electric Auto Association (EAA) on the Chabot College campus.
The purpose of the EAA is to encourage the creation of electric vehicles, thereby improving energy usage, vehicle safety, and resource efficiency. Similar to other car shows, the EAA came and displayed their brand of automotive genius.
Currently, there are three types of cars on the public market: gasoline run, the electric vehicle (EV), and a hybrid of the two.
Electric cars are run by a controller from which they draw energy. The controller regulates the amount of power based upon the amount of acceleration a driver chooses to use. EV uses rechargeable batteries for its power, which can be recharged like any other household batteries.
Gasoline engines use fossil fuel extracted from ancient parts of the Earth’s core. Power is obtained from the fuel by burning it, which releases carbon dioxide that damages the ozone layer.
The ozone layer is what filters the Sun’s harmful rays and allows Earth’s inhabitants to sustain a comfortable life. The average gasoline run passenger car emits 11,450 lbs of carbon dioxide which pollutes the air and erodes the ozone layer.
Electric cars emit nothing. The following demonstrates the differences between gasoline powered and electric cars.
There are many misconceptions surrounding EV. We will dispel some of them here.
Myth: EVs are wimpy and not quick to accelerate.
Fact: EVs are able to reach speeds similar to gasoline run cars. The Chevy Volt can go from 0 to 60 in 9 seconds with a 150-HP equivalent engine. EVs can reach up to 100 miles per hour depending on the engine and vehicle type.
Myth: EVs are too expensive.
Fact: EVs run from $2000 to $4000 more than their gas powered equivalents. However, not only would an owner rarely be paying for gas, there are incentives and rebates that go along with the purchase of an electric vehicle.
With the $7,500 federal tax cut, Chevy Volt retails around $33,500, Nissan Leaf drops to around $25,300, and, compared to a year of gas and its retail price, the Chevy Aveo sits at around $23,400.
Over the life of the car one would spend less time at gas stations and less money on maintenance. Furthermore, the payback to the environment is priceless. The payoff far outweighs the initial cost.
Myth: Electric cars are small and ugly.
Fact: The EAA has many ‘normal’ vehicles that have been converted to electric and there are many car manufacturers that are developing newer, more visually pleasing cars. Depending on one’s budget, options range from hatchbacks like the Chevy Volt to sports cars like the Tesla Roadster.
The EAA is a non-profit educational organization that has been established since 1967. There are chapters almost everywhere, with 16 in California alone. To become a member please go to their website at www.eaaev.org.
There are classifieds that may be helpful when trying to buy an electric car and many other informational outlets on electric cars and upcoming events.
If interested in electric vehicles but not ready to buy one, car rental companies will start offering the Nissan Leaf in 2011 to consumers.
The EAA is a great way to get your foot in the door and begin to understand alternative methods of owning a vehicle. Transportation is the most damaging to our planet compared to any other source, so taking steps to becoming more aware, and possibly converting, is the best thing any of us can do.