The world around us was built to accommodate petrol cars. Tank trucks carrying thousands of gallons of fuel are everywhere on the highway. Auto repair shops are stocked with drain pans and wrenches for oil changes. Gas prices are a central focus of politics. Even pedestrians and cyclists rely on the hum of the internal combustion engine. This is a strong audio signal that a car may cross the road.
That’s all about to change. In the next few years, many vehicles with internal combustion engines will be replaced by electric vehicles. The White House wants half of all new cars to be electric by the end of the 2010s. This transition is an important part of climate change adaptation, as EVs produce no emissions and reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. However, electric vehicles will not fit well into today’s transportation infrastructure. And it’s not just because gas stations may one day replace stables.
“Contemporary American cities have a strong physical imprint of automobiles and other motorized vehicles,” writes urban historian Martin V. Melosi for a University of Michigan project. Automobiles in American life and society. “It is estimated that about half the land area of modern American cities is used for streets, roads, parking lots, gas stations, driveways, traffic lights and traffic signs, automotive businesses, car dealerships, etc. increase.”
EVs are a new breed of vehicle with powerful sensors and even more powerful computers. It has all sorts of amazing quirks, like low-maintenance brakes. EVs can also accelerate very quickly and don’t make much noise, so parents who rely on late-night drives and engine sounds to keep their babies asleep may need a new strategy. It presents unique weather challenges, especially during hurricanes when saltwater flooding can exacerbate fire risks.
None of these changes mean EV is bad. They reflect how our roads, cities, cars, and even our personal driving habits are tuned to internal combustion technology. The biggest change coming to cars in the electric age is the introduction of his 0.5-ton battery used to power the car, but it also requires many small tweaks.
At high speeds, car tires rub against the road and make a lot of noise. NoisyHowever, in urban environments or when the vehicle is traveling at low speeds, engine hum is the primary sound we associate with cars. However, EVs are considerably quieter because they have fewer moving parts. As a result, EVs can help reduce noise pollution and improve sleep quality and health.
However, there is a twist. When walking or biking around town, we often rely on these engine sounds to determine whether it is safe to cross. For this reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires hybrid and electric vehicles to emit a “warning” sound when driving at low speeds. Automakers have even attempted to create new sound effects for cars. Nissan has created its own “lullaby” to lull babies to sleep, and Tesla has released a controversial feature that temporarily allows users to make fart sounds from their cars. The Tesla feature was eventually recalled, and NHTSA recently decided that consumers shouldn’t be choosing sound effects for their cars.
Because of the batteries, electric cars are hundreds of pounds heavier than petrol cars. Automakers are looking at ways to mitigate this problem, such as integrating the battery into the vehicle’s structure. In the meantime, those extra pounds can create dangerous situations.While great for protecting people inside the vehicle, heavy vehicles are much more dangerous for pedestrians and other vehicle passengers. Accidents are already a major public safety crisis, causing nearly as many deaths in the United States as guns.
Even before the EV revolution, cars were getting heavier. The Environmental Protection Agency found that the average new car weight has increased by about 1,000 pounds since his 1980s. The influx of heavier EVs is useless and there is a great deal of debate about what to do with current road weight limits. Focusing on truck sales doesn’t help.
Like cell phone batteries, the chemical reaction that powers a car’s lithium-ion battery slows down at low temperatures. To make matters worse, batteries often do double duty in heating the cabin. You can drive your car in cold weather, but some people recommend using a car with a heat pump.
Another concern is the weather. In the aftermath of a hurricane, EV batteries can be submerged in salt water, which is particularly conductive. This increases the risk of the battery igniting and causing a fire. This is what happened to multiple EVs in Florida during Hurricane Ian. Fires in EVs are very serious, but they are not as common as internal combustion engine vehicle fires, which receive less media coverage.
EVs are changing the mechanics of driving a car through extreme acceleration. Gasoline cars have to wait for power to travel through the drivetrain before hitting the wheels, but an EV motor sends that power directly to the wheels. can be reached.
When we drive, we implicitly take into account how long it takes the car to speed up. Pedestrians and cyclists make similar calculations when estimating the time they need to cross the road or turn based on the distance to the nearest vehicle. Its super-fast acceleration means you might have to be more careful when navigating the road.
EVs tend to be highly computerized as well as generally requiring less maintenance and repairs. That said, in many cases an over-the-air download can fix it. This process is usually as simple as updating your phone’s operating system. But the rise of EVs inevitably means the emergence of new kinds of auto repair problems. It’s just that there is currently a shortage of mechanics trained to work with batteries.
EVs’ reliance on software, used for everything from AI-powered lane assistance to battery health monitoring, is another double-edged sword. It’s easier to download a software fix than to send the car in for repair, but the proliferation of over-the-air updates is more likely to introduce new bugs, creating new problems that didn’t exist before. there is. For example, in November, Tesla recalled his 40,000 cars (which means software updates) because a firmware update released just a month ago caused power steering problems. was forced to
It is important to remember that internal combustion locomotives also have many flaws. EV eliminates many of them. However, they create some new challenges. That means you also have to learn how to shift gears.
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