By design, electric cars just make more sense than gasoline, diesel and propane powered vehicles. A gasoline engine has hundreds of moving parts all moving in unison from pistons, rings and crankshaft to valves, rocker arms and a timing belt. Though modern engines are highly sophisticated, it is difficult to build such a complicated machine and be sure that it will offer years upon years of trouble-free service. A DC electric motor typically used in a home built electric car has one moving part – the rotor. Some people argue that electric cars are mroe complex than gasoline cars, they are plainly wrong.
I know some of you are likely thinking “electric cars are heavy, they have poor range and they take a long time to charge!” And you are correct...sort of. All of these issues exist with the single weak point of today’s electric car: the batteries. The light weight and range capability of internal combustion powered vehicles is the result of over 100 years of design and development. The research and development money that was invested in electric cars over the same period is a drop in the bucket by comparison.
Here's the thing, deep cycle lead acid batteries were the standard in electric cars in the early 1900s. Deep cycle lead acid batteries were still the standard throughout the 80s and most of the 90s. When major auto manufacturers such as General Motors, Toyota and Ford started investing in better technology it was only a few years before cars were being produced with Nickel-metal Hydride batteries and now lithium iron phosphate batteries. Some factory-built electric cars using lithium iron phosphate batteries can travel more than 200 kilometers per charge, charge in under an hour, and out run some gas-powered sports cars. There are home builders out there doing some very impressive conversions in their garages as well.
Electric vehicles are extremely capable, and practical for the average family. The big issue with the technology at this point is price. Lead acid batteries are expensive. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are extremely expensive. The cost of batteries however, is dropping year over year and in ten or fifteen years they will be affordable for the average builder.
Electric vehicles are better for the environment as they produce no tailpipe emissions. They require very little maintenance and produce 100% torque at 0 rpm. All of this without gasoline, diesel, propane or natural gas. Although electric vehicles have their downfalls, a few more years of investment in battery development will produce a cost-effective, simple, low maintenance vehicle that can travel the same distance on a charge as an average gasoline car.