GAS OR ELECTRIC?

For those that were into obtaining a new(er) large household appliance that is known in the business as “white goods”, such as a washing machine, a dryer, a stove/oven, and so on, one would have the opportunity to obtain one of these items to operate through electrical current or through natural gas. Some items only run on one source, such as a refrigerator that for the most part, is electric. Washing machines are also electric. Stoves that are available can go both ways as gas and/or electric. Ditto for hot water heaters. It all depends on how one’s household is arranged for whatever appliance is available for such usage through such power devices.

Soon, automobiles will have this option, where one can own a vehicle that runs on gas (gasoline) or electric (battery). Those days are getting closer, but not as close as it could be–or not yet anyway.

General Motors, one of the bigger auto makers in the world, recently announced that within a fifteen year time span, all of their vehicles, bet it a traditional passenger car, a truck, an SUV, or whatever form of vehicle in presently in demand, will run on some form of electrical current in the form of a battery attachment device. The other two domestic auto makers, Ford, and Stellantis, who has controls of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, are also gearing up to push electric autos. Other companies are doing the same thing. Volkswagen are even going forward in adapting their name as “Voltswagon“, that’s joining the electric vehicle bandwagon. (Volkswagen/Voltswagon Bandwagon? A catchy name in its own right!!) However, that change of name was later reviled as an April Fools Day stunt that went wrong. But it still shows how serious VW is in terms of creating electric autos.

Telsa, another leading American based name in electrical autos, is attempting to release a few models that run of power that would be more affordable to obtain. But as of now, many of their models sell for $50,000 and up, making this brand to fall into a slim nitch category feeling that their vehicles are selling to a targeted market that can afford to pay nearly $4.00 per gallon of gas–a price for fuel that is becoming more common within the state of California as of this writing!

But leave it to the Japanese auto makers, mostly Toyota, the biggest auto maker in the world, to start the trend in making available the first real practical auto(s) that uses electricity to operate. That car is the ever lovin’ Prius, a vehicle that’s been around since the turn of the 21st century. But keep in mind that such cars as the Prius is a hybrid auto, meaning it runs on both electric power and gasoline, so its not totally a “gas free” type of auto! But these things could change in the future, just as long as there is the technology and interest to make these line of autos more functional, practical, and of course, more affordable to the public at large!

The whole ideal to this interest in electric autos is to not having to rely upon fossil fuels, and to offer transportation duties to the masses that have the need and desire to get from one place to another using clean and cheap(er) power sources. And offering a car, etc. that operates on power that isn’t gasoline is far from a new idea.

There was the Baker Electric, an auto that was made in Cleveland, Ohio around the early years of the 20th century that used battery power. But for what it sold for at the time, $1600.00 and up, far from from cheap, considering that a Ford was going for a whole lot less–around $600.00 in 1912 dollars! With gasoline selling for around 11 cents per gallon, and the desire for using “clean energy” was non-existent, an electric car was an amusing idea. But that was more as science fiction as to reality. Besides, the notion of the use of a radio machine that produced pictures along with its programming held more interest in terms of science fiction devices, even through that device known as a “television”, would become available for later in the future.

When the first wave of the need to not rely upon fossil fuels started in the early-middle 1970’s, the auto makers were kicking the idea of creating a vehicle that did run on electric power. Those ideas did come and eventually went away. When General Motors produced the EV1 in the late 1990’s, it would serve as the prototype of the so-called “modern” mass produced electric car. But those that were lucky enough to operate one couldn’t buy it outright as it was only made available through a lease, mostly in the southern California market, primary the Los Angeles and San Diego regions. But GM eventually withdrew that line of autos by ending its lease agreements, taking the cars away from those that held a lease, to eventually destroying them all, or at least most of them. (For a better insight on the EV1, take a look at the 2006 documentary Who Killed The Electric Car?, released through Sony Pictures Classics and may be available for stream viewing. Check your local streaming provider for details!)

And there were a few others that pushed for an electric car. Ed Begley, Jr. always drove a modified car that used rechargeable battery power, and pushed for the use of such a car in many of his appearances from his role in the TV series St. Elsewhere, and appearing as the subject in various news reports on the interest in mass production of electric cars. But again, those folks come from a small pool of drivers that can get away with putting both time and money in owning a car that doesn’t rely upon gasoline.

But if this interest is indeed on the rise, there should be more offerings to create a vehicle that runs on electric power that is indeed practical, as well as inexpensive to obtain and operate. There are a few currently available such as Nissan’s Leaf, Chevy’s Spark, and Bolt, among others. But again, it’s going to become a wait and see method of these line of vehicles.

As of this writing, it appears that the type of vehicles that are currently in demand are light trucks (pickups, etc.) and SUV-type autos that can haul passengers as well as goods and freight. Although yours truly doesn’t own an electric vehicle (yet), I do own an SUV. The reason? To haul stuff! And what are my reason to not operate an electric vehicle? A home has to need a minimum of 100 amps to properly charge such a vehicle. (200 amps is also suggested by the electric auto manufactures.)

Unless one has access to use a public charging location, there would be no way that I can change an electric car in my domicile. I can get a 2000 mile extension cord, but I heard that aftermarket places such as Auto Zone, Pep Boys, and other places don’t have them in stock…or not yet anyways! Better luck next year, I guess! ———————————————————————————————————– ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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