Cars aren’t the only thing making the switch from gas to electricity. From lawnmowers to entire power plants, the gas engine is being replaced by batteries for a more efficient way of powering items.
Let’s examine why some items run better with batteries before looking at the numerous items being redesigned to work on electricity.
Batteries and the use of electricity represents a better solution for many things over combustion engines. Electrical items provide the same mobility as traditional tools, but they’re quieter, produce less heat and tend to be more efficient in their usage of energy than their fossil fuel-burning counterparts.
Depending upon where you live, the use of electricity in place of gasoline may be more convenient and cheaper. You only need to plug the battery in to the wall to recharge it, which means that there’s no reason to run to the gas station.
You now have a general idea as to why electricity can work better, which makes it possible to understand the practical use of batteries in place of gasoline.
Let’s examine some of the battery powered items that were formerly powered by combustion.
The most common designs for gas-powered leaf blowers have them sucking in air through the sides to cool the engine before forcing it out the front. This 90-degree turn brings a significant amount of waste into the equation due to the heightened amount of air resistance experienced.
Battery powered leaf blowers, due to the decreased amount of heat produced during their operation, don’t require this. They can use the most efficient path for air to travel, which is straight from the back to the front, which means that they require less energy to operate.
Most trimmers employed in edging lawns are bulky or burdensome. Gas lawn trimmers are heavy, while electric trimmers tend to enjoy less mobility without miles of extension cord.
Lawn trimmers that work on batteries enjoy the unique advantage of being up to 28-percent lighter than their gas-powered counterparts. Because they use batteries, you can charge them and use them until they run dry. This can make yard work easier than ever before.
If you’ve ever tried to start a gas-powered chainsaw, you’ve likely found that it takes several tries before the motor fires up.
Battery powered chainsaws can start on the first press of the button. When they incorporate the use of lithium-ion batteries, they can continue to run long enough to trim branches and cut down several trees.
Gas-powered lawn mowers are loud, dangerous and tend to become less reliable as they age. This means that you have to deal with costly maintenance of the combustion system, while still needing to maintain the actual parts of the mower responsible for trimming your grass.
Electric lawn mowers circumvent a number of these problems. Because they operate on batteries, they can go anywhere. With enough capacity in their batteries, they can handle large, rugged lawns while adding significantly less noise pollution. Your neighbors may not even hear you mow with one.
Solar energy is free and produces markedly less greenhouse emissions than combustion engines. Their only problem is that these systems only produce energy while the sun is visible.
To circumvent this and to replace things like diesel generators, batteries are being used to store electricity until it needs to be used. This enables a cleaner, quieter and more efficient way to produce electricity.
The largest consumer of gas and other combustibles are the things used to produce electricity: power plants. They share the same pitfalls that tools using combustion engines do, but they apply to a much larger scale.
Combustion plants work in such a way that they produce a certain amount of electricity based on the amount of fuel put in to them. This requires utility companies to constantly monitor and regulate how much energy gets produced to reduce waste.
Smart electricity companies are scaling back on their power plants to use large batteries in their stead. This allows their plants to run continuously, which in turn allows for less electricity to be wasted.
Tesla Motors, Inc. announced plans to build a $5 billion battery factory that will power its line of popular zero-emissions electric automobiles well into the next decade. However, the company, based in Palo Alto, California, shocked in-state politicians and workers by insisting that the new plant will not be built in the Golden State. Shares of Tesla hit a new high after the announcement.
The Company will invest $2 billion to kick off the battery project. Panasonic Corp., the Japanese battery producer for Tesla, will reportedly invest $1 billion in the new plant, according to Nikkei, a Japanese business newspaper. The newspaper reported that Panasonic wants to increase its ties with Tesla. Other partners that could invest another $2 billion in the battery plant haven’t been revealed yet.
An auto analyst with Morgan Stanley said that Tesla could become the largest manufacturer in the world of Li-ion batteries. That projection is based upon what the company will use for its own automotive needs.
The plan calls for Tesla to manufacture batteries from raw ore rather than assembling batteries as components; a move expected to significantly cut down on the cost. A looming battery shortage is restricting greater sales of the eco-friendly cars, according to previous company statements.
An analyst at Edmunds.com told the New York Times that the price of its vehicles needs to come down in order to cast a wider appeal for new buyers, and cheaper batteries will make that happen. Building batteries at its own plant will give the company a firmer grasp on the cost and supply. Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, wrote in a report that “we feel highly confident of being able to create a compelling and affordable electric car in approximately three years.”
The Model S sedan, which currently sells for $70,000 to $100,000, is a symbol of eco-luxury for California elite with about one-third of all these vehicles sold to Californians.
Initial plans call for constructing a manufacturing plant that would sprawl over 500 to 1,000 acres. Employment for the plant could be as high as 6,500 people. The company, in a statement, said it plans to build the facility somewhere in Southwestern U.S. The states in contention include Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. The completed batteries would thenbe transported to an assembly point at Fremont, California. It’s expected that Tesla will manufacture a sufficient number of batteries to outfit 500,000 cars per year by 2020 with the ultimate goal of producing a $35,000 vehicle.
Although California is in love with Tesla vehicles, it appears that that love is unrequited. The company gave no reason for snubbing the state. A report in the LA Times speculated that California land and labor costs are too high, according to the former chief honcho at the state’s Employment Development Department. It’s also believed that Tesla wants to move to a new location in order to spread the love of electric cars to other areas.
There are few things more dreaded than running late for work, turning the ignition of the car, and realizing in complete desperation that your car’s battery is dead. Although no one enjoys dealing with such a situation, it’s a common scenario. It is wise to prepare for the worst and prevent a dead car battery by purchasing your own car battery jump starter. This device is useful for many reasons, and once you get one, you will wonder how you ever got by without it. (more…)