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Technology
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Electric Cars!
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Electric Cars!

Electric cars are getting more popular with each passing day not in the developed economies alone but in the developing ones too. And, this can be well attributed to the growing concerns over the irreparable damage caused to the environment due to the combustion of fuel. Considering this, having an electric car in a well-developed European nation is much cheaper than having a petrol-run car these days. All thanks to the government subsidies for the cause. Not just this, automobile giants have also joined the race of developing electric vehicles after realizing the huge potential in the segment.

Dwelling in the past!

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The traces of electric vehicles are found during the early 19th century when French, Scottish and American innovators attempted to develop an electric car that was capable of carrying goods. However, these experiments did not meet significant success due to the fact that internal combustion engines were getting better, and electric starter made fossil fuel-powered cars way better and cheaper. The concept of electric cars was dead only until concerns were raised against air pollution spread by cars, which use fossil fuel like gasoline, petrol, or diesel.

If we talk about the time, the golden time, when electric cars started going mainstream. It was, indeed, the period from the ‘80s to 2000s, where we could really see electric cars on the streets that were capable enough to compete with any diesel- or petrol-powered vehicle. Tesla Motors played a significant role in this revolution. And, one of the earlier outcomes was Tesla Roadster, which was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells just like any other electronic gadget. Undoubtedly, the most impressive part about Tesla Roadster was the power and performance it delivered; clocking at more than 320 km trip per charge. Soon after Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model X was launched. Following the footsteps of Tesla who pioneered the electric vehicle technology, soon Mitsubishi Motors introduced the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

Later, automobile giants like Nissan, General Motors and BMW (Volkswagen) invested heavily in research regarding electric and autonomous cars. Notably, Nissan Leaf, introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010 became the first modern all-electric family hatchback to be produced for the mass market from a major manufacturer. Further, Renault Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car for mass production to come with the switchable battery technology. During 2012-2013, BMW, Renault, Honda, Toyota, Mahindra and Mercedes were in a fierce race. But, Tesla Model S took away the cake in the plug-in electric car category in North America.

Scanning the Presence!

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If we talk about the current situation, the electric car adoption rate is the highest in Norway where electric cars make up to 45.3 per cent of the total vehicles on roads, whereas plug-in hybrids have a market share of 14.9 per cent. It was no surprise to know that Norway is the first country where one out of every ten registered passenger cars, is a plug-in electric vehicle. Countries like the Netherlands and Sweden have also got an automobile market where electric cars have quite a sweet pie; followed by France, the U.K., China, and the U.S. Overall, the trend is catching up, and there is no visible slowdown as yet when it comes to making new efficient and modern electric cars.

In emerging markets like China and India, car manufacturers have a goal to sell as many as 7 million and 10 million electric cars by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Further, France and the United Kingdom aim to go towards an all-electric car market by 2040. Moving ahead, it looks like China would be one of the first nations to adopt the electric car technology for almost everything. But, there is one big challenge and that is to set up charging stations and electric vehicle policies.

It is to be noted that Norway could evolve fast because the country has already planned reduction in carbon emissions by selling its natural resources (fossil fuel) to other nations at the price where the nation would reward its citizens to go eco-friendly. But, countries like China and India, where indigenous technologies are ruling, rewards for buying cleaner and greener fuel cannot be offered to the population. Besides sustainability issues, there might be a huge protest starting-off soon from the oil industry; pressurising the governments to levy a tax on electric cars.

Certainly, the future is as diverse as a prism breaks the light in seven parts. And, it’s time to prepare for the adoption of electric vehicles for a better future and for a better Earth.

Know Everything About Hyperloop
Know Everything About Hyperloop

Imagine travelling inside an ultra-fast, direct and emission-free capsule at the speed of sound and reaching your desired destination in just a matter of few minutes. Well, this can be a reality in the near future. With the current scenario where one gets stuck up in traffic delays on a daily basis, there is a need for a mode of transportation which helps you reach all the far away destinations in a short time. 

What is Hyperloop?

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Here is the concept of the Hyperloop, which may be the swiftiest way to travel on the surface of the earth. Moreover, Hyperloop can be the biggest leap in transportation infrastructure. In this concept mode of transportation, passengers will be sitting in small pods which will travel at airline speeds through pressurised tubes using electric propulsion and magnetic levitation. This extraordinary concept is on the verge of becoming a reality.

Origin

Hyperloop was first conceived in 2012 by Tesla and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, who in the same year openly released a document which set out his vision of futuristic high speed transporting mechanism that would help in transporting passenger pods swiftly pass through a half vacuum in steel tunnels, depicting the two major things that reduce the speed of current vehicles, friction and air resistance.

Progress

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From beginning, Musk had always retained his statement that the prototype of hyperloop would be “open source” and he openly motivated others to get united and develop the necessary technology, independently from his involvement. This has resulted to the creation of many startups and learners have created teams for the purpose of developing different prospective of hyperloop technology with different degrees of success. Now, many big companies are making huge leaps to get hyperloop systems to fruition.

The Virgin Hyperloop One company has made huge developments as compared to other companies

This Company is on a track to achieve their bold ambition of bringing a hyperloop mechanism into operation by 2021. However, their project is slightly from Musk’s original plan.

Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology brings together two basic ideas:

• Magnetic Levitation: Magnetic levitation uses two sets of magnets; one to repel the train from the rail track and levitate it upwards and the other to shift the floating train along the rail track at great speed with decreased friction.

• Vacuum: The tubes will be having a closed atmosphere for the passenger pods to shift through. With removal of most of the air from the tunnels and making zero contact with the surface, the pods face no opposite force as they shift. Hence, the air pressures inside the tube are equivalent to flying in the sky. Being in a tunnel, the whole system is protected from all external calamities.

Success

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Virgin Hyperloop One have carried out several tests focusing on singular aspects of the system and a complete full-scale system test in May 2017. The propulsion, braking, levitation and vacuum systems are all performing well and the team have achieved a top speed of over 240 mph to date.

Where are hyper loops being built?

The 10 hyperloop projects across five countries are listed below:

• Canada - Toronto-Montreal

• US - Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh

• US - Cheyenne-Denver-Pueblo

• US - Miami-Orlando

• US - Dallas-Laredo-Houston

• Mexico - Mexico City-Guadalajara

• UK - Glasgow-Liverpool

• UK - Edinburgh-London

• India - Mumbai-Chennai

• India - Bengaluru-Chennai

How is Hyperloop better than other current modes of transportation?

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Accessibility: Like train stations, hyperloop stations, called portals, are planned to be located within inner-city areas with easy links to existing transport infrastructure. This will be beneficial for hyperloop systems as compared to air travel, as airports are located far away from city centers. Moreover, the system is being designed with “turn up and go” principle.

Speed: If hyperloop can decrease the travel duration between cities, this will allow people to live in other parts of the city or even country.

Clean energy: A hyperloop system requires minimal power to propel pods through its tubes as the vacuum environment poses little obstruction. The systems could be powered by renewable energies such as solar and wind, offering a much effective and cleaner alternative to air travel.

Safe: The tubes will be made using thick steel and will be designed to bear changes in pressure and air leaks while keeping their structural integrity in place and stopping it from external calamities or earthquake. Moreover, hyperloop systems will be constructed on designed pylons which are elevated seismically and are able to move and move independently of one another reducing damage in the event of a major ground shift. Sensors fixed along the route would swiftly report issues to the system control centre.

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