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Page added on May 28, 2009

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The Peak Oil Crisis: The Electric Car: Part II

Unless we have an economic depression far worse than most currently believe is likely, the chances are good that within the next five years a combination of emissions restrictions and falling oil supplies is going to make gasoline too expensive for routine use in private automobiles.

The manufacturers recognize this and are rushing to produce pure electric or plug-in hybrid cars that will draw most of their energy consumption from the electric grid. The following is the second part of a discussion of a recent announcement by Nissan that they will be introducing the first full size electric sedan in the U.S. late next year.

The new Nissan five passenger sedan with a claimed 100-mile range is to come equipped for three charging options: Level I which is 120 volts; Level II which is 240 volts; and Level III which is a 480 volt fast charge. The first thing to note is that moving a five passenger sedan 100 miles with at least some accessories turned on is going to take a considerable amount of electrical energy. You are not going to get this amount of energy through an extension cord and a standard household circuit in a big hurry. Nissan will only say that a complete recharge can be accomplished with a 120 volt circuit overnight. Others put the time at 14 hours, think 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. on the charger before your car is ready to go again.

For this reason, Nissan is recommending that home owners install a 240 volt, 40 amp, charging device which will cut the recharge time down to four hours. Four hours is also practical for a workplace recharge or even an evening in a parking garage.

Falls Church News-Press



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