Science Club
  1. Does Black Bark Mulch Help Keep Moisture in the Soil?
  2. How Much Water does a Fountain Use?
  3. Find your Body Surface Area
  4. How Fast do French Fries Cool Down?
  5. My Year of Coincidences
  6. Which Firework is the Loudest?
  7. Cost to store a VHS tape in a NYC apartment?
  8. Guess Your Blood Alcohol Level Booth
  9. Find the Loudest Restaurant in Sacramento
  10. How Much do Clothes Weigh?
  11. Trying to Make Clear Ice
  12. Searching the Indian Ocean for a Plane Crash
  13. Electronic Cigarettes - The Fog Machine for Your Face
  14. Scott Leased an Electric Ford Focus
  15. Testing the Effectiveness of a Beer Cozy
  16. Eggshells vs. Taco Shells
  17. How Ice Rinks are Made
  18. Shaken vs. Stirred
  19. Real Appliance Energy Use Tests
  20. Christmas Lights Power Cost
  21. The Best Cold Drink Cup
  22. LED vs. Regular Bulbs & CFLs
  23. Coldest drink in town?
  24. Using Salt to Cool Down Beer
  25. Coors Light Cold Indicator
  26. The Fastest Way to Cool Down Beer
  27. Hairdryer vs. Bowl of Water
  28. Bathroom During a Movie?
  29. Video Projector on a Disco Ball
  30. Cool Trunk
  31. The weight of popcorn
  32. Sunchips bag decomposition
  33. Disscating a cockroach
  34. Sensefly Drone Camera
  35. Entrance Locked
  36. End Rubbernecking
  37. Eyeclops Night Vision
  38. Miracle Fruit Taste Test
  39. Hot Air Bubbles
  40. Helium Bubbles
  41. Neighborhood Speed Trap
  42. Pizza Race
  43. Eyeclops - Bionic Magnifier
  44. Breathalyzer Testing
  45. Fishing Line Fiberoptics
  46. The Value of CFL Bulbs
  47. Barry Marshall Fan Page
  48. Bottling the Keg Leftovers
  49. Spinning Rim Centrifuge
  50. Backwash Experiments
  51. sidewalk chalk
  52. Red Hot Vioxx Action!
  53. Balloon Delivery
  54. Tanning
  55. Making a Candle Out of Lipstick
  56. Evaporation
  57. The lift of a Helium Balloon
  58. Lard Candle
  59. The Properties of Heat Transfer
  60. Insulation Testing
  61. Eating Out
  62. Eating In
  63. Tattoo Removal
  64. Drying Laundry
  65. Viscosity Testing
  66. Magazine Advertising
  67. Collecting Data
  68. Dropping Toast
  69. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  70. Tampons
  71. Light Bulbs

How much is Inside?
Community & Citizenship
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Science Club
Incredible Stuff
How To Guides


Comparing Electric Cars to Gasoline-Powered Cars

I've been trying to think of a way to completely summarize the prospect of owning an electric car.

The fuel is cheaper.
Gasoline is $3.70 per gallon. Electricity is $1.08 for 9 Kilowatt/hours. Both will get you about 27 miles.

Another way to think of it is that the electric car travels about 3.5 times as far for the same money.

I probably spend more money driving to lunch in my car that I would driving to work in an electric one.

The car can't hold a lot of fuel.
A Ford Focus electric can only hold enough electricity to travel 80 miles. That's similar to a gas-powered car with a three gallon tank.

The Tesla cars have gigantic batteries which give them much longer ranges, up to 300 miles.

There aren't any gas cans.
An electric car will let you know how much electricity you have and how many more miles you can go with that electricity. If you ignore this information, and run out of fuel on the freeway, empty, you are kind of screwed. You'll have to walk to a Home Depot and get a Honda Generator.

The Chevy Volt and Ford Energi cars have a gas-powered generator on board, giving them unlimited range.

There aren't a lot of electricity stations, but electricity is everywhere.
Electricity is like hot water. Hot water is widely available, but it can actually be hard to get your hands on if you are away from home. Electricity isn't generally sold at stores.

The Tesla electric car company has a few "Supercharger" charge stations set up in California. This one is just north of the Grapevine on I-5.


City driving uses less fuel than highway driving.
The motors in electric cars are all probably most efficient at very low speeds, such as 25 miles per hour. Above is a graph I stole from Tesla's website showing peak range at about 22 miles per hour. City driving requires more stops, but every modern electric car uses regenerative braking and there is no cost to idle at a stoplight in an electric car.

The Chevy Volt has an option to "reserve" your battery charge for city driving, if, for example, you drive first on the open freeway, then in traffic on your way to work.

When you are filling up, the fuel flows into your car slowly.
Gas pumps at a gas station are amazing. They can dispense 400 gallons in one hour. Unfortunately, that will cost $1,500.

This is a big difference with electric cars, probably the deal breaker for most people. The batteries of an electric car can't be filled up in 5 minutes like a gas-powered car. Scott's Ford Focus requires 20 hours to fuel completely, and the Nissan Leaf takes even longer. A gallon of gasoline is approximately equivalent to 9 Kilowatts/hours, in that both will drive you 27 miles. With an electric car, it will take 7 hours of "regular outlet" charging to get that power into your battery. One gallon in seven hours is equivalent to gasoline dripping into a car very slowly. Drip. Pause, Drip, Pause, Drip. Like one DROP every two seconds.


Imagine fueling your car at that speed. Luckily it can happen unattended in your own garage, and more luckily, a whole night of charging will only cost $2.

A 240V charger will make the process faster.

The Tesla "Supercharger" stations can mostly refuel a Tesla in 20 minutes. If I try to extend the dripping fuel analogy, that would be like a gasoline showerhead spraying into your Tesla tank.

Electric cars are finally actually coming. They are super-efficient, and use an abundant, mostly home-grown energy source. An increased use of electric cars is going to slow demand for gasoline and put downward pressure on the price of gas for the rest of us.

Even if electric cars aren't right for you, that should be enough to make you a fan.


The Quest for a solid ice beer tray   Heat Transfer Experiments   Eyeclops Digital Magnifier   Trying to make hot air bubbles   Eyeclops Night Vision goggles   How to Eliminate Rubbernecking   My Homemade Speed Trap 
  • Photographic Height/Weight Chart
  • The Weight of Clothing
  • The Television Commercial Database

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