Why Will Future Automobiles Be Electric? The Superiority of Electric Traction

(Directed by the Lord Jesus – Prov 3:6; Col 3:17)

An outstanding example of the superiority of electric traction is to be found in the Class 6E locomotives of the former South African Railways (now called Spoornet). These electric locomotives were supplied by GEC (now Alstom) about 1960. Recently, after almost a half century of reliable service, they were refurbished by Alstom in the Pretoria workshops of Spoornet. Most of them had done over 10 million kilometers. Their original equipment comprised four 3000 volt conventional DC traction motors, each of 600kW. They had conventional split ring commutators which required servicing periodically. In the refurbishment, these commutators were replaced by external solid state devices, which provided for electronic traction control and load equalizing. This has resulted in an improvement in efficiency from 75% to 95%, making them more powerful. As such they are now virtually maintenance-free and probably good for yet another half century of service. After refurbishment they were given the class 18E, and painted in an attractive shade of blue with silver lettering.

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Electric Cars – A True Mass Product or a Niche?

Well, both the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt have been on the market for a while. Both were introduced in slow roll outs at the end of last year. So enough time has passed to ascertain how they are selling. Edmunds.com, a major auto site, has reported that between January 1, 2011 and April 1, 2011 1536 Chevrolet Volts were sold while, during the same period, only 471 Leafs have been sold. In March Chevrolet announced that sales of the Volt would rise in May and that they expected that 10,000 Volts would be delivered by the end of the year.

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Core Components of a Vehicle’s Electrical System

The electrical system of every vehicle is made up of four primary components. These parts include the battery, alternator, starter, and connectors. While a malfunction in any of these components can render a vehicle useless, there are some common problems that everyone should be aware of. Having a basic level of understanding relating to these problems could save you a trip to your local auto electrician.

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