Battery-powered electric vehicles (ev) have been in use for more than 60 years, but little attempt has been made to develop them for public road transport until recently. The article describes recent designs of electric vans, buses, and cars. The major barrier to progress is shown to be the low energy storage density of batteries. Electric power is ideally suited to buses since their average speed during peak periods in cities is 8.5 mile/h, and 90 percent cover less than 40 miles in that 3-3.5 hour period. Batteries could be charged overnight and between peak periods. The ultimate energy density of lead-acid cells is such that they can only provide electric vehicles with a short range compared with those powered by the internal combustion engine. New types of cell are being investigated, but all have some technical faults; the solution may be to use a small efficient engine running at a constant speed to recharge the batteries until a high energy density battery is available. The major advantage of the electric vehicle is that by using energy from the national grid system the electric car could theoretically travel 100 miles on the same amount of crude oil used to make one gallon of petrol. /TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    1 Birdcage Walk
    London SW1H 9JJ,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Smith, W S
  • Publication Date: 1975-2

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 75-78
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00129690
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 10 1981 12:00AM