By: Mat Carlile
|Electric Studebakers were a popular |
Image credit: electricvehiclesnews.com
EVs have come a long way from their humble beginnings in the 1880s. Electric cars were quite popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, with consumers preferring clean, quiet EVs over noxious-smelling gasoline vehicles. By 1910, EVs could travel between 50-100 miles on a single charge. Advances in the internal combustion engine, the mass production of gas cars, lower gas prices, and the growth of a refueling infrastructure gave gas cars a distinct advantage over EVs, and by the 1920s the United States stopped producing electric cars.
|The 1970s saw the introduction of the electric CitiCar|
Image credit: electricandhybridcars.com
The announcement in 2006 that Tesla Motors had developed an electric sports car that could travel more than 200 miles on a single charge sparked renewed interest in EVs and the possibilities for a new generation of electric vehicles. Today, there are more than 23 plug-in EVs available to car buyers, with even more models in development, including small wagons, SUVs, and mid-size cars.
|Sales of electric cars are growing exponentially|
Image credit: fix.com
Utah’s growing network of charging stations make it even easier to charge EVs, and websites and apps help travelers find fast-charging stations along the freeway. Interestingly, Utah is at the forefront of innovation in EV charging: Utah State University recently began construction on a test track for “in-motion” wireless charging of EVs that will reduce consumer “range anxiety” between charges.
|Charging a DEQ EV at the agency's charging station|
Want to learn more? The Department of Energy has compiled some interesting facts about electric vehicles, and the Environmental Protection Agency has put together a short, informative YouTube video that will get you up-to-speed on the advantages of electric cars. Visit the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) Clean Fuels Program webpage to learn more about alternate fuel vehicles, tax credits, and DAQ’s clean fuel vehicle grant and loan program.
I have worked with the Utah Division of Air Quality for 10 years. I have a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Brigham Young University. My wife Carrie and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in June. We have four children. I love reading, investigating history, traveling, and playing basketball, volleyball, football, and ultimate Frisbee.