La economía del automóvil eléctrico


The electric car is calling again to our door, but this time it seems to be to remain. Electric car was born at the same time, or even before, than the conventional car with an internal combustion engine. Only the different evolution of energy storage on board has defined the success of the current petrol and diesel cars, pushed by the availability of an abundant and cheap fuel, against the electric ones, penalised by the slow development of batteries or other storage systems. A first evaluation is given about the role and importance of the automobile, and the automotive industry, in the world today.
The electric cars have appeared again during the recent history, when political troubles and wars have put under question the easy availability of crude oil, inducing price increases, or more recently, with the increasing consciousness about pollutant emissions and quality of air in the cities. But the real factor that is pushing currently the electric cars and vehicles is the Global Warming. Conventional fuels are contributing heavily to the greenhouse effect, and specially its use for a road transport, that is increasing slowly but firmly the temperature of Earth. Different international organizations are behind the studies, that are changing minds and pushing the UNO and European Commission to legislate about energy consumption reductions, and GHG abatement. The Directive already launched by European Commission to limit CO2 emissions from passenger cars, to 120 g/km in 2012, has pushed car manufacturers to develop more efficient power-trains for their cars, basically using still conventional technologies in combustion engines. But a new abatement of this figure to 95 g/km in 2020 makes almost impossible to reach it with normal internal combustion
engines, and the application of new technologies, like Hybrid and Pure Electric Cars, will be compulsory. The paper describes the different technologies applied to the construction of Hybrid and Electric Cars, with several typologies each, and goes in deep on the technologies developed for energy storage on board, with different types of batteries, ultracapacitors, and other storage systems.
Finally, a projections of future, and some conclusions are presented.

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