Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Electric Vehicles Being Tested in Antarctica

Currently, two electric vehicles are being tested in Antarctica to see how effective they are and if they could replace some of the diesel trucks used in Antarctica.  The electric vehicles being used are E-ride EXV2s.  One is owned by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, part of the US Department of Energy) and one is owned by Raytheon Polar Services.  These vehicles hold two passengers and have a truck bed.  They can go up to 25 MPH and uses lead based batteries.  The vehicles uses battery warming devices, although the harsh Antarctic conditions still limit what the vehicle can do.

It would certainly be a good thing if they can make electric vehicles work in Antarctica and replace at least some of the diesel vehicles.  However, at the same time it is good that they are doing research and not just jumping the gun in an effort to appear more green, as it is possible the energy consumption could be equal or more to the diesel vehicles if the electric vehicles need to use a lot of energy to work in the harsh cold.

Further Reading on this topic here.

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