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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Opinion

Electric, solar cars carry many perks


On Wednesday, UH fleet coordinator Tuan Tran was showing off some of his cool new toys.’

Several electric and solar-powered vehicles UH is using to contribute to a greener campus were on display.

‘ Also on display were a couple of electric-powered golf carts. Although these vehicles are not breaking news, they are still a step in the right direction in terms of our transportation.’

However, much more impressive were the other vehicles on site.

The solar-powered golf cart, which British Petroleum donated to the University on Jan. 21, was also on display.’

It resembles a souped-up golf cart with a luggage rack on top, but this is much more than a luggage rack.’

This is just what you may assume it would be. It is powered by the sun and has a small, but useful, storage battery that saves approximately an hour’s worth of usage without sunlight. The vehicle can also be electrically charged.

The most exciting things on display, however, were the two new Miles Electric cars.

Miles Electric Cars is a company committed to making vehicles that produce zero emissions.’

Zero-emissions cars have become a more popular option on campuses such as Stanford University, Yale University, California State Polytechnic University, Queens College, UC Irvine, UC Davis and UCLA.’

NASA, the US Navy, the National Park Service and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District have also used them.

Here at UH we have the ZX40S, which is a four-door SUV that looks a little larger than a smart car.’

There is also the ZX40ST, which resembles the miniaturized Ford Ranger.’

This vehicle has a bed large enough to carry almost anything that you may need, but produces no tailgate emission.’

The zero-emissions issue may not seem like a huge deal at first glance.’

After all, it is only two cars out of the many that UH owns, but each gallon of gas used produces more than 19 pounds of carbon dioxide.’ During the course of a year, those emissions add up.

According to the Miles Electric Vehicles Web site, http://www.milesev.com, each of these cars cost $19,900.

This may seem a lot for a car that won’t be able to make it on to the highway and has a top speed of 25 mph, but there is a calculator on the Web site that can break down the total savings for the cars.’

In the quick calculation I ran, my average cost of driving my car was 9 cents per mile, and the cost of driving the ZX40S would only be slightly more than 2 cents per mile.’

Throughout the course of a year this would save a total of $700.’

Of course, your driving is slightly different than what the ZX40S would be capable of (thanks to the devil known as US-59).’

While in terms of the functionality there is still plenty of room for improvementit is almost on par with their luxury items.’

The ZX40S has air conditioning and a CD player that makes it much easier to use.

In the end, we have made massive improvements in terms of our technology and our ability to create green machines.

The remaining challenge is the need to integrate green technology into our daily lives so we can reap the benefits of the tools we now have.’

Hopefully we will be able to take this next step forward along with Detroit, and it will be a win-win situation both for the economy and the environment.

Job Tennant is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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