Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Gasoline engines are very inefficient at extracting energy by burning gasoline and converting it into mechanical energy used to turn the wheels. At best, they are only 20% efficient, meaning 80% of the energy is lost to heat. This is why there’s oil to cool the engine, coolant to cool the oil, a radiator to cool the coolant, and a fan to cool the radiator. In comparison, an electric motor is very efficient, because so little heat is produced. As a result, there is no need for engine oil, coolant, or radiator. So aside from not having to change your oil every 5,000 miles, you don’t have to worry about radiator, water pump, oil pump problems either. The air alone is enough to keep the electric engine at an optimum operating temperature. In addition, when the vehicle comes to a stop or is stuck in stop and go traffic, the electric engine shuts off instead of remaining idle like a combustion engine.

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