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10 SMT Magazine • March 2014 Pundits of ICE-powered cars tout the im- proving efficiency as proof that there's a lot of life left in this 150-year-old technology. I dis- agree. ICEs are too complicated and costly (en- vironmentally and geopolitically). By compari- son, they're slow, noisy and smelly. Here's what convinced me: I recently changed the spark plugs and spark plug wires on my 2005 Chevy Malibu, which had 100,000 miles on it. Three cylinders were upfront (really easy to get to) and three were up against the firewall with little room to get to the plugs. I got the job done, but it was a bear. Of course, shortly thereafter an engine warning light came on and after some Google searches I determined that I had to change the thermostat, which I did after draining all the radiator fluid. I had to dispose of the old fluid, buy more and refill the radiator. Sometime later, another warning light suggested I was low on oil. I guess my car was showing its age by requiring more oil than usu- al. In the past, I hadn't had to add any oil be- tween oil changes. Then, another warning light indicated (after more Google searches) I needed a new gas cap since my original factory cap was causing the fuel system to lose pressure. That's when I knew the gasoline-powered car was fin- ished. The ever-increasing complexity required by ICEs to meet the stringent government effi- ciency standards makes the ICEs a losing propo- sition. They can't compete. Electric cars don't need oil; they don't need to be cooled and therefore have no radiators. They don't have a gas tank (a bomb, literally), either. Electric motors have worked reliably by the millions, day in and day out for years with- out any, or very little, maintenance. Electric cars are very powerful and will shame any ICE comparable car off the line. You see it more and more at local drag strips as electrics take on ICE muscle cars, crushing them in head-to-head du- els. Global refueling stations (a plug) are already in place in every commercial building and in just about every home on the planet. Oh, and, The way i See iT ELEcTrIc carS arE ThE FUTUrE continues figure 1.

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