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Going electric: forget eco-friendly, it’s just a better car

steerIn the rush to deliver electric concept cars (check out the Toyota a couple posts earlier), car-makers are also waking up to the sideline benefits of switching to electric power.

By kicking out belts, pumps and other mechanical paraphernalia within engines – such as those that control your power steering, among other things – engineers are finding that they can cut weight, improve fuel efficiency and even make cars safer, less prone to breakdown and easier to drive. And it all contributes to a little less oil consumption.

“It’s one of the top technologies on percent of fuel returned for the dollar that you put in,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford’s chief engineer for chassis in North America. “All that parasitic drag is gone when you remove the pump off the engine.”

Because there is no power steering fluid to monitor, no belt to check and far fewer moving parts, maintenance costs are lower, manufacturers say.

Steering feel also can be changed electronically from a softer feel for highway driving to a tighter, more sporty setting for winding roads.

Find out more at ENN.

Of course, it’s all relative. Greenbang has also noticed that Norway has just banned car-makers from saying that their cars are clean, green, or environmentally friendly–because they just can’t really be.

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