Big Oil Companies No longer Pull the Plug on Electric Vehicles

Introduction

As gas prices continue to rise throughout the nation, rumors of oil conspired wars loom in the Middle East, and the lingering threat of human-induced harmful global warming becomes a reality; it is clear that an alternative form of energy must be implemented soon to replace the nation’s addiction to oil. While oil is used for many different forms of energy, vehicles used for transportation are responsible for a large portion of the oil consumption in the United States. Therefore, the need to convert our gas-guzzling autos to run off of alternative forms of energy is the first step to wining our nation off of oil usage.

Over the past decade, there have been several attempts to produce alternative forms of energy which can be converted to power by our every day drivers. These attempts have encompassed everything from solar to alcohol powered vehicles; however, due to lack of technology most of these non-greenhouse emitting vehicles have remained as nothing more than a dream. However, electric vehicles proves to be the exception as it has already been mass produced in 1996 by one of the Nations leading auto manufactures.

The first initial push that drove automobile producers to create an electric car came from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The CARB mandated that 2% of the cars sold in California by 1998 must be considered “Zero Emission Vehicles”(ZEVs). After the 1998 dead line, new requirements were made by the CARB, mandating that by 2003, 10% of all automobiles sold in California must be ZEVs (Motavalli, 1997).

General Motors was one of the first companies to meet the CARB’s new mandates for the first zero emission vehicle. They did this with the release of the first electric vehicle known as the EV1 (Electric Vehicle 1). Conversely, soon after General Motors started, they abandoned the popular project joining the Federal Government in successfully suing the State of California to remove the CARB zero emissions requirements.

Hence, despite the large need, want and availability of the mass production of electric vehicles—they are still not being produced due to the overwhelming influence of oil driven industries and the Federal Government’s lack of intervention.

The Need

Global warming has been the center of environmental debate since 1896 when Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, hypnotized that the build up of carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels, such as coal, would increase the temperature on the planet (Clemmitt, 2006). Since the establishment of Arrhenisus’ theory on global warming over 100 years ago, scientific advancements, and new technologies have re-enforced his theory. However, the most convincing evidence of global warming is the actual changes that are occurring throughout the globe.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the global temperature has increased by one degree Fahrenheit (Clemmitt, 2006). While one degree may not seem worthy of alarm, a change in one degree can cause a devastating domino effect that can lead to the demise of the entire planet. For example, the one-degree increase in the global temperature has caused many of the worlds glaciers to begin to melt. Glacier melting is currently affecting Montana’s Glacier National Park, where nearly 120 glaciers have melted since 1910. As glaciers, such as those in Montana’s Glacier National Park, melt they cause the sea levels throughout the world to rise in both temperature and depth. Although the negative effects of melting glaciers and rising sea levels may not seem detrimental, the increase temperatures from global warming are responsible for “… providing added fuel to growing storms and hurricanes, making them more intense” (Lener, 2006). The overwhelming deadly aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been directly attributed to global warming. Rising global temperatures are also being blamed for the European heat wave of 2003 that was responsible for killing 25,000 people (Clemmitt 2006). The list of increasing powerful and frequent natural disasters continues to grow as the globe continues to heat up.

The director of Climate and Global Dynamics Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, James Hurrell, told the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently that, “The climate is changing, and the rate of change as projected exceeds anything seen in nature in the past 10,000 years” (Clemmitt, 2006). With the deadly effects of global warming already unfolding throughout the world, the solution must be implemented immediately.

Currently, green house gasses are the highest they have been in 75,000 years. In addition, human emitted carbon dioxide is at the highest levels it has ever been in the history of man (Clemmitt, 2006). Hence, it is hard to ignore the theory, of human induced-global warming, when green house gas concentrations are parallel to the large amount of human produced carbon dioxide. It is also hard to ignore a panel of nearly 25,000 scientists gathered together in 2001 to form the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The team of scientist reported “That most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is attributable to human activities” (Cooper 2001). They furthered their argument by predicting that the Earth’s overall temperature could climb up to eleven degrees Fahrenheit, under the worst-case conditions, if the amount of green house gases continue to rise (Cooper 2001). If this takes place scientists have projected that “such a rise could inundate many low-lying islands and eventually threaten such areas as the New York City borough of Manhattan and Miami Beach” (Griffin, 1992). The green house gases responsible for current and future disasters are made-up of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. The increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are the direct result of the burning of fossil fuels and the source of most of the danger.

As show in Figure 1, nearly 1/3 of the increased levels of carbon dioxide can be contributed to transportation ( Cooper 2001).

Figure 1

Carbon dioxide is one of the byproducts that are produced by the burning of gasoline within the combustible engine found in all cars and trucks on the road today.

In other words, one of the solutions to preventing further global warming is to either stop transportation all together or implement an alternative form of energy, which does not produce carbon dioxide, to power our vehicles. Obviously, the economy and the human way of life would cease to exist if we stopped transportation altogether. However, the obvious decision to use an alternative form of fuel to save the earth is rejected by major oil companies and other related industries to keep Americans addicted to oil in order not to loose their $300 billion dollar a year industry (Motavalli, 1997).

The Kyoto Protocol

Recently, measures have been taken to curb the production of carbon dioxide, not only on a state level with the “Zero-Emissions Law” passed by the California State Legislature, but these efforts are also seen on a global level as well. In 1997, more than 150 countries met in Kyoto Japan to sign the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that required signing countries to reduce green house gasses to 5% below 1990 levels by 2005 through the implementation of taxes and laws. The United States, responsible for emitting the largest amount of green house gases, vowed to cut their share by 7% under the Clinton administration. As the deadline for the Protocol was set for February of 2005, the United States, under the Bush Administration, has since changed their stance stating that there is a lack of scientific evidence to support global warming (Cooper, 2001). Bush was also quoted by saying it [the Kyoto Protocol] shackled the U.S. economy(Cooper, 2005). In addition to the Bush administrations lack of support to the Kyoto Protocol, the U.S. Senate and the House of representatives are also opposed to the treaty (Clemmitt, 2006). One can only speculate that the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and California’s zero emissions laws are just two examples of a larger picture: the oil and auto industries massive influence on the United States Government.

The Oil Industries Influence in the Government

The WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association) is made up a coalition of oil companies that are located in the western United States including: Mobile, Shell, Chevron and Arco. The WSPA is also one of the top five lobbyist employers in California. Therefore, much of the lobbying done in California is influenced from the major oil companies. Two of the major activist seen in California State’s legislature is know as CAUCA (Californians Against Utility Company Abuse) and CHAT (Californians Against Hidden Taxes). Both of these lobbyists are funded in part by the WSPA (Motavalli, 1997). The executive director of the “Grass Roots” lobby CHAT, Linda Mangels, even said, “I believe most, if not all of our funding comes from WSPA –that’s no secret,” (Motavalli, 1997). With such a powerful influence in the state legislature the WSPA has declined how much money it has invested in the campaign against the electric car mandates such as the Zero Emissions Mandate by the CARB and the CETC. (California Electric Transportation Coalition).

In addition to the massive influence of the WSPA, the coming fourth electric vehicle has also been hit hard by the AAMA (American Automobile Manufactures Association). The AAMA has done its own lobbying campaign against the electric vehicle. In six months, the auto industry spent around $500,000 to campaign against the electric car mandates (Motavalli, 1997). While that number may not seem that impressive, it represents nearly four times the amount of money the California Electric Transportation Coalition has available each year.

In a recent study named the Pollution Politics, done between the years 1991-1995, revealed that nearly $34 million dollars in public policy was spent by oil companies and automakers to influence public opinion against the electric car mandates. Of the $34 million spent, $29 million went towards lobbying and $3.97 million went towards donations to legislative candidates (Motavalli, 1997). The majority of the public relations campaigns done by both the auto and oil companies were aimed at the increase of taxes that it would take to promote the electric car. The public, however, was not informed of the larger amount of money they are currently spending to continue the use of gas-powered vehicles. As the numbers and facts are examined it is clear that the oil industry has used its power and influence, both monetarily and legally, to keep the electric car from being produced.

The Want

As gas prices rise and rumors of oil conspired wars are consistently looming in the Middle East, it comes as no surprise that the general public would prefer an electric powered vehicle over a gas powered vehicle. While a mass produced electric vehicle is not currently available on the market, the electric and gas hybrid is. The hybrid car takes electric technology and combines it with the traditional gas powered engine. The result is a low emissions vehicle that has a high mile per gallon rating, as the car relies on both electric and gas power.

In a resent study done by J.D. Power and Associates, 57% of the consumers in the U.S. who expected to purchase a new vehicle by 2009 are considering a hybrid vehicle (King Flounders, 2007). This attraction to hybrid vehicles offers the most realistic glimpse into the future of the motor vehicle industry. Hence, it seems only logical that if the hybrid vehicle is attracting consumers because of the electric qualities, that a completely electric vehicle would gain an even greater demand.

This demand for an electric car was recently experienced by General Motor Company with the release of the first production electric vehicle, the EV1. The first EV1 concept car was revealed in the Los Angles Auto Show, in 1990. General Motor executives were surprised by the large demand for the concept to become a reality. The demands were not only from the public but also from the California State Legislature as they continued to enforce the Zero-Emissions Law that required General Motors to produce the vehicle. The EV1 was released by General Motors to the general public in the fall of 1996. As the public discovered that the completely electric car was about to hit the market, it became obvious that the demand for the EV1 was still strong.

Even with the limited availability, there was a large waiting list to purchase the new electric cars. Perhaps the large demand for the EV1 spawned from its ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in nine seconds, the standard air bags, anti-lock breaks, cruise control, traction control, electric locks, keyless entry and ignition, liquid free batteries, aluminum frame, or the 90 mile highway range of the batteries (Cook 1996). The car had such a high demand that the Saturn dealerships, where the car was offered for lease, had to screen the potential owners and then select only the most qualified applicants from the list (Cook 1996). Those that qualified were only allowed to lease the EV1 with no option of purchase. Of course the EV1 had its share of critics; however, due to the popular demand, it was apparent that General Motors had taken a step in the right direction.

At the end of the leasing option in 2003, many of the satisfied owners offered to buy the EV1. Instead of taking the buyers offers General Motors had all the EV1 returned, taken to a junk yard in Arizona and crushed (More, 2006). This bizarre decision to suddenly crush the vehicles raised the eyebrows of many EV1 enthusiasts. The decision to crush the EV1 came the same month the State of California lifted the Zero-Emissions mandate to accept lower forms of carbon producing vehicles (Silberg, 2006).

The Means

After the recall of the EV1, General Motors stated that the production costs for the all electric vehicles were too high and the technology did not allow for their production. While this excuse may have been effective over ten years ago, it has become more apparent that the technology is currently available and affordable. The technology to build an electric car has become so affordable that as Bill More, an author of the Mother Earth News, points out, “Anyone who has the time, talent and the resources can convert a conventional automobile to electric drive” (More, 2006). Of course most Americans do not have the ability to convert their daily driver into an electric vehicle, but it does show that the technology is currently available.

Often times many critics of the electric car debate that the car would need re-charging too often in order to allow the user to travel the distances needed throughout the day. Amazingly enough, one of the breakthroughs technologies of the EV1 was the ability to reuse kinetic energy displaced when breaking. This recycled energy could charge the battery up to 30%. Of course advanced breaking methods do not replace the need for recharging the batteries, but there are ways of incorporating charging batteries into our everyday life as seen in Europe.

Electric cars are one of the fastest growing forms of transportation in London; the number of electric cars jumping from 49 to 1,278 in two years. To make up for this increased form of electric transportation London has provided re-charge bays next to most parking meters (Britain: Charging around the city; Electric cars, 2007). It is only a matter of time before all of England is equipped to handle the electric car.

While the mass produced electric car is not currently on the market, smaller simpler electric vehicles are. The electric
scooter [http://www.mycityscooters.com] and electric bike are two forms of electric vehicles that are mass produced and can be bought at the local toy shop or even over the Internet. The electric scooter can be bought in two forms; the classic Vespa style, which appears resemble a motorcycle; or the children style electric scooter that represents a push style scooter. Both types of electric scooters are extremely popular amongst college students and inner-city commuters alike. The electric scooter is powered by batteries that can be re-charged using a conventional AC adaptor. Jerome Byrd, a web publisher, who lives in Philadelphia, has driven to work and throughout Philadelphia on his electric scooter and has gone nearly a total of 30,000 miles (Moore, 2007).

Even more popular is the electric
bike [http://www.mycityscooters.com]. Just like the electric scooter, the electric bike is powered by batteries and can come in two forms: the human assisted (comes with pedals) or the completely electric bike (does not need pedals). While there are many different forms of e-bikes they are all measured in watts and amps. The more watts and amps that you purchase the more powerful the electric bike (and scooter) are. These bikes can reach up to 24 mph and travel up to 15 miles on a single charge. Although, the electric scooter and electric bike are by no means an alternative to a car, their ability to be mass produced commercially is paving the way.

Conclusion

Each year, as the temperature rises and more human lives are lost to the intensified natural disasters due to global warming, we are reminded of the need for a solution to combat global warming. The solution comes in the form of a pollution free electric vehicle. While the mighty oil companies and their minions, the U.S. government and auto manufacturers, have done all they can to stop alternative forms of energy from emerging, the overwhelming need, the undeniable want and the available technologies cannot stop the electric car from once again quietly gliding down a street near you some day soon.

References

Britain: Charging around the city; Electric cars. (2007, June). The Economist, 383(8531), 38. Retrieved August 3, 2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1280674301).

Clemmitt, M. (2006, January 27). Climate change. CQ Researcher, 16, 73-96. Retrieved August 3, 2007, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2006012700.

Cook, W. (1996, September 30). Look, mom, no gas. U.S. News & World Report, 121(13), 52. Retrieved July 31, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Cooper, M. (2001, January 26). Global warming treaty. CQ Researcher, 41-64. Retrieved July 31, 2007, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2001012600. Graphic

Cooper, M. (2005, February 25). Alternative fuels. CQ Researcher, 15, 173-196. Retrieved August 7, 2007, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2005022500.

Griffin, R. D. (1992, February 7). Threatened coastlines. CQ Researcher, 2, 97-120. Retrieved August 7, 2007, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre1992020700.

“Global Warming: The Culprit? Evidence mounts that human activity is helping fuel these monster hurricanes”. (2006). In Brenda Lerner & K. Lerner (Eds.), Environmental Issues: Essential Primary Sources, (139-142). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved August 07, 2007, from Gale Virtual Reference Library via Thomson Gale:

Moore, B. (2007, April). Ride Green with Electric Bikes and Scooters. Mother Earth News, Retrieved August 7, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Motavalli, J. (1997, March). The ties that blind. E Magazine: The Environmental Magazine, 8(2), 36. Retrieved August 4, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Silberg, J. (2006, July). Who Killed the Electric Car?: Plinyminor’s New Model for Production and Post. Videography, 31(07), 16. Retrieved August 7, 2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1094860951).>

Electric Smart Cars – Rational Reasons and Results When Buying One

There are many reasons for buying any electric smart car, hybrid electric or plugin hybrid electric vehicle. The soaring costs of gas is likely the biggest and most pressing issue when considering buying an electric car. The environment and the planet is another concern. Whatever the reason, buying any BEV, PHEV or green planet-friendly automobile instead of that fossil-fuel burning internal combustion engine car, we’ll certainly have a positive effect on helping save the planet and save you money as well.

In order to make a smart electric car buying decisions, it is important to understand what the different types of electric-powered vehicles, and how smart electric cars work.

There are three types of electric assisted vehicle that utilize an electric motor of some kind. The battery electric vehicle (BEV) is as the name suggests-a battery powered vehicle. There is no other power source for the vehicle, no internal combustion engine (ICE) running on gasoline, and therefore the battery must be charged between uses, and will discharge during use until it runs out. At this point the vehicle can no longer run, so you’ll need to be near a charging point before you run out of gas, I mean electric juice.

Two types of hybrid electric vehicles offer the best of both the electric and the ICE vehicle worlds. The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) uses an electric motor to either propel the car or to increase the power. Generally the result of this is to extend the distance that it can travel on a tank of fuel, giving the hybrid electric car better fuel economy.

Lastly there is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This runs in a largely similar way to the HEV but with one major difference-the battery can be plugged into a charging point, in order to completely charge the battery to its maximum capacity. The HEV by comparison can only charge its battery with the current generated by its ICE, or through regenerative breaking (a process in which energy is reclaimed during breaking rather than lost). By fully charging the battery the use of electrical power can be prolonged, and the use of gasoline reduced, making the PHEV the more economical of the hybrid electric vehicles.

The drive-train of a BEV is very simple-a battery powers the motor, which propels the electric vehicle. The hybrid electric vehicles will run an ICE and electric motor either in parallel or in series, with both the ICE and electric motor being able to move the electric or hybrid electric vehicle. A capacitor allows energy to be channeled back into the battery too, and in the case of the PHEV a separate charging circuit like that of the BEV is included to separately charge the hybrid electric vehicle.

There are two types of battery that are used in BEV, PHEV and HEV cars. Nickel metal hydride batteries are an older technology, and one that suffers from battery degradation more quickly than others. Newer, lithium-ion batteries are far more efficient, as well as longer lasting in both electric and hybrid electric vehicles. They don’t suffer from memory formation like nickel metal hydride batteries, and tend to be able to provide more power for the engine than the alternative.

Older hybrid electric vehicles may still use lead-acid batteries, but these are generally now considered bad for the environment, and are no longer used.

There are pros and cons to making the move to an electric or hybrid vehicle. They are cheaper to run than ICE cars and have good speed, and hybrid electric vehicles have good range too. But the BEV class can run generally for only up to 40-200 miles, leading to what is known as range anxiety. Hybrid electric vehicles overcome by using the ICE as well, giving vastly superior range.

Another downside is that the batteries wear out and need replacing. This is an expensive part on the car, and on a BEV the battery failure means that the car will completely fail to run. A hybrid at least has its ICE on which to fall back.

However, the overall running costs to the owner are far less than for a vehicle with an ICE. The electric or hybrid electric vehicle has less moving parts and so less chances of failure that needs repair. Fuel efficiency of a hybrid is hugely increased, saving money for every mile driven, and for a BEV is even less as electrical energy is cheaper than gas.

One of the biggest benefits to these vehicles is to the planet. Our oil reserves are finite and dwindling, and their continued use in this way further pollutes the environment. Moving to electric or hybrid electric vehicles will drastically reduce the pollutants emitted, and will slow the rate at which our planet’s natural resources are exhausted.

As far as the economy is concerned, electric and hybrid vehicles could be very positive development. The production of large numbers of these vehicles would require the building or converting manufacturing factories, and the hiring of workers to staff the factories. Claims are often made that our economy is heavily reliant on oil, and that moving away from it would destroy us, but the truth is quite different. By embracing these technologies, our economy can shift its dependence from oil onto alternatives, just as our motoring needs do.

An all-electric or hybrid vehicle may cost a little more to insure than a gas vehicle. Though a small saving is possible thanks to the improved risk profile of people who own electric vehicles, other costs are higher. However, repairing electric or hybrid vehicles currently costs more because there are fewer of these vehicles on the road, and because spare parts are less abundant. This increases repair costs, which insurance companies pass on to owners. Savings in running costs can help offset this.

Options are varied when considering purchasing one of these cars, giving potential owners a good range of choice when it comes to the power, size and range of their vehicle. The following are currently available or soon to be released, highway ready environmentally-friendly cars. Full details are not available for some of those cars that are not yet on sale.

The Nissan Leaf is an all electric car doing 100 miles per charge and up to 90 mph, and starting at $33,720. This is a modern looking car with a reasonable range, and a competitive pricing. The Tesla Roaster is also all-electric, with an incredible 245 miles per charge, 125 mph top speed, and costs starting at $101,500. This is a stunning looking car with an equally stunning performance-and a range like no other electric car.

The Smart-ED all-electric model has a 98 mile maximum range, and a top speed of 60 mph. This small car will be perfect for city driving. Starting at $599 a month for a four year lease.

Ford’s own all electric car-the Ford Focus has yet to be released but is expected to have a range in excess of 100 miles per charge. This car will be available from late 2011, and looks to provide all of the high-tech options that people may want, in a very stylish exterior. Final price and other details have yet to be released.

Chevrolet’s Volt is a PHEV that is capable of speeds of 100 mph. Fuel economy depends on how often you charge the battery, with official figures released at 60 mpg using gas and electric combined. Prices start at $32,780, giving this a reasonable price tag along with good performance.

Toyota’s Prius is a PHEV that has an incredible range of 475 miles on a single tank of gas, when using combined gas and the electric motor. Unfortunately, since it won’t be available till early 2012 there are no more details regarding performance and pricing.

A full hybrid version of the Toyota Prius is also available, with a base price of $23,520. With a combined mileage of 50mpg and a top speed of 112 mph, it has enough power and efficiency for anyone. This is a tried and trusted hybrid car with a good reputation.

Ford’s Fusion has a hybrid version as well, with a starting price of $19,820. With a 700 mile range per full tank of fuel, and 41 mpg, it is powerful and sleek, and has the range to take you wherever you want to go.

The Escalade hybrid from Cadillac is a luxury SUV, and so it’s price tag is a little larger, at $74,135. Fuel efficiency is good for an SUV at up to 23 mpg and a range of up to 575 miles per tank. This SUV balances the needs of a larger family with the desire to be a little more environmentally friendly, and does so with incredible style.

Electric Razor Guide

The electric razor (also known as the electric dry shaver) has a rotating or oscillating blade. The electric razor itself does not require the use of shaving cream, soap or water, with the razor being powered by a small DC motor. The typical major designs of this evolution in shaving includes the foil variety of electric razor, which uses a fine structure of layered metal bands that partially pulls out the hair follicle before cutting off the extracted length and then allowing the remainder of the hair follicle to retract below the surface of the skin. A recent study in the UK alone has discovered that almost 32% of men shave regularly with an electric razor. Using an electric razor has many great benefits without the major disadvantages that can be associated to shaving with a blade. If properly used, most electric razors can offer the user a shave that is every bit of close as a normal shave but with the absence of cuts and scraping irritation, The electric razor is a quicker, less messy and more convenient way to shave, but however some patience is necessary when starting to use a razor of this type, as the skin usually takes some time to adjust to the way the electric razor lifts and cuts the hair.

Preparation Before Shaving

To begin shaving with an electric razor you must follow the correct preparation in order to achieve the ultimate electric razor shaving experience, we recommend the following to begin:

1. A good facial wash or facial scrub – Either of these products will clean the face and leave the pores open and ready for shaving.

2. A good quality pre shave oil – This can be just normal pre shave oil or specifically formulated electric razor pre shave oil, both will allow the razor to glide effortlessly over the skin and will decrease the chances of painful pulling.

3. An electric razor (obviously)- This can have one of two head designs, either foil or rotary. The rotary cutting system works well on people with lighter facial and beard hair, whilst the foil cutting system is more effective on dense thick facial hair and beards.

4. An electric razor brush – This will allow the cleaning of the electric razor once the shave has commenced and will allow the razor to operate at maximum efficiency

5. A premium quality skin food product – Whilst shaving your facial hair the user will also shave a layer of skin off the face. This will usually contain vital minerals and nutrients that promote healthy skin, a skin food product will replenish these mineral reserves.

6. Finally a skin moisturiser or aftershave milk, both of these will replenish the skins moisture after shaving and will allow it to retain the moisture it produces; this will help the skin heal faster and more effectively after shaving.

Shaving With An Electric Razor

In order to get the most out of your electric razor and to achieve the finest and closest shaving experience you’ve ever had, these are the steps that we recommend:

1. Firstly make sure you purchase the correct electric razor for your facial hair type. As mentioned previously, the rotary head design shaving system works better on lighter and finer facial hair and beards, whilst the foil head operated system is more effective on dense and thick facial hair and beards.

2. Prepare your face properly with a good quality facial scrub or facial wash and dry thoroughly. This will open the pores and clean the skin ready for the shave.

3. Next use a pre-shave oil, let this oil sink deep into the skin and use it generously over the face. This will act as a lubricant between the skin and the electric razor, thus reducing friction. This oil will also help the hair follicles to straighten making them easier to shave and with less risk of pulling.

4. While you are waiting for the pre-shave oil to sink into the skin you should briefly clean your electric razor with the cleaning brush provided. Brush each of the electric razor heads separately and the protective shields on the electric razor as well. Not only will this enable and closer more comfortable shave, but it will also preserve your electric razor for longer.

5. Once shaving has commenced start to shave against the grain of the beard or facial hair. Doing this will help you pull the hair follicle protruding out of the skin and so the electric razor will be able to cut lower down the follicle, thus resulting in a closer shave.

6. The next thing to do will shaving is to go slowly. This may sound like common sense but when shaving with an electric razor it is very easy to get carried away and rush the process. Whilst shaving with an electric razor is faster and neater than shaving with a standard razor blade, it needs time and slow pressure to be completely effective, especially under complex areas like the chin and neck.

7. After the shave has been completed ensure that you apply a light coating of skin food onto the shaved area. This will replenish the vital minerals and protective oils that have been removed from the skin during shaving.

8. Finally, never under estimate the use of a good moisturiser to replenish all the lost moisture in your skin and to regenerate the protective skin layers that shaving removes.

Cleaning Your Electric Razor

The common electric shaver as mentioned above works in essence due to moving or oscillating blades that move back and forth to trim the area of hair that you need trimmed. Due to the very design of the electric razor, this motion creates hair blockages in the razor itself, which decrease the electric razors effectiveness and power. You should clean your electric shaver regularly in order to keep your blades fresh and at optimal efficiency, for good hygiene and sanitation purposes and in order to increase the life span of your electric shaver.

Here it is recommended that you clean your electric razor regularly, preferably after every third or forth shave. With a foil head electric razor you can lift off the head frame, which holds the screen (foil), and then brush out all the hair follicles from the under side with the electric razor cleaning brush that should have been provided with your electric razor. Make sure not to touch the foil screen itself with the cleaning brush as the screen is very fragile and requires great care. Next you can run the under side of the head and foil under water in order to rinse out any remaining hair follicles that brushing alone could not remove. Below this foil screen you will find the electrics razor’s cutters, these are the main components to any electric razor, this is the part of the electric razor that you must take the greatest care to clean and maintain properly. Hair follicles, dirt and general debris can easily build up inside the cutter area of the electric razor and reduce the electric razors effectiveness and power and so take extra care and attention to make sure that this part is properly cleaned.

For rotary head electric razors, the cleaning method differs slightly. Here you must lift of the electric razors head assembly unit and brush out the under side of the three electric razor cutters and the three chambers. Here ensure that you do not tap the electric razor heads on the sink itself to remove any trapped hair follicles as this has a high risk of damaging and altering the shape of the precision made combs. Every month or so you must make sure that you remove each of these individual cutters and combs from the retaining plate, making sure that each cutter and comb are kept in their original ‘set’, as mixing these up would have a detrimental effect on your electric razors performance as they are each designed to compliment each other. After this is done you can brush the hair follicles from the cutters and then soak them in liquid cleaner and lubricant. This will ensure that your electric razor is kept in its peak operating condition and that you will never be disappointed in its performance.

Finally after these cleaning steps have been undertaken you must ensure that you have correctly lubricated your electric razor. Here it is especially important to lubricate the metal surfaces of the screen and cutter. Here just spray a light lubricant on the shaving screen while the electric shaver is running. This will immediately have the effect of freeing up any metal on metal binding which will nick and blunt the surface of your electric razor.

Other Electric Razor Tips

Here are a list of additional tips that we think may help any novice or seasoned electric razor user, these are:

1. Ensure that you completely read the user manual that comes with your electric razor. These are produced for you specifically and will cover all of the basic functions of your safety razor along with some ideal shaving tips.

2. Shave daily. Here you’re skin must adapt to an electric razor if you have switched from a razor blade. The skin will need to get used to and adapt to the way in which an electric razor removes hair follicles. By shaving everyday you ensure that your skin will adapt to this change quicker.

3. As stated in the previous section. Always ensure that you give your electric razor a brief clean after every three to four shaves and then make sure that a detailed clean is committed every month as well.

4. If you frequently suffer from razor bumps, skin burn or general skin irritation, try to consider changing your electric razor to one which ahs a built in lubricating gel dispenser that should help to reduce skin irritation.

5. Applying regular baby or talcum powder to the face before shaving is a neat trick to reduce friction on your face between the skin and the electric razor and thus allows for a smooth shave. This is especially important for those unfortunate sufferers of sensitive skin.