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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 科技革命内燃机迎来末日

2018年01月03日14:21 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 科技革命内燃机迎来末日图1

Road Kill

内燃机之死

The internal combustion engine had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world

内燃机有着辉煌的过去。但是,对于这种改变了世界的机器来说,末日近在眼前。

这篇阅读材料还有MP3音频哦!下载>>传送门

“Human inventiveness…has still not found a mechanical process to replace horses as the propulsion for vehicles,” lamented Le Petit Journal, a French newspaper, in December 1893.

“人类的创新……至今仍未找到一种机械过程来取代马匹作为车辆的推力,”1893年12月,法国报纸《小巴黎人报》哀叹道。

Its answer was to organise the Paris-Rouen race for horseless carriages, held the following July.

它的答案是组织在来年7月举行的巴黎至鲁昂非马拉车大赛。

The 102 entrants included vehicles powered by steam, petrol, electricity, compressed air and hydraulics.

102辆入围赛车包括了以蒸汽、汽油、电力、压缩空气和液压为动力的车辆。

Only 21 qualified for the 126km (78-mile) race, which attracted huge crowds.

只有21辆车获得了资格参加这场吸引了大批观众的赛程为126公里(合78英里)的比赛。

The clear winner was the internal combustion engine.

大获全胜的赢家是内燃机。

Over the next century it would go on to power industry and change the world.

在下一个世纪中,它会继续推动工业前进并将改变世界。

But its days are numbered.

但是,它的日子已经屈指可数了。

Rapid gains in battery technology favour electric motors instead.

电池技术的飞速发展宠幸的是电动车。

In Paris in 1894 not a single electric car made it to the starting line, partly because they needed battery-replacement stations every 30km or so.

1984年,在巴黎,没有一辆电动车出现在起跑线上,一部分原因在于它们每30公里左右就需要电池更换站。

Today's electric cars, powered by lithium-ion batteries, can do much better.

今天的电动汽车,以锂电池为动力,能够做得好得多。

The Chevy Bolt has a range of 383km; Tesla fans recently drove a Model S more than 1,000km on a single charge.

雪佛兰闪电(Chevy Bolt)有382公里的最大行程;特斯拉的粉丝日前单独充了一次电,就让Model S 跑了1000多公里。

UBS, a bank, reckons the “total cost of ownership” of an electric car will reach parity with a petrol one next year—albeit at a loss to its manufacturer.

瑞银测算,一辆电动车的“拥有总成本”将在明年与拥有一辆汽油车持平——尽管这对制造厂商来说是一大损失。

It optimistically predicts electric vehicles will make up 14% of global car sales by 2025, up from 1% today.

它乐观地预测,到2025年,电动车将构成全球汽车销量的14%,比当前的1%大幅上升。

Others have more modest forecasts, but are hurriedly revising them upwards as batteries get cheaper and better—the cost per kilowatt-hour has fallen from $1,000 in 2010 to $130-200 today.

其他人有着较为保守的预测,但是,随着电池变得越来越便宜和越来越好——每千瓦小时的成本已经从2010年1000美元降至目前的130-200美元,都在匆忙地调高各自的预测。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 科技革命内燃机迎来末日图2

Regulations are tightening, too.

监管也在收紧。

Last month Britain joined a lengthening list of electric-only countries, saying that all new cars must be zero-emission by 2050.

上个月,英国加入了一份正变得越来越长的只使用电动车的国家名单,声称到2050年,全部新车必须是零排放。

The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.

从燃料和活塞到电池和电力马达的转型不可能用这么长的时间。

The first death rattles of the internal combustion engine are already reverberating around the world—and many of the consequences will be welcome.

内燃机的第一声濒死哀鸣早已回响在世界各地——这一后果中的许多东西都将是受欢迎的。

To gauge what lies ahead, think how the internal combustion engine has shaped modern life.

要想预测今后的情况,想一想内燃机是如何塑造了当代生活的。

The rich world was rebuilt for motor vehicles, with huge investments in road networks and the invention of suburbia, along with shopping malls and drive-through restaurants.

当初,富裕世界就是为汽车而重建的,具体地说就是道路网的大笔投资和城镇郊区的发明,以及各种购物中心和免下车餐厅。

Roughly 85% of American workers commute by car.

大约85%的美国工人乘车上下班。

Carmaking was also a generator of economic development and the expansion of the middle class, in post-war America and elsewhere.

在战后美国和其他各地,汽车制造还是经济发展和中产阶层膨胀的一位缔造者。

There are now about 1bn cars on the road, almost all powered by fossil fuels.

如今,大约有1万亿辆车在路上,几乎全都是由化石燃料驱动。

Though most of them sit idle, America's car and lorry engines can produce ten times as much energy as its power stations.

美国的汽车和卡车发动机尽管大部分处于闲置状态,但是,它们能够产生十倍于电站的能量。

The internal combustion engine is the mightiest motor in history.

内燃机是史上最威猛的发动机。

But electrification has thrown the car industry into turmoil.

但是,电动化却让汽车行业陷入了危机之中。

Its best brands are founded on their engineering heritage—especially in Germany.

该行业的最佳品牌是建立在它们的工艺传承之上的——尤其是在德国。

Compared with existing vehicles, electric cars are much simpler and have fewer parts; they are more like computers on wheels.

与现有的车辆相比,电动车简单得多,而且零部件也少了;它们更像是轮子上的计算机。

That means they need fewer people to assemble them and fewer subsidiary systems from specialist suppliers.

这意味着,它们需要更少的人手来组装,更少的来自专业供应商的辅助系统。

Carworkers at factories that do not make electric cars are worried that they could be for the chop.

在工厂里不生产电动车的汽车工人担心他们可能被裁员。

With less to go wrong, the market for maintenance and spare parts will shrink.

由于故障减少,维修和备件市场会萎缩。

While today's carmakers grapple with their costly legacy of old factories and swollen workforces, new entrants will be unencumbered.

就在当今的汽车厂商勉力应付它们代价高昂的旧厂房和臃肿员工的遗产时,新的加入者将会了无牵挂。

Premium brands may be able to stand out through styling and handling, but low-margin, mass-market carmakers will have to compete chiefly on cost.

优质品牌或许有能力通过款式和工艺脱颖而出,但是薄利多销的厂商将不得不首先在成本方面进行竞争。

Assuming, of course, that people want to own cars at all.

当然,假设人们想拥有自己的汽车的。

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