In 2016, more than 750,000 electric cars were sold and rose the global electric car stock to more than 2 million, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). As more people become environmentally concerned and conscious, motor car companies have begun to make policies to suit their needs. For example, Ford has recently announced that it would increase its investments to $11 billion in electric car production and research by 2022. However, are electric cars the cleanest and best solution to our overpopulating world’s need for cars? (1)
An electric car is a vehicle that, unlike petrol-powered vehicles, has a battery pack to store energy in order to power a motor. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, fully charged EVs, or electric vehicles, have, at present, a shorter range per charge than petrol-powered cars with a full tank of gas. As a result, these cars must charge often and are limited to areas close to charging stations. To fix this problem, a company by the name of BP Ventures invested $5 million in FreeWire Technologies, a U.S. company that specializes in mobile EVs rapid-charging stations. BP said it planned to use the units at BP retail sites in the U.K. and Europe this year. Meanwhile, in the U.K., the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles is providing more than £900 million to place Britain at the “global forefront” of the development, manufacture and use of low emission vehicles. (1)
While the energy sources of some charging stations may be regarded as non-sustainable (electricity uses fossil fuels to be produced), EVs still have their advantages. Pierpaola, a senior energy and transport analyst at the IEA, said, “Electric vehicles come with zero pollutant emissions at the tailpipe – there’s no tailpipe.” The DOE, or the U.S. Department of Energy, has stated that EVs can cut emissions that contribute to smog and climate change, thus boosting public health and reducing ecological harm. The Commission adds that a secure energy supply, as well as a broad use of renewable and carbon-free energy sources in the transport sector, could substitute oil as a power source. (1)
In some countries, the transitions to EVs is gaining speed. In Norway, 27% of new cars sold were battery electric, according to their government. Also, the Norwegian government have implemented laws and rules like exemptions from value-added tax, one-off registration tax, and traffic insurance tax as well as authorizations for EVs to drive in bus lanes and park for free or half price in order to create incentives for people to buy electric cars. At the same time, in China, a major company named Shenzen announced that the Shenzen Bus Group has replaced all 5,698 of it buses with electric vehicles. (1)
In the end, we see that the EVs do have its advantages and countries have begun to exploit this advantage to reduce our global pollution and reduce our ecological harm to the ecosystem. However, electric cars do not come without their flaws. Their disadvantages include the use of fossil fuels to produce their power (electricity), a short range of driving as their charge capacity is low and charging stations are not very common today and their inefficient car battery which decreases in maximum capacity per charge like a regular rechargeable battery. An electric car can be the future of cars, but today, it still has a long way to go (1).
- Frangoul, Anmar. “The Lowdown on Electric Vehicles and the Future of Driving.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 Feb. 2018, http://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/the-lowdown-on-electric-vehicles-and-the-future-of-driving.html.
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