Electric Cars: A Result of Climate Change or Climate Quest?

-By: Bumblebee

It’s no longer news that electric cars are the future of the automobile industry, what is new is that these electric cars are not as they are projected to be; what seems to make electric cars to be the game changer is that the cars cause no pollution in the form of emission of pollutant gases, such as carbon monoxide. This might be misleading because except the electricity is generated by windmill or solar panel wherein there is no pollution, the majority of electricity sources are also highly pollutant to the environment. It is significant to note that electric cars can produce significant amounts of dirt due to pollution from brake and wear and erosion of road surface, though in this sense the pollution caused is lower than that of normal car.

Image Credit: Consumer Reports

An electric car, through experiments, has been found to be more efficient than the gasoline-powered equivalent. For example, a Tesla S model will outclass a sedan of its size and engine capacity, but it takes half an hour or a whole night to top up or fully charge and can hardly get past 200km without running flat [whereas a petrol tank once filled could go about 500km before grinding to a halt or, perhaps, before easily refuelling at a gas station]. After all, what is the point of owning an electric car – a Tesla or any other competing brand, if not that you are to avoid using gas? In all, an electric car is as good as the electricity that recharges it. Critics even suggest that electric cars in the end produce more pollution than the gasoline-powered automobile, though efforts are being made to setup several solar-powered charging stations at designated places in European countries by the EU. Perhaps the critics would be silenced when pollution from electricity used to charge electric cars is zero. But surely, that is a long way out.

Sources approximate Electric car to constitute less than 1% of the U.S car sales and of the global fleet is now approaching 2billion vehicles due to fact that countries like France, Germany, and the UK promise to shut down complete production of gasoline powered cars by 2040. Even China has keyed into electric car project thanks to Tesla in order to meet the Paris climate pact target of 2015 and have even subjected Nigeria as a dumping ground to most of its used gasoline cars (the study of the economy of this export is beyond the scope of the topic). As much as China claims to preserve climate, driving electric car in China where coal is by far the largest power plant fuel, would be a catastrophe in that it would change for the worse of course, because more fumes will be produced resulting in smog, acid rain, eye irritation, respiratory disorder and other related effects.

Man’s quest for purifying his environment is not without a good side as the United States is making a tectonic shift from burning coal to producing majority of its electricity from cleaner natural gas. The gas however has one of its major components as methane and a little leak in production pipeline or station would cause more a significant disruption as pollutant to the environment.

However, the future now gravitates towards the electrics as more start-ups are putting in measures to slowly ensure we forget how few electric cars were and owning one would be without much difficulty. Taking a cue from that, the world can truly become electric if it wants by taking steps that will make the sky its starting point, innovation its propeller, the hybrid version a checkpoint and the finish line an endless one.

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