Daniel Halliday
May 29 · Last update 4 mo. ago.

Are electric cars the answer to future transport needs?

Electric vehicles have long been developed, with early instances going back as far as the 1880’s. But it is due to air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change that electric vehicles are experiencing somewhat of a renaissance currently. But are electric vehicles a viable alternative to gasoline vehicles for global transport needs?
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The future lies with better public transport
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Hydrogen
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No
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Not yet
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Yes
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The future lies with better public transport

Electric vehicles could be a stepping-stone, as could hydrogen vehicles, but both will continue to damage the environment to a relative degree, instead what is needed is an overall reduction in the amount of private vehicles being used, as a significant proportion of these journeys/uses are unnecessary. Car journeys are wasteful but many are thought to be unnecessary, being over very short distances, in the UK one third of parents who take their children to school in a car live within one mile of their child’s school, wastefully producing a massive amount of emissions that are are clearly not necessary. Meanwhile many countries, like the UK, are undergoing health and obesity epidemics, as people are living more and more unhealthy lifestyles. The cheaper, brighter and truly greener future then lies with greater use of public transport, better, more efficient, cohesive and cost effective public transport infrastructure, and additional walking and cycling for short and local journeys.

treehugger.com/public-transportation/electric-cars-are-cool-electric-buses-are-awesome.html theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/06/self-driving-cars-public-transportation blueandgreentomorrow.com/society/school-run-research-shows-extent-of-unnecessary-car-trips

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 18
Created

Hydrogen

As with many technological developments the cheaper the innovation the quicker it will be adopted and the more likely it will be to stand the test of time, in this way hydrogen looks to be a more likely next step in environmentally friendly vehicles. While both electric and hydrogen vehicles are set to be a lot more expensive than fossil fuel powered vehicles the process of raw material extraction that is required to make lithium batteries far outweighs the abundant levels of hydrogen, hydrogen being more a question of the expense of storage and safety. Likewise electric vehicles will require the much larger cost of all new infrastructure that is ultimately powered by electricity generated by fossil fuels. There is some hope however that hydrogen vehicles may be able to use modified fossil fuel infrastructure to save somewhat on this massive cost of implementation. There is also the currently unsolved issue of the cost and environmental impact of disposal of lithium batteries, making hydrogen in some ways a better alternative.

businessinsider.com/why-hydrogen-powered-cars-are-better-2016-1 academia.edu/31706923/Transforming_not_Replacing_the_Fossil_Fuel_Infrastructure

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 18
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No

Not only are electric vehicles nowhere near developed enough to replace traditional automotive vehicles and fossil fuels, both in terms of charging technology and infrastructure, but there are also many areas in which electric vehicles may not be the future answer to our transportation needs. The answer to revolutionising the automotive industry must include developments in technologies that are cheaper, more convenient or perform better, and electric cars look to be expensive, slow to recharge, and very limited in terms of the distance they can cover. These down sides to electric vehicles do not look set to change any time soon, especially in regard to most important industries like logistics, that require realistic long distance vehicles, meaning even if electric is the answer it is more likely to be some sort of hybrid fuel and electric solution.

Furthermore electric cars may not be much better for the environment either, at least on the large scale at which they would be needed, the carbon footprint of battery manufacture is too high to reduce climate change and they could possibly lead to further environmental issues. Cycling and walking will also have to take a larger role in replacing the car in everyday use scenarios, for health and viability reasons. The UK's top adviser for taking climate change, Professor Frank Kelly of King's College London, has urged the UK government that not just cleaner vehicles are needed to tackle climate change but fewer vehicles, pointing out that electric vehicles still particulates from brake and tyre dust.

spectator.co.uk/2017/08/electric-cars-wont-get-us-very-far-because-they-cant theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/04/fewer-cars-not-electric-cars-beat-air-pollution-says-top-uk-adviser-prof-frank-kelly theconversation.com/not-so-fast-why-the-electric-vehicle-revolution-will-bring-problems-of-its-own-94980

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 18
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Not yet

Although electric car manufacturing looks set to dominate the future of the automobile industry, electric cars currently lack the energy infrastructure compared to that already in place for fossil fuel vehicles. Innovations are much needed in the form of battery swapping facilities (which would require standardised battery technology) or ubiquitous charge point infrastructure (which would not address the issue of charge time), with metals and mineral supplies also needing to be taken into consideration moving forward. Currently regulatory activity is a massive driver of this industry, but there would need to be a massive increase in demand for this to create a viable industry to take over the vehicle market.

thomsonreuters.com/en/reports/electric-vehicles.html pagosadailypost.com/2019/05/21/opinion-electric-cars-not-the-best-pollution-solution-in-2019

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 29
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Yes

Electric vehicles have greater fuel efficiency than gasoline run vehicles, with energy consumption standing at 60% efficiency for electric vehicles versus about 20% for internal combustion engines on average. Even electricity generated from coal-fired power is around 40% efficient, making the dirtiest of electronic energy sources more efficient than gasoline powered cars. But the other major benefit is the lack of direct emissions and the improvement that will be made especially to urban air quality, making a transition to electric vehicles cleaner locally and globally, as well as more efficient. In addition out of all alternative fuel source vehicles electric vehicles already have a wider spread network of places to fill up on fuel, electric outlets are pretty much ubiquitous in the vast majority of places that people live, making this the easiest alternative energy source to transfer to.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-15/electric-vehicles-are-overwhelmingly-more-energy-efficient

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Daniel Halliday
May 29
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