Nikhil Sharma
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Electric Vehicles: Blessing or a Curse?

Nature friendly or overhyped?

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Nikhil Sharma
·Jul 31, 2022·

5 min read

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Transportation

Transportation has become a huge support system. A world without billion-dollar sports cars, or metros or buses is beyond imagination for today’s generation. Not only a necessity, but also a style statement to many. The most used forms of automobile, cars and motorcycles, a basic transport in many elite household as well as middle class families has a production of 80 million units per annum.

Can you imagine?

Automobile Around 18% of the population owns a personal vehicle of their own, imagining, that each car is owned by a single person. We cannot blame automobiles for their success. It is faster, reliable, easier and also, have made the whole world more portable. The invention of the automobile began with the miraculous invention of the wheel, after which, transportation never looked back.

History of Automobiles: : The beginning automobiles were known as horseless mobiles as a tribute to the horse carriages behind the idea of this innovation. The reason, the power of a machine is known as its horse power. The first automobile, which could run on its own power was built in Europe, in Paris, and was made functional through a steam engine. The engine driving the machine has immensely evolved in the years along with the machine itself.

The use of combustion engine in a three wheeled car by Karl Benz, changed the course of automobile industry and made it the fastest growing industry in the world. Also, the Mercedes-Benz automobile is one of the biggest companies in the world. The importance of automobiles could be seen by the immense growth of the industry and by its effect on the GDP too!

Gasoline Engines: As the industry started to grow and advance, so did the cars and its engines. The combustion engine slowly underwent modifications, giving us powerful beasts as well as increased consumption of petroleum. Fossil fuels, the mother of petroleum products and one of the most important natural resources has seen an immense depletion by the increased popularity of automobiles in the past 100 years. Being a non-renewable entity, and one of the most used combustible fuels for energy, petroleum cannot be negotiated.

Disadvantages of Gasoline Engines: Another harm that automobiles cause to the environment is by contributing to the production of nitrogen oxides and carbon emissions, which lead to air pollution and green-house effect.

Not only breathing problems, but cancer, skin problems and lung diseases, are among the main health effects of air pollution. Seeing the need of automobiles throughout the timeline, and the increasing depletion of petroleum, mankind had to come up with a solution. And, with advances in electrical energy, the solution wasn’t hard to find.

Introductions to Electronic Vehicles: The idea of running automobiles on electric charge cannot be crowned on a single head. The sequential invention of the battery and the motor, hoisted the ground for the first cell powered vehicle and small-scale electric cars. Though the first electronic vehicle by the British came in the 1900s, it took around 50 more years for the French and English to build the first practical electric cars.

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The competition: Though, the electric engines were developed during the same timeline as the combustion engines, they attracted less attention than the latter in the longer time run. With the increased roadway map of the developing country and cheap abundant fuel, gasoline engines provided the speed, rush and adrenaline, attracting the youth to its side. But now, things have changed immensely. Using petroleum carelessly has led to its depletion and an increase in air pollution and electric vehicles are the only solution to this. All-electric vehicles also have certain benefits and drawbacks like conventional cars.

Prospects of Electric Vehicles: Electrical cars are more efficient in converting fuel source to energy. The batteries convert 59 to 62% of energy into vehicle movement while conventional vehicles only covert around 17 to 21 percent. This leads to lesser resource consumption and more work performance.

Reduced emissions is also another positive prospect of electrical vehicles. Since they are relying on a rechargeable battery, they don’t create any tailpipe emissions, eliminating the major source of pollution everywhere. Moreover, since the batteries are rechargeable, only little money needs to be spend on fuel and energy can be sourced domestically or by solar panel systems as well.

With improvement in technology, the batteries are also becoming more and more efficient. Electrical vehicles can travel almost four times the distance as conventional vehicles, making it very cheap. All- electric vehicles also have a very responsive motor and an amazing torque, resulting in smooth running of the vehicle. Maintenance of the engine is almost negligible as compared to the internal combustion engines. Electric vehicles are overall newer in the automobile industry than the gas powered counter parts and are more influenced by technology.

You will find them to be more connected to charging stations digitally and might also have an app to control charging.

Cons of lithium production: : Economists have said, that though electric vehicles are truly going to be a saviour of the future, and can become very popular for daily travelling and short distances, exploiting them is going to be equally harmful. Lithium, for instance, the element used in making the battery’s cathode, takes up a lot of amount of water for extraction. It takes around 2 million litres to produce a ton of lithium.

Apart from this, electric vehicles also release particulate matter from their braking systems which can contribute to respiratory diseases.

Final Words: The world is moving forward with a faster pace every day and so is technology. New inventions are being made with each new sun to tackle with environmental issues. There are multiple alternatives flushing around to give the automobile industry a new direction, a safer and healthier turn. Along with electrical batteries, CNG, biodiesel, propane, fuel cells and natural gas are also competing to be the ‘alternative to automobile’.

But at the end of the day, the responsibility falls on the mankind to choose their habits wisely and protect the environment around them.

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