The Electric Vehicle and the Environment
When you put Electric Vehicles against gas powered vehicles, at face value you can see that Electric towers over gas guzzling machines in terms of the environmental benefits. However, we need to backtrack here and look at the surrounding elements that make anyone come to this black and white opinion, so we are well informed.
In this article you will be able to see the threats from industry, the components of the Electric Vehicle itself and how it relates to the environmental in terms of benefits and potential concerns, and some green solutions in the industry that are having a positive long term impact on the environment.
The Big Picture
A recent report conducted by Ndevr environmental has stated that, last year in 2018, Australia’s emissions were the highest on record and if they keep it up, they will miss the target of being 26-28% cut to emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. With transport being Australia third’s biggest source of green-house gas emissions, this includes; planes, trucks, mostly coming from petrol or gas powered vehicles. The density of our cities in Australia are growing with the influx of population with an additional 400,000 people in 2018. This will cause more demand for transportation and infrastructure to facilitate this overhaul, so what factors will facilitate the green solution of the Electric Vehicle to help our planet?
The Electric Vehicle
Once charged, and that’s saying that yes, unfortunately emissions do happen during this process, an electric vehicle is emissions free. However if you have solar power – you’ve just circumvented the system. We are lucky to have the innovators in the Electric Vehicle industry on our side in Australia with the Asia- Pacific being the first movers in the developing and manufacturing of Electric Vehicles.
China is leading the way and we soon follow suit in terms of infrastructure to assist with the integration of more Electric Vehicles on our roads. For this reason makes it is easier for Australia to become an eventual long term participant in the usage of Electric Vehicles. For more statistics and information on this have a read of Electrical Vehicle Incentives.
Mining. Now this industry has been one the biggest flagships of the Australian economy for decades. Why wouldn’t it be? It provides livelihood to local communities and generates income for local governments which in turn contributes to the economy. The energy efficiencies help people save money, so this type of industry, though being good to the consumer, does harm to the attitudinal change needed for green energies and a sustainable future.
The main integration that will aid the Electric Vehicle industry would be that of Infrastructure. The implementation of transport becoming primarily electric and setting up cities with a pipeline. This would be a main artery of public transport consisting of electric vehicles will cut carbon emissions – not to mention the traffic congestion! This will encourage consumers to adhere to electric mobility. But the thing that is holding us back is: Cost. Initial costs of an Electric Vehicle are sky high, so to the average consumer that is a turn off.
With the cost of living in Australia averaged at 2.85% higher than the U.S alone, the upfront cost of what is considered almost a luxury item to a consumer is seen as unnecessary. Though as other countries are changing their infrastructure and tax systems to benefit the consumer, it is not long that Australia will follow suit, seeing a shift in supply and demand on Electric Vehicles.
Other Possible Threats
Battery Disposal is something that has been a flagship issue, not just in the Electric Vehicle industry but within other areas of industry as well. What happens to complex batteries at the end of an Electrical Vehicles life? Would this cause a long term negative environmental impact? Technology into giving a battery a second life is being investigated by a number of researchers, as well as innovative ways to extend the life of the original battery. These solutions will only aid the reduction of the overall environmental impact over a batteries life. If renewable processes can help aid the reduction of carbon emissions – the more, the better!
Another threat to the cause is Consumer Sentiment. The main argument for this threat is again, cost. Cost’s of manufacturing and developing electric and other alternate sources of energies is high. Often, if not all the time passed onto the end user, whether in the form of tax or the price tag. Though many people can see the overall benefits of introducing renewable energies and low carbon emissions strategies into their lives, the costs are seen too high to justify.
The End Game
Overall we all know the benefits of using an Electric Vehicle over gas powered, the answers are there. Can technology race us to the finish line and match its capabilities for a sustainable future in the Electric Vehicle industry? Can demand prove itself for the population it’s in affordability and usability? These factors although are on their way, will take time. When it comes down to the wire, our planet is suffering as a consequence for a lack of action. According to the Mother Nature network, the CO2 levels that come from human activity represent 84%, which equates to 30 Billion tons a year, of which the car industry and industrial processes contribute heavily.
However, innovation at EMC is within our core value system and matched with of belief of sustainable processes within our company, the positive environmental benefits that EMC can bring to the industry and its customers are boundless.