Flickering Lights: Are We Prepared for an All-electric Automotive Future?

As seemingly every government worldwide guns for electrification of land transport for the supposed reasoning of a greener and less polluting world, overambitious goals and dates of banning gas cars from ever gracing the roads have been established, with only less than a decade for some countries’ targets. The initial boom of electrification brought great promises, yet to be delivered.

Two decades back, the idea of alternative energy was a business venture that has been put on the sidelines for most manufacturers as mere concepts. Other than electric, hydrogen was one of the alternative power sources often showcased as a possibility. Then came hybrids, which provided the leeway for successful expansion. Tesla made the breakthrough and pioneered electric cars into the mainstream.

Often advertised as environmentally-friendly, it is true that electric cars emit zero emissions, as the damage is done elsewhere. Ever wondered what powers the charging stations? If it isn’t powered by the solar panels nearby or the power grid, they rely on coal-powered power plants. Like phones, the large batteries underneath are bound to lose their capacity overtime, affecting the range it could travel in one charge.

A regular Internal Combustion Engine (ICE for short) vehicle can always be parted out and recycled as scrap metal, but the batteries in an EV would be difficult to dispose of. Furthermore, traditional cars are theoretically much more practical, given how most parts are replaceable even with parts from other models. Proper electric cars with basic features are also nowhere near affordable, and it’s a good time to keep in mind that only a small percentage are capable and willing to purchase something new, let alone an electric one.

The electrification and development of public transport would be a much more impactful strategy, removing the need for a personal vehicle altogether for short and long-distance travels. Unfortunately, electrification of the automotive industry has seemingly blinded a majority of the world to the perils we are autonomously driven to.

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