Despite our attempts to prevent or slow down climate change, it’s unfortunately too late – the damage we’ve done to our world is now irreversible. Regardless of where you live, you can see some of these effects on a daily basis. The typhoons in China, the floods in Pakistan and India, the wildfires in France and the United States, and the heat wave in Western Canada… all of these issues stem from climate change caused by humans to varying extents.
While much damage has already been done to the environment, many countries have finally recognized the importance of reducing greenhouse emissions to prevent an even worse climate crisis in the future. One major target discussed during the Paris Agreement in 2016 was the reduction of fuel emissions generated by gasoline-powered vehicles. That said, how does a country like ours reduce fuel emissions?
Another Chance for Electric Vehicles
Towards the end of June 2021, the federal government of Canada “pledged a goal of having all sales of light-duty vehicles, including pickup trucks, be zero-emission vehicles by 2035“. This means that by 2035, it will be illegal to own a new vehicle powered by gas, which includes hybrids and gasoline-powered vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles include three different types: battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell.
Many companies like General Motors (GM), Volkswagen (VW), and Ford are already changing their vehicle lineups and investing in rechargeable batteries and electric motors.
We’ve seen electric vehicles before, but most of us never bought into them. When the technology was in its infancy, the vehicles proved to be difficult to maintain and expensive to purchase. Most unfortunate, however, was the limited distance an electric vehicle could cover on a single charge compared to a conventional vehicle running on gasoline.
A recent technological breakthrough is changing that. Electric vehicles are currently powered by lithium-ion batteries, which come with numerous limitations. Today, lithium-metal batteries are being designed and tested to power vehicles, which could boost the current range of an EV by 80% and can be rapidly recharged. The goal is to have these batteries powering electric vehicles by 2025.
Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles
- Electricity can be a renewable source of energy, while gasoline can’t. Solar, wind, and hydro power are all great examples of cheaper alternatives to gasoline.
- Electric vehicles don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions and electricity is much better for the environment than gasoline is.
- Lithium-metal batteries “could increase the lifetime of electric vehicles to that of the gasoline cars—10 to 15 years—without the need to replace the battery. With its high current density, the battery could pave the way for electric vehicles that can fully charge within 10 to 20 minutes.” Vehicle longevity, once a major concern for buyers, won’t really be a factor when making the move from gasoline to electric.
- Electric vehicles don’t need oil and, thanks to the electric motor, require less frequent and more affordable maintenance than a traditional combustion engine.
- Have you ever been annoyed by the sound of your vehicle’s engine? Electric cars are supposed to be a lot quieter.
- While this should change in the near future, electric vehicles still cost more than vehicles powered by gasoline.
- Electric vehicles, despite many improvements, still can’t travel the same distance on a single charge that a gasoline-powered vehicle can with a full tank. The lithium-metal battery should be able to make up for this soon, but it’s still not quite ready for the market.
- Lithium-metal batteries promise to offer a full charge in as little as 10 to 20 minutes, but the average electric vehicle today could take over an hour to charge!
- At the moment, it can be difficult to find a charging station for your vehicle. Canada has approximately 5,000 charging stations, while there are just under 12,000 gas stations across the entire country.
Ultimately, it may not be wise to invest in an electric car at the moment. That said, big changes are on the horizon – not just for Canada, but across the entire world. Like it or not, electric vehicles seem to be the future for the automotive industry… one that we’ll have to embrace sooner rather than later.
. . .
At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at email@example.com or join our Facebook group and send us a message.
Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.