By: David Opeyemi Shodunke
Electric vehicles have been predicted to be the next disruptive market force in the transportation technology sector in the future. It has the potential to change how energy is used, created and recycled. Its impact has the potential of solving the negative environmental impact of vehicles and has been proven to be very relevant in the sustainability of the environment.
Its emergence has called for an improvement in the overall energy usage and how important it is to find alternate sources of fuel which can positively affect the sustainability of the environment as a whole. Its efficiency at converting potential energy into moving energy is above 75 percent, while on the other hand; fuel/gas-powered vehicles with internal combustion engines are less than 25 percent efficiency.
The brake systems of electric vehicles are smoother and it does not function in the same way that fuel/gas-powered car brakes perform. It has a regenerative braking system that allows the car to charge the battery while braking. It does not use a brake pad that converts friction into heat. Rather electric vehicles run on a generator that helps to recover some wasted energy back into the battery.
One of the main reasons for the introduction of electric vehicles into the market is the concern over greenhouse gas emissions and its contribution to global warming. The purpose of creating electric vehicles that reduced or eliminated exhaust emissions was to help combat the issue of negative environmental impact. The greatest impact of reduced carbon emissions is in urban areas where millions of people drive vehicles.
Another beauty of the electric car is that air pollution is decreased due to the elimination of the exhaust pipe, which promotes sustainability and mobility. This, in turn, reduces the negative impact of transportation on the environment and atmosphere. In addition, if all the electricity used in fueling an electric vehicle are reduced using fossil fuels, it will still be less polluting than a fuel/gas car because less energy is needed for electric vehicles to run than normal fuel/gas vehicles that are popular today, especially as our target is towards 100 percent renewable energy in the future and increased innovation in the transportation sector.
Overall, electric cars are significantly cleaner and safer for the environment than traditional fuel and gas vehicles because they don’t require drilling for oil which involves significant processes, procedures, and higher costs. Furthermore, the greatest risk to the environment from fuel/gas-powered cars has been air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer from emitted chemicals, not to mention the oil and radiator chemicals that occasionally leak. These chemicals get into the soil and water supply system, thus harming plants, wildlife and eventually human beings.
While the metal parts of electric cars are not completely environmentally friendly and must be disposed of in a very conscious way, parts unique to electric cars, like lead or lithium do not promote smog, air pollution, and water contamination when in use.
The widespread introduction of electric cars has the potential of improving public health, because one of the greatest negative impacts of internal combustion engines is the exhaust emissions. Not only does it smell, but it is dirty and filled with harmful gases.
Millions of cars over the last century have contributed to air pollution and decreased quality of life for many societies. Electric cars also do not emit as many harmful gases as fuel/gas vehicles and so do not contribute to the presence of gaseous chemicals in the air.
With less air pollution from cars, air quality has an opportunity to improve which in turn will lead to improved health systems.
It has been discovered that pollutants found in car exhausts causes health complications like asthma and bronchitis while the chemicals such as carbon monoxide and benzene block oxygen from entering the body’s vital organs and have been linked to some cancerous illness.
Electric vehicles innovations and technology also helps grow the economy. It also helps boost the production of electricity because oftentimes electricity generated to fuel electric cars and homes comes from solar, hydro, nuclear, bio fuels, oil, and coal sources. The increased demand for a constant and reliable energy source for electric cars also allows for the growth of renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind.
While oil prices fluctuate globally, the price of solar and other renewable sources of energy stays constant. Furthermore, there will not be a shortage of solar power, unlike the oil shortages that plague the world which means that electric vehicles charging stations are more sustainable.
The reduction of fossil fuel emissions through the use of electric vehicles will also help prevent economic damage due to climate change which causes a lot of damage to the global economy such as increased temperatures which causes many natural disasters like droughts and hurricanes responsible for a lot of damages globally. Its impacts are very positive such as fueling of economic growth and also reduction in the damage of severe climate on the economy of societies and nations.
In addition, while electric vehicles have a higher initial cost than fuel/gas vehicles, they are usually more affordable in the long-term. Overall, the costs of electric vehicles with similar features as gas-powered vehicles are a lot more affordable and cheaper. The prices of electric vehicles are also getting a lot cheaper as battery prices are falling which implies that electric vehicles will get even more affordable in the future.
The maintenance costs of electric vehicles are a lot cheaper than fuel/gas vehicles since electric vehicles run simply on battery and electric motors. There are very few mechanical parts in electric vehicles; which means fewer replacement costs will be required in the future. In addition, because electric vehicles have no engine, there is no need for a regular filter and oil changes and it is significantly easier to own and maintain compared to fuel/gas vehicles.
The increased demand for electric cars has encouraged automakers to get better at making them. This has encouraged innovation and economic growth. To make electric cars available to more citizens, it has to be more affordable while still maintaining exceptional function. This can be achieved by improving the technology and materials used in making the vehicles. The availability of technology that can provide cleaner energy makes it possible to envision clean energy for other transport modes such as maritime, rail and air in the future.
Electric cars have introduced a future in which green technology is in high use and demand. Thereby, car and energy engineers are motivated to progress with this technology until electric cars are truly making the impact they were intended to create.
New challenges and questions, such as what to do with old electric car batteries have only helped to discover more learning and thus more solutions.
The battery is the primary component of electric vehicles and has been a top concern among critics because they have a limited lifespan. They are also toxic, if not properly disposed of.
Electric vehicles were not only created to be economical but also ecological. Scientists and engineers have been encouraged to permanent solutions for battery challenges such as recycling, creating new types of batteries or something new. The existence of electric cars pushes for progress and environmental sustainability.
The overall impact of the electric vehicle revolution will benefit the Nigerian and African society more because of the high level of pollution and other negative environmental challenges associated with gas/fuel-powered vehicles in our societies. The future of Road Transportation is moving towards Electric-Powered Vehicles and there are already commitments in some parts of the world by many car manufacturers to have full electric fleets in a couple of years from now.
The world is in a new era of the revolution of Road Transportation where cleaner cars that are affordable will dominate the Road Transport Industry globally and so the call for our government especially The Federal Ministry of Transportation and other relevant agencies associated with this sector and the new innovation globally to put all hands on deck to make the realization of Electric Vehicles on our roads come to pass.
The need for more sustainable power and electricity sector is also a very key factor in the realization of this dream of electric vehicles on our roads which will ensure a more sustainable and cleaner environment that will benefit our public health system and give our people a better quality of life.