Cars Of The Future: How Green Can They Go?

The majority of our cars are run by fuel as fuel is somehow the most effective product that can be used to power up the car. The fuel that we get for our cars come directly from the earth– the same earth that humans have been abusing for many years already.  As we all know, earth’s natural resources are depleting due to industrialization. This is why some car companies have produced cars that run not on fuel but by electricity. These cars are also known as EV or electric vehicles. Because these cars are run by electricity, we can avoid using up too much fossil fuel thus avoiding acquisition  of oil from the earth and emission of smoke to the air (which comes from belching of cars that use fuel). Basically, what we are trying to know is how electric vehicles, or EVs for short, can contribute to the big problem of environmental destruction. Below, I will be discussing some of the characteristics of EVs, how they can contribute to a greener society, and what the news tells us about them.  To know how these cars help with the environment, let’s first discuss some characteristics of these special vehicles.

What Are the Characteristics of Electric Vehicles?

Makes use of electricity to run

As the name implies, an electric car makes use of electricity to run. Most electric cars start as fuel-powered vehicles before they become electric-powered. First of all, we all know that a fuel-powered car makes use of a fuel-powered engine to run. An electric car, on the other hand, makes use of an electric motor engine which converts electricity into actual energy that can be used to power up the car the same way fuel does. Now, this motor acquires its power from a controller which is powered by a special type of car battery that is rechargeable. Later on, we will discuss how the electric motor and these special types of rechargeable batteries work in detail.

Makes use of natural gas to run

Another kind of electric vehicle is the hybrid car. It is a combination of the fuel-powered vehicle and the electric car. How does it work? Basically, the engine makes use of gas to power up the car just like a regular fuel-powered car. The only difference is, the hybrid’s engine makes use of natural gas like propane or methane instead of fossil fuel. Unlike fossil fuel natural gases don’t affect the environment as bad. If we were to choose between using natural gas and fossil fuel to power up the car, I’d say natural gas is better because it doesn’t emit smoke into the air.

Also, the engine has an electric reserve inside. Whenever needed, the hybrid car may tap into the electrical energy reserve to gain more energy in order to give the car an increase in overall power. This is the reason why this type of car is termed as a hybrid — because it has two energy sources. In fact, hybrid cars are actually one of the “in” things in the automotive industry. We can see big car manufacturers like Toyota and Honda coming up with their own hybrid cars. An example of a mainstream electric car is the Toyota Prius.  The Toyota Prius is a signature Toyota car and is also one of the best electric cars in the market.

Toyota Prius

Source: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1072235_why-do-buyers-avoid-prius-electric-cars-its-styling-and-price

Makes use of a special type of engine

As mentioned earlier, electric vehicles (EVs) use an engine which runs on electricity to power the car. This engine is not like the engine used by regular fuel-powered cars. It can function in two ways. First, it can function as a motor by harnessing energy from batteries. The energy harnessed from the batteries is used to increase the speed of the car. Second, the engine of EVs can function as a generator. While the “motor” function of the engine accelerates the car, the “generator” function decelerates the car. After the car decelerates, it will bring back power to the batteries. In a sense, the EV’s engine actually circulates the electric energy and distributes it to the different parts of the car in order to power it up.

Has very efficient and functional batteries

As stated above, the batteries act somewhat of the main storage system for the car’s electrical energy. The engine will take energy from the batteries but it will be the batteries that will distribute the electric energy to the motor when needed.  This same concept is also used for hybrid cars with the only difference being the hybrid car’s engine stores both natural gas and electrical energy. When you are driving and your brake during a red light, the batteries are actually charging themselves while you wait. The car shuts down the batteries automatically so that there will be no energy that is wasted during the standstill. Instead, the batteries take time to rest and recharge so that when the car starts up again, it will regain its power.

This is the one function that fuel-powered cars don’t have. One of the worst things about fuel-powered cars is that even when you are not moving during a traffic jam, the car still uses up fuel which is a big waste of gas and your hard earned money. With an electric car, there will be no wasted power. The functions mentioned above make the electric car’s batteries very efficient.

Is able to save energy

For the benefit of the consumers, this type of car is definitely one of the most frugal of all cars as an EV is able to help the driver save a ton of energy and therefore, save a ton of money on gas as well. As I have stated in my first two points, an EV runs on electricity and sometimes also on natural gas (specifically the hybrids). I have also explained how the batteries and the engine are able to recycle electric energy for reuse. The battery stores the electrical energy for use while the engine distributes the energy and converts it into power that is used to make the car move. This is where the saving starts. I also mentioned in one of my previous points that while the car is not in motion, the batteries charge themselves. The batteries recharge due to the engine circulating electrical energy back to each battery. This ensures no wastage and total saving of energy. For the cars that run on fossil fuel, once you put in gas and use the car, the gas will be used up and emitted as smoke from your exhaust pipe. EV’s, on the other hand, do not use up energy. Since electricity is circulated around the car, then nothing is emitted into the air.

Does not emit smoke

We know that the parts of an EV can be used to help save energy as well as power up the car extremely efficiently. Now let’s take a look at some of the ways an EV can further contribute to a greener environment. First, an EV does not emit any smoke into the air. Many areas are filled with smog and haze because of chemical emissions that humans make. Smoke that comes from cars is one example of an emission (a very prominent one). Both the EV and the hybrid cars are great for the environment because they don’t use fossil fuel and therefore do not emit smoke into the air.

If all regular cars are eventually replaced with hybrids as well as EVs, then it is possible to help solve a portion of the air pollution problem that many of us are experiencing and suffering from today. In fact, it is even possible to solve the climate change problem by increasing the number of EVs in the world and significantly reducing the number of fuel-powered cars that are found on the road. The main reason for the climate change comes from the increase of carbon-based green house gases that rise into the atmosphere and contaminates the air. The carbon gas then heats up the atmosphere and is able to drastically change the temperature of the atmospheric layer right above the earth. Due to this, we have weather changes that are very erratic and also a worldwide global warming problem. One of the main causes of these green house gases is none other than the smoke that our cars emit. The burning of fossil fuel lets out a certain gas that turns into green house gas that will travel upward and destroy our earth’s atmosphere.

Is not prone to gas leak

One of the biggest problems about fuel-powered cars is a gas leak. If there is a broken part inside your car, then most likely fuel will leak. Now, there are two ways that leaking fuel can damage the environment.

First of all, it can cause a massive fire if a spark were to ignite on it. This would cause a lot of smoke to contaminate the air which is definitely bad for the environment. Also, the fire can burn up the ground, killing all the living organisms under it. If a fire caused by a gas leak happened to be in a farm or forest area, then all the trees there will most likely burn to the ground and the fertile soil will be destroyed. This is so bad for the environment because it slowly kills nature, which is the one thing that has housed humans for many centuries already.

Another way leaking fuel can damage the environment is if it gets into the water system. Leaking fuel will most likely make its way to the sewers or the drainage systems. Eventually, the fuel will find its way into the sea or the river. This, in turn, pollutes the earth’s bodies of water (which we consume and use for daily rituals like bathing).

The great thing about EVs is that because they make use of electricity, then there is no such thing as a gas leak for them. This will help keep everyone safe from fires and also aid in keeping the water supply clean and uncontaminated.

How Can They Contribute to a Greener Earth?

Digging for Fuel in the Ground Will Lessen

Our earth’s natural resources are being depleted slowly because of mining and excavation activities. One of the most widely done excavation activities would be fuel digging. Since fuel is still the main component being used for many things like gasoline and plastic, the demand for fossil fuel is still on the rise. Due to this, the ground itself is being disturbed and abused by all the digging and the mining. If the world switches from fuel-powered cars to electric cars or hybrid cars, both of which don’t make use of fossil fuel, then the demand for fuel will go down significantly. Since cars and other vehicles use up fossil fuel the most, then creating a line of vehicles that don’t need fuel will definitely lessen the usage and therefore lessen the mining activities done to the earth.

Fossil Fuel Reserves Will Not Be Used Up So Much

As of now, the fossil fuel reserves are lessening and eventually, there will be none left. Due to this shortage, it is up to the world leaders to make sure that there are alternatives that can be utilized so that everyone can prepare for the event that the fossil fuel reserves will hit an all time low. Fossil fuel is still needed to make a lot of things like plastic which is why using EVs will significantly cut down the need to bring out the fossil fuel reserves that serve as gasoline for most vehicles. Since there already is a shortage, then the one thing to do is not to use too much as this will make the inevitable even faster. One day all the fossil fuel will be used up because humans are slowly killing the earth. However, if we switch from regular cars to EVs, it is possible to slow down the total extinction of fossil fuel.

Air Pollution Will Lessen

As stated above, smoke emissions will lessen significantly with an EV because an EV doesn’t emit smoke like a regular car does. Because of the decrease in vehicle produced smoke that goes up into the air and converts into green house gases, then global warming may be slowed down. Air pollution is one of the biggest problems that the earth is facing right now because of the belching of smoke into the air. Using more EVs will eventually lessen pollution coming from transportation (smoke from transportation seems to be the most common causes of the release of carbon-based green house gases into the atmosphere).

People Will Not Have to Suffer Health Consequences from Air Pollution

Due to the widespread air pollution that comes from the smoke emission of cars, we can see people getting sick every day because they are forced to breathe in the bad air that is contaminated with smoke. Many people who live in the city are actually very prone to having lung conditions when they grow older due to air pollution problems that are very rampant in metropolitan  areas all over the globe. I say that instead of trying to cure people of their conditions that stem from air pollution, why not try to lessen air pollution instead? This is where EVs will become big. Not only can EVs help in saving the environment, but they can also help in saving good people’s lives. Lessening the source of air pollution is by far the best way to allow people to be in a very healthy environment that does not contain much bad air.

What Is the Current Status of Electric Vehicles?

There has definitely been a lot of buzz regarding electric vehicles these days as many believe them to be the cars of the future. Many car manufacturers have already come up with their own versions of the electric car. One very notable electric car was made by Nissan and Tesla which teamed up to create a special kind of electric car that has multiple battery packs so that it can last longer. The name of this model is the Tesla Model 3 which has just come out quite recently. With the number of car manufacturers that are setting their eyes on electric vehicles, we can also see some manufacturers creating special parts that are unique to electric vehicles.

Tesla 3

Source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/videos/tesla-model-3-everything-we-know/

LG Chem, a South Korean manufacturing company has expressed interest in creating an EV battery factory that is located in Poland. LG Chem predicts that EVs will be a very big thing in the future and the demand for parts will also skyrocket along with the demand for EVs. LG Chem also plans to finish the plant in one and a half years which means that by next year, 2017, we will have a plant in Poland supplying parts for electric car manufacturers. LG Chem has also expressed that they want to build battery manufacturing plants in America and also in South Korea. They plan to target automobile makers such as Volkswagen, Volvo, and other well known European brands that are large all over the world.

Electric vehicles are becoming so popular these days that many countries around the world have been introducing electric public transportation. Some countries have adopted the idea of using e-shuttles which are small electric buses that travel from one point to another and back. The great thing about these small shuttles is that not only are they good for the environment, but they are efficient as well. They can travel at very high speed which is good for commuters who are rushing to their offices. Introducing these new vehicles is a country’s way of supporting the environmentally friendly movement that has been going on around the world.

Electric cars have also made their way to the racing scene as well. Volkswagen has recently expressed interest in holding a race for just electric cars. Volkswagen also stated that an all-electric car race will be a very exciting one because it requires the racer to know when to recharge the car battery and when to turn up the car and burst into the race track. Although Volkswagen may want to do this, there hasn’t been any confirmation that they will hold an actual race for electric cars. However, if they do, this might definitely be something that’s exciting for racing fans around the world. It is also a great avenue for promoting environmental friendliness as the EV is actually a symbol of the green movement.

Conclusion

As you can see, electric cars have made a big impact in society today. Ever since the start of the environmentally friendly movement, more and more people have become aware of the dangers that fossil fuel can do to the environment. Gas that is used by cars, specifically, are very dangerous to Mother Earth especially when burned. Vehicles burn fossil fuel all of the time in order to power up their engines. This, in turn, would emit smoke that is very harmful to the air. This causes illnesses among humans and contributes to the growing danger known as global warming.

With this, we can definitely see the relevance of electric cars in our lives. With the introduction of the EVs to society, it is most definitely possible to help save the earth from any harm by eliminating the factors that put harm in the first place. Always remember that prevention is better than cure which means that instead of trying to fix one problem at a time, why not go to the main cause of the problems and just fix that? This is definitely the easier way to go about. We know that the demand and use for fossil fuel have become a big problem for us and the environment as a whole. So, the only way to solve this problem is to eliminate the demand for it. Once the demand has been eliminated, then we can expect to see a greener society and environment.

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