When the idea first caught on as a real possibility in eventually replacing internal combustion engine cars, electric cars were still in for quite the period of testing and refinement in their development. Naturally some feathers in the oil industry were ruffled and a lot of noise was made around how ineffective electric cars are considering the bigger picture of how the energy they use is produced, but a considerable amount of time has since passed and some exciting developments are emerging from the electric car market.
Perhaps the biggest challenge identified when it comes to the intended impact of electric cars is that of how this impact is proving really difficult to measure. In a market and industry which is still developing, gauging the effectiveness of something like an electric car’s reduced environmental impact is really challenging, although the outlook for the future is rather positive. One argument against electric cars is one which I already touched on, that being the source of the energy which is used to recharge the cars’ batteries. Most if not all of this power channelled through the charging stations is still sourced via conventional means, which are heavily reliant on the burning of fossil fuels.
This sort of defeats the purpose of using what is otherwise a cleaner source of energy, however since electric cars produce no harmful emissions akin to those released by those running on internal combustion engines, in that regard electric cars have one up on fuel-burning vehicles.
Another challenge tied to electric cars is that of their prospective owners not really being able to work out the total cost associated with the running and maintenance of their environmentally progressive cars, with too many variables hanging in the air around the cost implications of battery depreciation as well as electricity costs.
All of that said however, we definitely have to start somewhere if we’re to solve what is definitely a problem in the amount of harmful gasses our internal combustion engine cars pour into the atmosphere by the second, so there are definitely some advantages to electric vehicles which can only serve as a base on which to build for the future.
Local air pollution is one such glaring advantage, so at least if there are more electric cars in a specific area, the air in the immediate and surrounding areas is nice and clean, something which naturally improves the quality of one’s life.
The way forward
So the way forward is that of looking towards cleaner, renewable sources of energy to charge up the batteries used in electric cars, such as hydropower, wind power, solar power and even nuclear power.
By way of the performance side of proceedings, electric cars have become so good that some of them can match the performance of an internal combustion engine in terms of speed and power, while residual energy is channelled back into the car’s power system through the likes of the harvesting of the kinetic energy generated when the car brakes, for example.