A big thank you to Visit Chislehurst for inviting me to write on the subject. This is my first blog in the series of more to come. This blog is aimed to the audience who are either curious to know more about Electric Vehicles as beginner or contemplating if their next car should be Electric!
Let us start with a bit of interesting fact about electric cars. Did you know that the very first production electric car was built in 1884 by English inventor, Thomas Parker. You can learn more about Thomas Parker and his work by visiting his Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Parker_(inventor)
Thomas Parker FRSE MICE (22 December 1843 – 5 December 1915) was an English electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist.He patented improvements in lead-acid batteries and dynamos, and was a pioneer of manufacturing equipment that powered electric tramways and electric lighting.He invented the smokeless fuel Coalite.He formed the first company to distribute electricity over a wide area.
Did you just wonder then why did we not have electric cars all the way through instead of Petrol and Diesel Cars? And why now we are going for Electric Cars? There are several reasons which revolve around Three Factors – Sustainability, Technology and Infrastructure. Let us first look into the sustainability. As per a report published by ONS suggests that Road Traffic contributed to about 20% of total Green House Gas Emissions. So in order for the UK to meet its legal obligation to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the government has set a target banning sale of cars with Petrol or Diesel engines from 2030 onwards. It means, we are going to see a decline in sales of Petrol and Diesel Vehicles with an increase in sales of Electric Vehicles from now through to 2030. Since electric vehicles don’t burn fossil fuel so they are categorised as Zero Emission Vehicles. Let us see what impact they make on our environment and also our wallet! Using the UK average of driving 7600 miles per year in a mid-size family car, I researched some information about CO2 emission and cost of fuel to draw a comparison between Petrol / Diesel Car and an Electric Car.
(Note: the figures used in above scenarios are using averages from published sources. Actual results will vary for individual cases)
So using a simple illustration shown above we can see that an Electric Vehicle helps us in the following two ways:
- Reduction in CO2 emission levels is equivalent of planting 28 trees!
- An average reduction of 70% (or £680 per year) in your fuel bill!
Now you might be wondering then why are we waiting for 2030 to switch over to electric cars for transportation? That brings us nicely to the remaining two factors – Technology and Infrastructure. Because these two factors do deserve a bit of attention so I will cover them in my upcoming blogs, however before I stop I would like to share the following top 5 characteristics which distinguish electric cars from their petrol / diesel cousins:
- Electric Cars don’t have an engine! Instead they use an electric motor which is powered by battery cells integrated in the car.
- Electric Cars don’t have a gear box and transmission tunnel! It means Electric Cars generally have more interior space.
- While driving an electric car you can regenerate electrical energy when you apply breaks! This gives additional efficiency when you drive an electric car in urban areas.
- Electric Cars are silent! They are so silent that these cars are fitted with artificial sound system to warn pedestrians on road for safety reasons!
- Electric Cars are fast and furious! – Not all electric cars are designed to do 0-62mph in less than 5 seconds but every electric car is a force to recognise on roundabouts and junctions for their instant torque.
Though I have focused on positive aspects are electric cars in this blog, however it is worth recognising some of the criticisms too:
- Electric Cars are expensive to buy
- Battery life is not proven
- Zero emission does not account for impact to the environment caused by mining Lithium which is used in making batteries for Electric Cars.
- Electricity as fuel is not fully from renewable sources so net impact of electric vehicles on the environment is overstated
It is not the purpose of this blog to justify or challenge the criticism but only to acknowledge them. I would urge individuals to do their own research and derive their own informed view if Electric Vehicles are for right for them.
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Please do share your questions or suggestions for my next blog in the comments section below.
For more information please do contact Pawan at Pretium EV Charging Infra & Solutions Limited
Article by Pawan Arya