These aspects discussed all have an intertwined relationship in the complex debate on whether electric cars are indeed better than fuel powered cars, for example, the political perspective of sustainability is intertwined with the security provided with the shift from fuel to electricity, especially for countries like the US. This is because in terms of sustainability, the US looks first at how their country can be sustainable, ergo, reducing their reliance on middle-east oil, and this involves attaining security in terms of diversity of sources of electric energy.
Also, the economic advantages for consumers are intertwined in a relationship with the amount of pollution produced and the political agenda supporting the purchases of electric cars, as the economic advantages don’t only come in cheaper fuel, but also a generous tax rebate of up to US$7,500 from the purchase price per electric car. Hence, the various aspects on arguments for purchasing a car have an incredibly intertwined relationship amongst each other in their united front against fuel powered cars.
First Argument However, there are always two sides to a coin. For the political perspective of sustainability and the security provided with the shifting of reliance from oil to electricity, there is a counter-argument. The electricity generated to charge the cars are largely from power plants that require fossil fuel to work. There is a debate that gallon for gallon, electric cars are only 21% efficient compared to fuel powered cars (Minkoff, 2012).
While it is true that electricity does come from multiple sources, the bulk of it still comes from burning fossil fuel and hence, doesn’t go a long way to ensuring sustainability in the long run. The evidence on the counter-argument points are true as they do cite information from government research (“Electric Vehicles,” n. d. ). However, there is the assumption that electric cars will not improve in efficiency over the years which due to the rapid advancement of technology in recent years, is very unlikely.
Second Argument Next, the charge stations for electric cars lack the infrastructure for fast charge times. Addressing the perspective of consumers having huge convenience owning an electric car, in the article it wrote that charging your electric car is easy and you can just plug it into your home at night. However, people tend to overlook the charge time, which can range from 20 hours on a 120 volt outlet to 30 minutes on a 480 volt outlet .
Compared to 5-7 minutes for petrol stations, even the fastest 30 minutes would be an eternity for someone charging his car on the go. However, there is also an additional argument that there has been a breakthrough in battery technology that allows batteries to get an extremely fast charge (Peters, 2011). The evidence for the charging times are accurate as it is published on Nissan’s official website, it does sound alright when charging overnight, but it does pose a problem when you have multiple cars or live in an apartment where you don’t have access to multiple charging docks.
For the source of extremely fast charging batteries, it is true and existing now, but there lacks infrastructure in today’s time because of the need of a smart grid. The assumption in this argument is that most families would only have one car they need to charge, have multiple charging terminals at apartments and everywhere around the world would have a charge station. I find this a huge assumption to overlook. If a family has multiple electric cars, they would face difficulties in rotating their charging schedules, not to mention that apartments and HDBs wouldn’t have sufficient charging points for the many cars.
Lastly, for trips from Singapore to Malaysia, there is a huge risk that there are no charging points over there due to the electric cars not penetrating the market there yet, and this would cause a lot of problems similarly in other countries too. Third Argument For the argument that electric cars will reduce air pollution significantly, it is true that electric cars produce tremendously little air pollution, however, their source of pollution is actually measured by the source of electricity used to charge them . An electric car that gets its energy from an unclean source like coal or oil, may produce more pollution than an internal combustion engine. Currently, most of the world get their electricity from coal burning, which produces the most pollution, rendering electric cars to be actually contributing significantly to pollution. The evidence from this argument is true, largely because it stems from the very common knowledge that electricity is generated from coal and oil power plants.
However, I believe that it is easier to reduce and control pollution from a few thousand coal and oil burning power plants than a few million tailpipes, which means in the long term, electric cars do have pose a huge advantage in the areas of boosting control over pollution. The assumptions here are that cleaner sources of energy will not rise and contribute more to generating electricity. I find this assumption untrue as more and more effort is being put in to improve clean and renewable sources of energy (“What others are doing,” n. d. , hence, whilst coal and oil remains the largest generators of electricity, this is only for the short term. In the long term, other cleaner sources should take over. Conclusion In conclusion, electric cars will be the long term solution to a lot of our problems, they will solve air and noise pollution by cars, pollution by companies boiling crude oil to get petrol, reduce our reliance on non-renewable fuels which will increase our country’s security as we can seek alternative forms of energy, which will lead us closer to being a self-sustainable world.
There are many areas that needs brushing up before electric cars can fully replace petrol cars, but the future is looking bright for them as tremendous advancement in technology has given us very encouraging signs along with the increased government support in encouraging greener technology and greener sources of energy.
Minkoff, M. (2012). Do Electric Cars Really Reduce Dependence On Fossil Fuels?.
Political Outcast. Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://politicaloutcast. om/2012/08/do-electric-cars-really-reduce-dependence-on-fossil-fuels/. Electric Vehicles (EVs). (n. d. ).
Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://www. fueleconomy. gov/feg/evtech. shtml/. Charging Basics. (n. d. ).
Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://www. nissanusa. com/leaf-electric-car/home-charging#/leaf-electric-car/faq/list/charging.
Peters, J. (2011). New Structure Allows Lithium Ion Batteries To Get A Quicker Charge. Scientific American.
Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://www. scientificamerican. com/article. cfm? id=new-structure-allows-lithium-ion-batteries-quicker-charge. Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution?. (n. d. ).
Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://www. physics. ohio-state. edu/~wilkins/writing/Samples/policy/voytishlong. html. What others are doing. (n. d. ).
Retrieved September 23, 2012, from http://www. cleanenergyfuture. gov. au/why-we-need-to-act/what-others-are-doing/.