Electric Cars: Savior, Satan, or Step in the Right Direction Essay

essay A+

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

While it may look that electric autos are a new craze of the 21st century. this is non the instance. Electric autos have been around since approximately the 1890s. and in fact they were the dominant motorised vehicle in the market until about 1929 [ 1. p. 17 ] . This was due largely to high gas monetary values during war and the fact that back so holding a scope of 18 stat mis was more than plenty to run into the demands of most people. But so as metropoliss grew and gasolene powered autos became cheaper and easier to utilize. the electric auto was easy phased out. until about the 1990s.

Then began the renewed involvement in air quality and in the hereafter of the electric auto [ 1. p. 17 ] . In 1990 the Clean Air Act was passed. and now the gas gulping and air fouling autos that had become so outstanding began to hold ordinances forced down on them to better their efficiency and to do them cleaner [ 2. p. 642 ] . This Clean Air Act coupled with the Energy Act of 1992 encouraged research into the electric auto and reenergized the developments of environmentally friendly autos [ 1. p. 17 ] .

All of that research and dedication eventually cumulated in the release of the Toyota Prius on the American market in 2000. and from that minute. it has become a cultural icon. and a subject for hot argument [ 3 ] . The chief subject of the argument is at the very foundation of the Prius: whether or non the Prius is genuinely ‘green’ . While everyone acknowledges that it is a really efficient auto. the inquiry is whether or non it is worth it. due to the vary environmentally detrimental procedures that must undergo to bring forth it [ 4 ] .

One of the chief points in this argument is that the batteries. the things that make a intercrossed efficient. are highly polluting and unsafe. and the excavation methods used to get the lead and other stuffs is a really environmentally degrading procedure [ 4 ] . With two distinguishable sides there is now a het argument between petrol-heads and conservationists. This argument has even been propagated onto telecasting and other media beginnings. One great illustration of this. is that a British auto show. Top Gear. set on a trial that compared a BMW M3 4 litre gasoline engine against the Toyota Prius in a race non of velocity but of milage [ 5 ] .

The end was simple. the Prius would seek to acquire around the path every bit fast as possible. and the BMW had to simply maintain up [ 5 ] . The consequences of this unconventional trial were surprising. But they will be discussed subsequently along with the significance behind them. Since this subject is so heatedly debated. it is of import that both sides understand a little more about other because it is of import that they come to come kind of understanding so we can break fix for the hereafter. Pro-Electric Car Position: There are many groups that are interested in the development of efficient electric or intercrossed vehicles.

Of the many groups. possibly the most influential are authorities organisations. like the U. S. Department of Energy. and environmental support groups. Groups like the Electric Auto Association have the chief end of advancing “the promotion and widespread acceptance of Electric Vehicles” because they will “not merely maintain our Earth cleansing agent. their usage preserves the earth’s natural resources” [ 6 ] . The U. S. Department of Energy has four chief points that exemplify their position on the affair they province that electric vehicles: are “energy efficient” . are “environmentally friendly” . have “performance benefits” . “reduce energy dependence” [ 7 ] .

This last point on “reducing energy dependence” is one of the large hopes of the pro-electric group. Since electricity is made in the States by the States. utilizing stuffs from the States we can do ourselves more energy dependant and non hold to trust of the disruptive economic system and authoritiess of the Middle East [ 7 ] . They besides promote the fact that a genuinely electric auto releases no emanations in its usage. and while there may be emanations organize the beginning bring forthing the electricity. if the beginning is atomic. hydroelectric or solar there are no emanations at all [ 7 ] .

This point is surely really true ; in fact the EPA has given autos like the Prius a mark of 10 out of 10 for a nursery gas mark. and 9 out of 10 for an air pollution mark ( where 10 is the best ) [ 8 ] . Besides don’t forget that the Prius is a intercrossed significance it has a gasolene powered engine every bit good that does bring forth emanations when it is running. merely a bulk of the driving done on it is electrically driven. significance that a strictly electric auto would be even better than a Prius in footings of emmisions.

But still to hit so good is really impressive. to utilize the Top Gear illustration auto. a BMW M3 has a mark of 1 out of 10 for nursery gas mark and a 5 out of 10 for an air pollution mark [ 9 ] . So as these Numberss show there is no uncertainty that autos like a Prius are much friendlier to the environment when being driven. Many groups argue that this addition in efficiency far outweighs the negative side effects of the production of the Prius and other electric autos. They argue that the increased efficiency and lessening in pollutant emanations will more than do up for the high cost of the production of the autos and the equipment in them [ 10 ] .

As a consequence of the superior efficiency. and the Hagiographas of Aldo Leopold in his essay The Land Ethic. that propagates the thought that “a land ethic changes the function of Homo sapiens from vanquisher of the land-community to kick member and citizen of it” [ 11 ] . Cars like the Prius. and the Prius itself. hold become true cultural icons. It seems presents in modern America that one can non be celebrated or well-known without having a Prius. They have become symbols of good workss. and if that can go on with a still comparatively first coevals electric vehicle. think of how far a ulterior coevals electric vehicle can travel.

It is evident from this new compulsion that being green and being efficient is going paramount in the positions of Americans. Possibly this is going the instance because people are recognizing that they have to get down to work together and that they can non merely look out for themselves and that they must get down to believe of things on the whole. because if one adult male takes. and so another adult male takes it all begins to add up and easy we strip everything off. an thought illustrated in Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons [ 12 ] .

The pro-electric cantonment so is many people strong and besides has a batch of research to endorse up what it claims and it makes really strong statements for the extension of electric vehicles. Pro-Petrol Position: The pro-petrol cantonment is besides really strong and has a broad base. While there is scientific endorsing to what the pro-petrol cantonment thinks about electric autos. it is of import to advert that they are a more emotional side. who has an fond regard to petrol powered autos. It seems that they are rooted in their ways and merely like the manner things are. but that is non to state that they do non desire to protect the environment and promote efficiency.

One of the largest issues they raise against electric vehicles is that their production is more harmful to the environment in comparing to the production of gasoline autos. One instance survey in the Journal of Industrial Ecology straight reviews this and compares Diesel and electric vehicles form birth to decease. In the survey they take into history production. care. battery replacement. and they assumed a life of about 100. 000 kilometres.

After analysing all of the factors they came to the decision that “The production stage of EVs proved well more environmentally intensive
 [ and ] it is counterproductive to advance EVs in parts where electricity is produced from oil. coal. and lignite burning. ” [ 13 ] . They besides mention the demand for policy to be implemented to cover with battery disposal. since they have to be replaced before the life-time of the auto has expired and are really toxic to the environment. before electric autos are farther proliferated [ 13 ] . This research survey exhibits absolutely the concern of the pro-petrol cantonment. It shows their desire to hold an environmentally friendly solution. and as they see it with diesel autos like the Volkswagen BlueMotion a 73.

5 mpg eco-hatch. that besides has a 15 % less C dioxide emanation than its old theoretical account. there is no demand for the harmful production of electric vehicles and alternatively concentrate should be put on doing more autos like the BlueMotion [ 14 ] . It is really a really interesting point that in the United States Diesel powered autos are few and far between. and that there is non much involvement in them. Pro-petrolers feel that this is a non sequitur that the U. S. is demoing involvement in environmentally friendly. and economically feasible solutions to gasoline like electric vehicles but are neglecting solutions like Diesel powered autos.

Another contention that pro-petrolers have against the electric auto is that it has a really limited scope in comparing to a gas or Diesel vehicle. As electric auto engineering stands right now the maximal scope that can be achieved from an electric auto can be found in the high terminal Tesla Model S at an estimated scope of 230-300 stat mis [ 15 ] . This is besides by no agencies a inexpensive vehicle. it is in fact one of the most expensive electric vehicles on the market and can even give some high terminal gas powered autos a tally for their money.

If you were to necessitate to wholly reload the Tesla Model S it would take about 5 hours at a 220 Volt 10 Amp beginning [ 15 ] . Again this is impressive for electric vehicles. but to take the attention used in the Top Gear episode the BMW M3 has a scope of about 322 stat mis and it merely takes about 5 proceedingss to wholly refuel it [ 16 ] . Besides here it is imperative to observe that this is by no agencies an energy efficient vehicle or a vehicle with an expected long scope. autos like the 2011 Ford Fusion can acquire up to 500 stat mis to a armored combat vehicle and besides merely take 5 proceedingss to reload.

To set this into position. state one wanted to go from Golden. Colorado to Dallas. Texas a sum of about 800 stat mis and about 12. 5 hours of driving. Now with this sort of distance the Tesla would hold to bear down at least twice. so it would take the Tesla an excess 10 hours at the least to do the trip. doing the trip last about 22. 5 hours. and it would necessitate the particular equipment to bear down it. which is non the easiest to come by. Now for the BMW it would besides hold to refuel at least two times. so this would add on another 10 proceedingss to the journey. doing it a sum of about 12 hours and 40 proceedingss.

A brief glimpse at this information will represent absolutely what the pro-petrolers dislike about electric vehicles. they are merely non that practical at the minute. The concluding chief issue that the pro-petrol cantonment rises is that while the auto itself may non do any emanations and that it is a absolutely green engineering pretermiting its birth. the beginning of the electricity for bear downing the batteries is non green or clean energy. This is really a really true fact. because as it stands now in the United States approximately 69 % of the entire energy production is unrenewable and produces big sums of emanations harmful to the environment [ 17 ] .

These figures show that while the autos may be green with regard to their emanations the really beginning of their electricity is by bulk non green and is really more harmful to the environment. The pro-petrol cantonment so. while it is more emotional. is besides backed in scientific discipline and they have some really good points and concerns about the electric auto and its function in the hereafter. Other Positions: There are of class many other stakeholder in this argument that have either similar. or the same positions as the two chief groups discussed above.

The Pro-electric and Pro-petrol groups do encompass most stakeholders from auto industries. authoritiess. states. protagonism groups. general population. conservationists. purists. gasoline caputs. and others. But this does non intend that the two groups can truly demo the positions of every stakeholder. For illustration. auto industries as a whole sit divided. about all auto industries are seeking to bring forth new electric vehicle to vie in the efficiency conflict. but the bulk of auto industries are besides non giving up on gasoline and wholly exchanging to nil but electric vehicles ( Tesla being an exclusion ) .

Besides the assorted authoritiess are besides really changing in their exact commitments. For illustration. unlike the States. authoritiess in Western Europe are much more active in propagating the electric vehicle and other energy efficient vehicles. However. for the range of this treatment the two chief groups exposed above by and large encompass all of the stakeholders in argument in one manner or another. Common Land: As can be easy seen the pro-electric and pro-petrol cantonment differ with their beliefs and with their desires. However. they are non every bit different as one would believe on a cardinal degree.

Both groups it is evident bashs have an involvement in the environment and hope to do vehicles more efficient and cleansing agent. they merely see different manner to travel about it. While there likely are members in even both cantonments that claim the environment is non of import nor a major factor in their ideas. a bulk of members. it can be really safely assumed. want to better vehicle efficiency. whether it be for economic or environmental grounds. In this twenty-four hours and age it is impossible to non be more environmentally witting and to non seek to better efficiency.

There is no uncertainty that oil is a unrenewable resource and that finally it will run out. and this is a fact that is non neglected by either group. Both want to protract the resource and to do it more efficient and better. They are both cognizant that the combustion of oil is damaging to the environment and both want to cut down the impact of it on the environment. but they besides don’t want to be excessively extremist. Taking the mean member of both group neither wants to regress and travel off from our motorized society.

Both groups want to maintain traveling frontward and maintain progressing. neither group wants to impede the human race and direct them back to the Stone Age with limited transit. Besides both groups realize that they are all sharing this common resource and that much as Aldo Leopold said it must be managed and regulated and stairss must be taken to protect it [ 11 ] . With these similarities so it is of import to set differences behind and get down to seek to come to some kind of understanding or solution. Solution: There are many solutions out at that place that could potentially work out this difference.

One would be continue as auto developers presently are and continue to research new engineering for electric autos but non truly seek anything excessively ground breakage and seek to merely do better longer enduring electric vehicles and so seek to change over the United States energy beginnings to reliable and green beginnings. This thought surely has virtue and seems to be the way that many are seeking to follow down now. but it truly merely appeases the pro-electric group at the minute and seems like a instead implausible thought for the current clip.

A 2nd possible solution. would be to merely pretermit the issue for the clip being. utilize up all the gasoline have fun with it and worry about it one time it has really been to the full exhausted. This is a instead absurd possible solution and would non even to the full pacify everyone in the pro-petrol cantonment. A 3rd can be found in the rise of car-sharing. This new fab involves sharing drives with people who live nearby and work near to you so that more people are in one auto and thereby do the trip more efficient and conservative.

However. this does non look to be the best solution because non everyone watns to portion a drive particularly with people they don’t know that good. A 4th. and at the minute one of the better solutions. is to put clip and money into farther researching H fuel cell autos. Hydrogen fuel cell autos combine the best of both of the electric and gasoline cantonments. A H fuel cell autos runs off of tight liquid H that can be acquired from some gas Stationss ( and easy more if more were installed ) . the liquid H is easy to fabricate and H is the most abundant component in the universe so it will non run out.

In the autos processes occur that cause the H and O from the air to respond to make H2O and by making so produce electricity. This electricity is so either stored in batteries or can be used to power the auto. This is genuinely a wholly green engineering with no emanations and no negative side effects. there is no bear downing. and it takes about every bit long to refuel a fuel sell as it takes to replenish a normal gasolene auto. This engineering is still cutting border and still needs polish to do it more available. but it would non take much to do it even better than it is now.

This engineering is besides non merely a paradigm. Honda has been selling H fuel cell autos in California for some clip now and they have been runing really good. There merely necessitate money to be invested to set in more H replenishment Stationss. This appears to be the greatest solution because it answers everyone’s concerns. With H all groups should be satisfied: it is green ; it is clean ; it is easy to utilize ; it is dependable ; and it is available. Drumhead:

In decision. there are two chief groups involved in the electric auto argument: the pro-electric. and the pro-petrol. The pro-electric privation cleansing agent emanations. greater efficiency. and a lessen dependance on oil. The pro-petrol want easiness of usage. dependableness. greener production. and freedom from power overseas telegrams. While both groups have dissensions they do hold common land: a desire for a motorised hereafter. cleansing agent environment. and saving of resources.

Finally. a possible solution that should pacify both groups is that of the H fuel cell auto. which needs more research. Truly as the argument stands it is a spot of a standstill and there are surely some people on both sides that do non desire to hesitate. And as it stands now it is evident that electric autos will play a function in the hereafter in some manner or another. and some pro-petrolers accept this and others do non. and to them. they must recognize that electric autos can really salvage their gasoline so they can utilize it for their merriment.

Finally. to carry through on the earlier promise. the consequences of the Top Gear trial from the debut were as follows the Prius averaged approximately 17 stat mis per gallon and the BMW averaged approximately 19 stat mis to gallon [ 5 ] . These consequences may be surprising. but retrieve the Prius was driven at a race gait and the BMW had to simply maintain up and with its larger engine this was a comparatively easy undertaking [ 5 ] . What this trial exemplifies is this one simple truth: it does non depend on the auto so much as the driver.

So if one wants to be more efficient thrust more expeditiously. and that is something that has to be learned. This can be seen in the new tendency of hypermiling. where people intentionally strive to drive expeditiously and acquire every stat mi they can from the gallon. This is a new tendency and is turning and if it continues so possibly that in and of itself can be a portion of the solution and can assist to do oil last a small longer and assist cut down the C pes print of motorised vehicles. Word Count: 3395.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member