Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since the 1800s. They were very popular around the turn of the century. It was during the 1920s that they began to fall out of favour due to their limited range – as road networks expanded, more people turned to petrol cars as they can drive further distances.
Photo by Mike
Recently, due to growing climate change concerns, EVs have seen a revival. In fact, since the 1990s, there’s been a considerable boom in the number of EV owners. There are now a diverse array of EV brands and models on the market ranging from electric sports cars to electric motorcycles. Governments around the world are now preparing for a shift to electric vehicles, using incentives such as free city parking and free charging points to get more people buying them. But when will EVs fully take over our roads?
Bloomberg predicts that we’ll see a significant change by 2040 – by then, 54% of all new car purchases will be electric vehicles. This all depends on whether the resources and technology improvements in the next ten years.
What’s holding electric vehicles back?
If every car owner is to one day drive an electric vehicle, we’ll need a lot of lithium to power the batteries. In an area of Canada known as the Canadian lithium belt, there’s thought to be 7.5 million tons of the lithium in the ground. A drilling program is already getting underway. Meanwhile, other countries are looking into their potential lithium reserves.
The issue is not whether there’s enough lithium in the ground but whether mining companies will be able to meet the demand. If they can, electric cars will take off.
The other problem at the moment to overcome is that electric cars still can’t go the distance. Technology is getting better the Tesla Roadster can go 600 miles on a single charge. However, these long-range electric cars are costly, and manufacturers are still working out how to put this technology cheaply into vehicles that your everyday car owner can afford. Electric cars should still be able to dominate the roads in cities, but in more rural areas people will want longer-range EVs.
Why electric vehicles are the future?
There’s a clear environmental need for EVs. Electric vehicles produce no carbon emissions and don’t require fossil fuel consumption that petrol cars do. For this reason, governments around the world are pushing EVs.
Electric cars are also going to get cheaper over time. For many people, this will be the deciding factor as to whether to go petrol or EV. Once electric vehicles cost the same, it will be a no brainer for those looking to cut costs on car ownership. Electric cars also happen to have much lower running costs, including guaranteeing more mileage for your dollar and require less maintenance due to no oil and fewer moving parts. So you may not need your best torque wrench if you’re making the switch.
If you’re anything like me, you hope that more and more people choose to “go green” when it comes to driving, and as we see the numbers continue to increase, we can be more hopeful that we are reducing the impact on our world.