Electric Cars: The Future of Motoring
Shrinking resources, raising climates and endangered habitats have led for calls to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption across the world. Indeed, across a range of sectors, industry leaders have been examining ways in which we live in a way that is clean, efficient and carbon neutral. A game changer has been suggested in electric cars – a development which pledges to gradually reduce fossil fuel consumption.
The concept of electric vehicles has been catapulted from an idea on the fringes of science and technology to a top priority for all leading car manufacturers. As the technology emerges from infancy and comes of age, top manufacturers are now in a race to fill our polluting roads with battery-driven alternatives.
Despite the ambition behind electric vehicles (and indeed, the ongoing climate emergency), sales are modest at best. Indeed, consumers continue to raise concerns as to the efficacy of electric automobiles: high prices, limited mileage and the availability of charging points continue to put off drivers from buying into electric vehicles en-masse. At this point, statistics could be more encouraging, with only 0.5 per cent of car sales in 2018 being full electric.
What do we mean by the term “full electric”? The term “electric vehicle” refers to a large spectrum of vehicles, ranging from “full electric” to mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, self-recharging and others, each denoting various levels of engine-battery infusion (the BMW i3, for example, offers only a small petrol engine that powers the electric motor). In the majority of cases, the battery has to be plugged in to be recharged. The highly popular Toyota Prius, however, offers itself as a “self-recharging” hybrid that combines engine and battery power simultaneously.
Whilst the showroom prices of electric vehicles remain high, benefits have been promised to eco-savvy motorists, with the British Government pledging £4,500 towards the upfront cost of a new electric car. Prices are also set to decrease as choice steadily increases.
At this point in the technology’s evolution, the main advantage appears to lie in the minimal running costs of electric vehicles (the costs of fuel, servicing, toll booths and servicing are dramatically lower than traditional automobiles).
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