It is becoming more and more evident that EVs are the future of the motoring industry but transport isn't the only industry that this technology is having an impact on...
It is becoming more and more evident that EVs are the future of the motoring industry. Due to the growing concern relating to the environment, it has been imperative to find an alternative to the traditional fuelling of our vehicles. It’s easy to assume that the impact on the environment is the main way in which EVs will change the world. It may surprise you to know that there’s much more to EVs than that though.
How are Electric Vehicles transforming the world as we know it?
From an Environmental Standpoint
Research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment; from a more sustainable production line to emitting fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants than petrol or diesel cars. In addition, the electricity generation to keep them running has a much lower impact on the environment than the process of sourcing petrol and diesel.
The major benefit of electric cars is the contribution that they can make towards improving air quality in towns and cities. With no tailpipe, pure electric cars produce no carbon dioxide emissions when driving, reducing air pollution considerably.
Put simply, electric cars give us cleaner streets making our towns and cities a better place to be for pedestrians and cyclists. In over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average 1.5 million grams of CO2. That’s the equivalent of four return flights from London to Barcelona.
The effect this may have on our planet if everyone had an EV would be astounding.
The Economic Impact
Electric vehicles, including their batteries, generally require less manufacturing labour than ones that run on petrol. For this reason, among others, it is predicted that many people who work in the automotive industry could face potential job loss. However, as electric vehicles become easier to build, the manufacturing process may become simplified and robotised, creating new manufacturing and business opportunities for the right investor. This could also lead to more robotic specialists coming into the field and creating even more jobs.
Electric cars could also have a positive impact on the economy. They could help to reduce our dependence on oil, which is a finite resource. This could reduce the amount of money we spend on oil imports, and it could also create jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Evolving Technologies and the Future of Mobility
With advances in EVs taking the world by storm, we could also be looking at the possibility of electric air travel and maritime expeditions.
Almost fifty per cent of commercial flights are under 500 miles, putting them within the range of an electric motor. Whilst the technology is still years away from being perfect, this is an area where we can expect huge advances in electric technology. In 2019 New Zealand’s first electric plane crossed the Cook Strait. The plane itself was 90% efficient, compared to the traditional 25% of conventional petrol aircraft engines. This is a huge advancement in the electric aviation industry, and we expect to see more progress in the coming years.
What underlying shifts are influencing these changes?
New Regulations & Standards
Climate change is a global emergency that requires international cooperation and coordinated solutions at all levels. To tackle climate change and its negative impacts, world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris reached a breakthrough on 12 December 2015: the historic Paris Agreement.
The Agreement sets long-term goals to guide all nations:
- substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius while pursuing efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5 degrees;
- review countries’ commitments every five years;
- provide financing to developing countries to mitigate climate change, strengthen resilience and enhance abilities to adapt to climate impacts.
The UK’s electric vehicle infrastructure strategy set out the vision and action plan for the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK. The intentions of this strategy are:
- to end the sale of new petrol and diesel petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030
- for all new cars and vans to be fully zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035
With these hugely important policies in place, the time for development in EV technology has never been more paramount or important.
Changing Consumer Behaviours
Most electric vehicle buyers are early adopters of innovation and green technology, and take pride in being environmental ambassadors. Consumers applaud EVs as an environment-friendly technology and are enthusiastic about switching to vehicles that will have zero emissions.
In addition to this, it has been suggested in a survey conducted by Auto Trader that some UK car buyers are looking to try before they buy when it comes to EVs. In results from the survey, it was found that 70% of UK motorists would be interested in leasing an electric vehicle for a two to three-year prolonged test drive, getting to grips with the features and technology before committing to buying one outright.
It appears that even those who are not early adopters of green technology are willing to learn more about EVs and their capabilities, suggesting that the uptake in this technology is set to become more and more popular.
Rising costs of finite fuel resources
Although EVs are currently more expensive to purchase than conventional cars, in the long run your EV may end up saving you more money than you might think. EDF Energy said: “Electricity costs much less than petrol or diesel and electric cars require less maintenance than an internal combustion engine (ICE). In addition, there are various incentives offered such as government grants or schemes, Vehicle Excise Duty discounts or exemption, and exemption from Fuel Duty.”
It’s clear that EV technology is having a huge impact on the world around us, and it going to continue doing so as time goes on. With the promises, policies and strategies set out by the world nations, and closer to home, climate change is at the forefronts of all our minds. This will surely mean that not only will we see a rise in the uptake of EV’s themselves, but that we will see the technology used elsewhere to try and mitigate the cost of climate change. We for one can’t wait to see where this journey will take us.