The image of people fueling up their traditional cars is a common sight; if current technological progress continues however, it’s going to become something of a rarity.
Electrical vehicles have been regarded as something of a white elephant in the past decade. Despite all good intentions, their limited range, clunkiness and slow charge times have not only made them unpopular with general consumers, but also made them a costly affair. However, some of the final barriers to progress with electric cars are finally being broken.
With mass produced vehicles like Tesla’s Model X about to offer a four hour charge time or less, can we finally hear the death knell for the petrol car?
Why does charging time even matter?
Many people are downright obsessed with the range of electric cars. The Nissan Leaf may be able to make 95% of all car journeys in the US, but its supposed limitations in range between battery charges have left critics claiming that it is impractical. However few realise that petrol cars also have a ‘range’ themselves: their tank size. However we hardly ever think of that as a limitation because we know that once the tank is empty, refueling can be done in minutes and there are plenty of places to refuel. Herein lies electrical vehicle’s fatal flaw: their range does matter because charging is not instantaneous and there are fewer recharging stations.
Charge time has been dropping extremely quickly in the past couple of years, with ‘turbo’ charges of an hour and full charges of four hours becoming possible. This spells that in just a few years, we could be looking at even quicker times – eventually approaching the refueling time of a traditional car.
There’s still the problem of charging stations, you say?
Sure, there are less charging stations than fuel stations, but that will change once more electrical vehicle get on the road. Even now, with some EVs boasting 200 mile ranges it is rather easy to plan your route around charging points, meaning that long journeys are completely possible even if there is a supposed ‘lack’ of charging stations.
Many people are also just not educated about where charging stations are. If you’ve never used an electrical vehicle before, you will have had no need to make note of a charging point. Check out EV charging points on the internet: even now there are probably far more than you think.
Won’t a massive switch from fuel to charging be just as bad for the environment as the current situation.
This old gem is often brought up by anti-green activists who say: ‘if the electricity that powers EV will probably be made in a factory that uses fossil fuels, what’s the point?’.
Firstly, that situation is still preferable because no tailpipe emissions will clear up the air in our cities and do wonders for people who suffer with breathing problems and the like. However there is another flaw in their argument: who says that the power will be generated by fossil fuels? Increasing use of renewable energy means that some of the electricity powering these cars is completely green and renewable. In addition, although it is by no means the environmentalists best friend, many of these cars will also be powered by nuclear stations that also do not produce emissions and contribute to climate change.
So is this really the end of the traditional car?
Based on a research carried out by Rolec Services, we’re still a few years off yet, but these are the first signs. Once charge time is down to minutes and the cost of EVs is comparable to traditional vehicles, there would be no reason to choose a traditional vehicle over and EV. That future may sound far off, but it’s actually a lot closer than many think.
This is a guest post by Andras Deak, a fresh blogger and a full-time communication and marketing solution consultant at HigherClick.com. He is very much interested in the car and alternative energy industries, thus bringing them together is something Andras always liked. When not working, he likes to travel a lot and do sports such as football, windsurfing and tennis.