It is known that conventional vehicles produce a lot of carbon emissions that get ejected into the atmosphere. This causes severe pollution and is also one of the main causes for global warming. Smart cities need to make reforms towards energy and transport model for both, private and public alike. This would minimize environmental and acoustic impact of transport, improve air quality and thus improve citizen’s quality of life.
One of the leading smart city initiatives involves controlling pollution in all its forms. This can be done by reducing the number of gasoline vehicles on the roads and replacing them with battery operated/electric vehicles. The use of Electric vehicles (EVs) or battery operated vehicles are seen by governments as an alternative to conventional vehicles and are instrumental in cutting down emissions and thereby reducing global warming.
To understand how EVs are better and produce far less pollution than their gasoline counterparts we need to look into the lifecycle of vehicles (from manufacturing of the vehicle’s body and battery to its final disposal/reuse). Each stage of the manufacturing process is linked with carbon dioxide (main cause of pollution) and other greenhouse gas emissions. But the emissions differ in gasoline powered vehicles and battery operated vehicles during the manufacturing process.
The main component that distinguishes an EV from a gasoline vehicle is its battery. Since electric vehicles store power in large lithium-ion batteries which are material and energy intensive to produce, their global warming emissions at the manufacturing stage usually exceed those of conventional vehicles.
These differences in emission at the production/manufacturing stage change as soon as the EV hits the road and the environmental picture starts to improve. In other words, the extra emissions associated with EV production are rapidly negated by (reduced) no emission from driving as against the gasoline powered vehicles which emit carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere.
Advantages of an electric vehicle/battery operated vehicle:
No gas requirement: Electric vehicles get power from batteries that are installed inside the car. The battery provides power to the motors for the vehicle to run and also for other functions like lights, wipers etc. The batteries are powered by electricity. Since these vehicles are charged by electricity you don’t need to buy expensive gas (fuel). Driving conventional fuel based cars is getting more expensive day by day as fuel prices are going up. It’s not that electricity is free but it is cheaper than gas and hence electric vehicles are cheaper to run.
Size matters: Unlike the earlier versions of EVs which were only two seaters, vehicle manufacturing companies now offer 4 to 5 seater vehicles. Besides this, these vehicles also have autopilot features with good mile-range.
Money smart: To save the fragile environment from further degradation, governments are now alert and aware and offering incentives for going green. Many governments are offering tax saving benefits for buying electric vehicles. This can be a great way to save money and contribute to the saving of our environment.
No emission: Electric vehicles are extremely eco-friendly since they run on electrically powered motors. When driven these vehicles do not emit smoke or other toxic gases into the environment. They produce no tailpipe emission, and hence they contribute to a healthy and green climate.
However, the electricity that is used in the battery may have been produced at coal-dominated grids. During the generation of electricity, some amount of heat-trapping gases and other pollutants are produced. Yet, when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, the battery operated electric vehicles produce much less pollution.
On the other hand, the battery operated vehicle powered by renewable energy sources like wind, hydro, or solar power cause no air pollutants and are virtually emission free.
Cost effective and popular: Earlier, electric vehicles were not very popular due to their cost and functionality, mainly because of the limitations of the batteries. With technological advancements, both cost and maintenance have reduced greatly. New types of vehicles are being put in the market with multiple choices for the convenience of the user. According to recent research, electric vehicles are predicted to become cheaper to run than petrol vehicles in 2020s due to the falling price of battery (battery technology).
Safety: Manufacturers of battery operated vehicles are constantly upgrading their technology to ensure safety of the passengers. These vehicles undergo the same testing procedures as the fuel powered vehicles and come with the latest technology like assisted driving and wireless connectivity.
Low maintenance: Electrically powered vehicles require less maintenance. They provide benefits both in carbon emissions and oil savings. Oil savings because electric vehicles run on electrically powered motors and hence there is no need for lubricants.
No noise pollution: Electric vehicles provide quiet, smooth driving with good acceleration and curb noise pollution.
New technology in the manufacture of EVs is thus a step in the right direction-a modern, efficient, organized, non-polluted society. The above initiatives aim to speed up the process and find best possible solutions to curb pollution.
To get the best and to get it right, needs involvement at all levels- governments, local authorities, private businesses, utilities, research institutions and local people-in the process of finding innovative ways to make the environment cleaner and greener.
With so many advantages to owning and running electric vehicles, namely, less pollution, cost effective, no noise pollution, less maintenance, it would be wise/smart to use these electric/battery operated vehicles. By doing so, we are not only protecting our own future, but for the generations to come, and also reducing the impact of carbon emissions on our environment.