Electric Vehicles Will Be Ubiquitous by 2030
Drive through the Silicon Valley streets and you’ll see an unreasonable amount of electric vehicles gliding around you. To the same brainy, forward-thinking people, the wonders of both computer technology and electric vehicle technology appeal. But they are anything but identical when it comes to making the goods more widely embraced.
EVs are vehicles with zero emissions. There is no combustion and no pollution, because they are battery-operated. So for the environment, EVs could be said to be stronger. Since plugging in and charging the battery is cheaper than using petrol or diesel for the engine, they can also be economical to use.
There are no moving parts, so in the way of repairs, utilities and so on, nothing is required. There is very little noise and vibration, which are a surprisingly large part of driving fatigue, since they are battery-operated.
Since my humble purchase of scooters that had a range of about 40 km on a full charge, electric vehicles have come a long way. All we had back in the day were a few terribly slow scooters (only a few models could go over 40kmph) and a small cramped-looking Reva. Except for a short office commute and running errands and so on, there was nothing one could use an EV for.?
Now on the highways, we see a lot more EVs: scooters, cars and e-rickshaws as well. Cars such as the Mahindra e2oPlus, Mahindra e-Verito, Tata Nexon EV, Tata Tigor EV, MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and others are now available. These cars range from just over a hundred kilometers to more than 400 kilometers, along with fast charging options. EVs have now gone beyond just a commute from the workplace. With longer ranges and wide boot spaces, you are now now able to travel out of town.
EVs used to look funny before but now cars are sleek and thoughtfully built. Many governments promote the use of EVs and may provide time-to-time tax relief or other incentives.
Not a new phenomenon is EVs. For a long time, they were around; the first-ever EV was installed in 1884. However the idea never really caught on, mainly because of an electric-powered vehicle’s limited range until a recharge was needed. This remains the primary downside of EVs.
Although there might be a range of several hundred km for the newly improved electric vehicles, this is still not enough for a long road trip. Although these cars now come with a quick-charging option (about an hour or so), it still takes 6 to 8 hours for a full charge. In the middle of nowhere, a power outage will literally strand you. And it’s not like you can walk with a can of fuel to a fuel pump and walk back to get your car to move.
Although living on the higher floors, staying in an apartment could present obvious problems charging a vehicle parked on the ground floor or basement. Charging stations, such as in offices, might not be accessible elsewhere either.
Then there’s the truth that they use energy while EVs don’t use fuel like other vehicles. If in coal-based plants the electricity is produced, this also adds to the emissions. Plus, there is the matter of replacing batteries, which can be a big cost. You can end up paying for what you save on petrol/diesel when purchasing a new battery for the EV. And then there is the problem of the secure disposal of depleted batteries, which can end up in landfills and produce more waste.
The choices are, as of now, limited. Although every auto-segment has a mindboggling variety available, EV choices can be counted on one’s fingers. So though for some of us, electric vehicles are a good choice, they are not without their limitations.