The United Kingdom has recently announced that it will be banning all oil and diesel cars from the country by 2040. The U.K. policy makers have stated that this in the hopes of facilitating the use of electric cars in the country. Many see this as a victory for the future of the electric car, but what exactly are the long term effects of continued diesel use, and how are people reacting to this?
Electric cars have been around much longer than most people realize. In fact, they were commercially available years before Henry Ford’s Model-T! The first publically available electric car was released in the United States in the 1880s and increased in popularity at the turn of the century. Even when automobiles with gasoline and internal combustion engines were introduced, the electric car reigned supreme. Many people saw them as the superior car due to their relative silence, ease of control, and cleanliness. Even in the early 1900s, people found the exhaust from gasoline powered cars unattractive. However, when Ford unveiled his Model-T in 1908, made exceptionally cheap by the use of conveyor belts and automation, the Model-T became more economically viable than any electric car on the market. After 1908, the electric car fell off everyone’s radar.
Fast forward to the present day, and electric cars are on the rise again. Or are they? Despite many companies and governments advocating the positive effects of switching over, many are reluctant to do so. At least, most Americans and Germans are. This is mainly due to the way society as a whole views their mobility. Germans often put the car’s performance and “feel” over all, and believe the electric cars simply do not handle as well gasoline powered cars. Americans however, have proven to be distrustful of electric cars. Many believe the electric car to be more expensive than gasoline cars, even though their base prices are often tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than gasoline cars’. This is due to the many expensive accessories an electric car requires.
Gasoline is readily available virtually everywhere in the world. Big oil is the third largest industry in the world, and there are thousands of gas stations in every country. It is easy to come by gas. It is not easy to come across the necessary charging stations electric cars require. Those have yet to permeate our society, so if your car’s charge is running out, it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to find a local charging station. And even if you do, it takes much longer to charge an electric car than it does to fill up a gasoline car with gas. While every model of car is different, it takes an average of a few hours to charge a car. However, this time is rapidly decreasing to only a half hour. In the end, it is easiest to install a charging station in your own garage, but this too is expensive, and not all those who own a car have a garage. These are some of the main issues preventing the electric car from spreading to many households.
This is not to say that we should not embrace electric cars. But a lot needs to happen before we can. These are the things that the United Kingdom is going to need to consider as they commit to electric cars. Some have already made the switch, and have explained why they did and what the benefits have been. Electric cars have proven to be much cheaper than gasoline cars, and their base price is continuously falling. Of course, the environmental effects are also infinitely better than those of gas powered cars. The 2015 Paris Accords have advocated for the introduction of electric cars into more regions, and virtually every environmental agency has urged their adoption. Electric charging stations also promote other green energy formats, as many stations are powered by solar powered roofs. These versatile uses have an excellent impact on local environments, they need only be accepted as the future. Much like self-driving cars, it appears that electric cars are an inevitability, for their negative aspects pale in comparison to their positives.