By John Ensor •
Published: 08 Feb 2024 • 16:24
Charging an electric vehicle.
Credit: Basilico Studio Stock/Shutterstock.com
The debate surrounding the future of transportation often centres on electric vehicles (EVs).
As the world grapples with climate change and seeks sustainable solutions, electric cars are frequently presented as a beacon of hope.
Notably, Spain lags behind its European counterparts, with disappointing sales figures. Statistics show the electrified vehicle market share at just 12 per cent of new car sales.
However, there are valid arguments on both sides. Euro Weekly News looks at the reasons why electric cars could be the way forward and their drawbacks.
The most compelling argument for electric cars is their potential to reduce carbon emissions.
Unlike internal combustion engine vehicles that rely on fossil fuels, EVs can be powered by renewable energy sources, significantly lowering the carbon footprint of personal transportation.
Lower operating costs
Electric cars are generally cheaper to operate than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Electricity, especially from renewable sources, can be less expensive than petrol, and electric motors are more efficient and have fewer moving parts, leading to lower maintenance costs.
By shifting away from oil, countries can reduce their dependence on imported petroleum, enhancing their energy security. This transition could lead to a more stable and predictable energy market.
The push for electric vehicles drives technological advancements in battery storage, energy efficiency, and renewable energy integration, contributing to broader applications beyond transportation.
Electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions, which can lead to better air quality and lower health risks associated with air pollution.
Battery production and disposal
The environmental benefits of electric cars are somewhat offset by the energy-intensive and polluting processes involved in battery production and disposal.
Mining for lithium, cobalt, and nickel has significant environmental and ethical concerns, and the recycling of these batteries is not yet fully sustainable.
Dependence on electricity grids
EVs shift the source of pollution from exhaust pipes to power plants. In regions where electricity is primarily generated from coal or natural gas, the environmental benefits are diminished.
Limited range and charging infrastructure
Although range has improved, electric cars still can’t match the distance petrol vehicles can travel on a single fill-up. Additionally, the lack of widespread and fast-charging infrastructure remains a significant barrier to its widespread acceptance.
High initial cost
Despite lower operating costs, the upfront price of electric cars is typically higher than that of conventional vehicles, making them less accessible to a broad segment of the population.
The demand for batteries could lead to shortages of critical minerals, driving up costs and creating geopolitical tensions over resource control.
The future of electric cars hinges on addressing these challenges while capitalising on their benefits.
Investments in renewable energy, advancements in battery technology, improvements in the efficiency of electric cars, and the development of sustainable materials for batteries can mitigate many of the drawbacks.
Electric cars offer a promising path towards a more sustainable and efficient transportation system. However, their success will depend on overcoming significant hurdles related to environmental impact, energy sources, infrastructure, and costs.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
All in all, EVs are not worth the huge expense!
Manufacture of electric vehicles has carbon footprint approximately greater than non electric thus their production is adding to global warming !
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