With the growth of Electric Vehicles there’s been a lot of controversy over their green credentials. Waracle’s CTO, Mike Wharton tackles this issue as he advocates for a mass-transition to Electric Vehicles.
Oil is finite
Oil is a finite resource. Once it’s all extracted and used for heat, power, and plastic… it’s gone. There is much debate about when this moment will occur but there is no debate as to if it will occur. It will happen and when it does humanity will have no choice but to turn to alternative forms of energy. History shows us that shortages of energy cause massive geopolitical issues and international stresses. If humanity runs out of oil while oil is still a primary source of energy bad things will happen. A much wiser approach would be to transition towards sustainable transport technology whilst there is still oil in the ground.
Our global climate is warming, and over 97% of climate scientists agree that this is a man-made phenomenon. Electric Vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to a car getting over 100 miles per gallon, the most economical petrol-powered cars on the market currently get just over 80mpg. In order to ensure the Earth continues to be as habitable for future generations we must stop mass-emitting carbon that was sequestered millenia ago into the atmosphere. As society does not want to give up the freedom of personal transport, personal transport must be changed to support a more sustainable future.
As a side note:
The average surface temperature of the planet Mercury is 167C and despite being further away from the Sun the average temp of Venus is 462C – largely due to its thick atmosphere of CO2. Earth just happens to be in the Goldilocks zone of liquid water, however if we look at where we sit in a scale from Absolute Zero to Very Very Hot we can see just how delicate our climate is:
Electric cars make sense for everyday driving
Not counting the external effects, from a drivability perspective Internal Combustion Engines are a pretty poor choice for urban transport. Because of how torque curves vary throughout their rpm range they need large multi-ratio gearboxes to transfer their torque to useful speeds. A typical engines maximum torque is somewhere in the 2-3k rpm which is not optimal for pulling away from traffic lights. The vast majority of the chemical energy contained in their fuel is lost as heat and the remaining energy that moves the car is lost to heat when the brakes are used. Engines have thousands of moving components which all have to work correctly for the car to move. In comparison Electric Vehicle drivetrains contain only a handful of moving parts.
Electric cars also produce their maximum torque at zero rpm meaning we have the full output of the system from a standstill – ideal for city driving and great fun to drive. They are almost completely silent and don’t emit any nasty smells.
Why is this just happening now?
Despite a short spat in the 90s, till recent years there has been little appetite from the traditional auto manufacturing industry to spend R&D in developing EVs. This is changing for multiple reasons ranging from rapidly improving battery technology to optimised manufacturing processes, but those in the industry I’ve spoken to admit that Tesla has been a large driver in bringing forward the transition.
There is no manufacturer that has taken the task to hand than US startup Tesla whose sole commendable mission is to ‘accelerate the transition to sustainable transport’. Tesla proved that the concept is viable and that a compelling, long range and high performance car can be produced en-masse and that the public will buy it. It’s worth remembering that before Tesla every single traditional manufacturer specifically denied that producing a long range EV was possible pointing to high battery costs and lack of large pack technology.
Today we see EVs (Electric Vehicles) from many manufacturers with varying levels of commitment. While some manufacturers have embraced the opportunity to create a compelling offering many are still reluctantly producing compliance cars that are produced only to fulfil a legal obligation.
The demands of the increasingly environmentally market will reward the companies who strive for innovation, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability.The transition to electric and autonomous vehicles is already underway, and this transition is being driven by the integration of technologies such as mobile UI, Artificial Intelligence and network integration, and will require expertise in mobile operating systems, security and energy networks.
With expertise in these emerging technologies, Waracle welcomes in the new era of smart vehicles, we are excited for the opportunity to transform your commute into a comfortable, efficient, and eco-friendly journey.
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