Is the petroleum reign over? Green cars are now in.

Palistha Tuladhar

In a world that works on mostly on fuels from crude mines, how long will it take for electric cars to take over the market ? Not long enough we expect. Yet, the world consumes 50% oil, 24 million b/d of gasoline and 27 million b/d of diesel fuel every day and a staggering 1.5 million gallons every minute in 2017 (source-BP Statistics Review of World Energy). There are now about 1.2 billion passenger cars alone, over which 90% of them rely on oil. But this trend is slowly decreasing with people becoming more conscious about climate change and the exhaustion of fossil fuels. Petroleum extraction’s next phase may be steady decline.

Till date, people discourse about the peak demand of crude oil, that it’s extraction will soon dim out due to green energy. However, that’s not the case from an economical view because the world seems to be highly functional due to oil. Oil extraction and consumption can still be done in a green economy, albeit it needs to be monitored for carbon emissions because no economy can solely work on just green power itself. While oil extraction itself is not decreasing, it doesn’t mean automated machinery can’t evolve. With the help of even more extravagant technology, more cars can now run green.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rechargeable electrical battery operated motors that are faster, cheaper and cleaner for the environment. Studies show their safety improvements and health benefits for humans– better air quality and less noise pollution. At current, these vehicles use lithium-ion battery cells that lasts up to 500-600 charge cycles but with improved technology, batteries such as  Grabat Graphene, Golden nanowires , Aluminum-air batteries can be used as car batteries which have much faster rates and higher charging cycles than lithium-ion battery. Power Japan Plus has already announced its new battery technology called Ryden dual carbon, it is a innovative battery that could bring EVs into market more quickly. These batteries can charge up to 20 times more and last longer than high-end lithium ion batteries, it is cheaper, safer, and 100% recyclable and does not require the use of any rare Earth metals– cutting costs of production at high.

It also appears like the automobile industry has begun embracing this change years after refuting it. Last year saw automakers make several major EV announcements. Companies like Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, General Motors Co. have started adopting these electrification transformations, furthermore, EV models like Chevy Bolt, Toyota Prius Prime and Tesla Model X have also had an increase sales in 2017. Numbers show that EV sales have grown by 21 percent than 2016 and the numbers are just bound to grow. In terms of charging stations, Tesla opened one of its biggest supercharging stations in North America. Similarly, Volkswagen plans to install 800 charging stations in 17 of the largest U.S. cities by June 2019 and Shell released its plans to charge EVs in just 8 minutes with the 80 high-power charging stations throughout the continent. Consecutively, a wireless power transfer system (WTP) has also been discussed widely and it may be introduced much sooner than you’d think. 

For combating global warming and air pollution, Green automobiles are the next revolutions. Norway plans to ban new gas car sales by 2025, India and China are considering this ban and may be putting it into action by 2030 and UK and France have set bans by 2040. However, this green turn may not be feasible everywhere. Gasoline bans may have harsh effects on people and not all countries can afford to implement these as fast as the developed countries. But starting these bans are a stepping stone, whether it’s to implement eco-friendly electric cars or hybrid cars– motors that run both on oil and electricity– we are on a path for green trend. So next time on the road watch out for those striking EVs.

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