Energy News Space

The Actual Potential in the Transition of Electric Cars

Unless you believe in marketing the major automotive companies, the electric vehicles are a wave of the future. This year there are new electric models on the market from Kia, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Chevrolet as well as the Audi, Porsche, and BMW luxury brands. It would seem that gas and diesel-powered automobiles would be obsolete over the next few decades.

Nevertheless, while electric cars are significantly improved compared to gasoline status quo, they can not fix most of the major car problems. They are still far from the best electric vehicles on the market. This award must be for electronic models of traditional human-powered transport — electric scooters, e-skateboards, and particularly e-bikes. We are more capable of revolutionizing the congested cities of America and providing American citizens with exceptional wellness and convenience— but dramatic policy changes will be required to maximize this ability.

Cars take up much space, this being the biggest logistical problem. In this typical American situation, one requires a parking lot at home, a work car park, and a broad road to move the vehicle between the two locations (like around three-quarters of the American people). The above implies that such parking lots remain unused on average about half the time–and even when the car itself has passengers or cargo, it still does nothing.

Now the theoretical potential is for self-driving electric cars to reduce parking space wastage because people would take a taxi to work. Nevertheless, this technology is far tricky than utopian technology barons had anticipated. In 2016, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, pledged that only in two years, his vehicles would be fully self-driven. It would be by the end of 2019, he said last year. It never did, though many citizens were involved in accidents or killed by believing in the “Autopilot” feature of Tesla. There are significant challenges in programming, pattern recognition, and driving, about which very little progress is visible. 

Cars are just risky, ultimately. Thirty-six thousand five hundred sixty car users were killed in 2018 in the latest numbers collected by the federal government. Now, that is a slight drop from the number in 2017 of 37,473, but the number of car-killed pedestrians and cyclists increased by 3.4% and by 6.3% in the same year, rising to 6,283 and 857 respectively-in part because an SUV or truck is more likely to kill many people. The second leading source of accidental fatalities were vehicle crashes.

E-bike models can be used to substitute heavy objects or passenger transportation for most short distance travel. A right bike trailer can carry 100 pounds of stuff (or kids) and freight-oriented e-bikes can do the same–though they need just a little more space than a regular street bike. Delivery organizations such as UPS have even begun using delivery e-trikes with a cockpit and cargo room. Most taxi rides in the city center can lose their use to e-pedicabs.