THE BRIGHTER FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION
As human beings and inhabitants of this planet it is our responsibility to keep its environment
Neat and clean. Countries, individually, have already been taking measures in this regard. But
most of us may be not familiar with the fact that “we are the biggest enemies of our environment”.
Transportation vehicles add about 2/3 of the CO (carbon monoxide) to the atmosphere and carsare at the top of the list. In cities, cars’ contribution to CO can, sometimes, even be more than90% of the overall air pollution. CO2 is also a major byproduct or waste coming out of the
silencers of combustion-engine based vehicles.
Efforts are being made all over the world on “how to make transportation vehicles environment
friendly?”. One of the most famous effort in this aspect was made by General Motors (GM)
when they made EV1 (Electric Vehicle 1) in 1996, an electric vehicle with “No Tailpipe”.
Electric Vehicles (EVs), in most of their aspects, are far better and human friendly than the
ordinary gasoline cars. They are cleaner and environment friendly because they produce a
negligible amount of pollutants in their complete cycle. Their overall cycle has about 50% less
contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. Other than these factors EVs are also more efficient thana combustion engine based car. Their efficiency is almost 90% while that of a gasoline engine isno more than 40%. Less than 40% of chemical energy is used to give the mechanical push tovehicle while more than 60% is wasted as thermal, friction and aerodynamic losses in ordinaryvehicles. Thus EVs have been reported to be about 3 times efficient than gasoline cars.
Another factor that makes EVs environment friendly is noise. EVs produce much less dBs of
noise as compared to an engine based car.
They only have a hum of tires and no other soundsthat are usually produced in cars by friction etc. When a gasoline engine produces above 100dB(keep in mind that a sound of about 140dB can damage your ears at the spot) noise, an electric vehicle has only about 50dB which in turn is only 50% of that produced by a gasoline powered car.
Gasoline cars use a lot of things like plugs, engine oil and belts that obviously wear out after a
certain amount of time and need to be replaced. This type of replacement cost is no more an
issue in electric vehicles as they simply “DO NOT USE” them.
Some people say that electric vehicles are not a good option because of their speed on straints. But I’ll say that this is not a big problem. Looking at the noise level, fuel consumption and environmental effects any reasonable citizen should go for an EV rather than a gasoline powered car.
While talking about battery based devices, there are some other questions that arise in a
consumer’s mind. What will be the charging and discharging time of the battery? How much
charging cycles can it bear? etc. The answer to these questions is simple. Though most of the
batteries take a long time for charging but the EVs available in the market use batteries take
lesser amount of time for charging. Some companies also provide an onboard charger that can be plugged anywhere and battery can be charged. Tesla motor is also has an alternative solution for this problem. They have made Tesla-Stations where they use superchargers that charge a battery in much lesser time than an ordinary charger. Yet hydrogen fuel cells and battery-capacitor pairs are also a solution to the charging problem. Another remedy is the use of solar panels all over the body of the vehicle, while maintaining the beauty of the design, as proposed in a patent named “Environment Friendly Electric Vehicle” published on July 24, 2013.
Talking about discharging, EVs that are being produced now days can cover up to 100 miles after a full charging. Batteries being used in EVs also have a warrantee of about 8 to 12 years (100,000 miles approximately) which is quite reasonable for an average user.
In a survey of http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ I compared Honda Civic 2013 with Nissan Leaf
2013, an electric vehicle. The data showed that:
- Where Civic covers 28 miles in a gallon, Leaf can run 129 miles (1gallon = 33.7kw-hr) which is a huge difference.
- You can save at least PKR 50,000 per year in fuel cost.
- Annual fuel cost of Leaf is three times less than that of Civic.
- Leaf runs 25 miles in ~PKR 90 while Civic needs ~ PKR 250.
On the basis of the above data, if I am asked to choose one of the above I will, no doubt, go for
Leaf. Not only because its design is sleek but because it’s my friend, it’s your friend, it’s a common friend to all of us living on this globe.