by hina on November 3, 2017 - 4:48pm
By : Catherine Martin, Audrey Rose Lucier, Hina Idris, and Marine Gauthier.
Nowadays, humanity faces a huge problem concerning climate change. However, many people have come up with some social and personal solutions. One of the personal solutions proposed to help decrease pollution and carbon emissions created by vehicles is to buy green cars. Green cars are vehicles that produce less harmful impacts on the environment than conventional cars. The two most common categories of green cars are electric cars and hybrid cars. Electric cars use electric motors or traction motors for propulsion, while hybrid cars comprise two engines: one that uses oil and the other, electricity. The cheapest hybrid car starts at twenty thousand and the cheapest electric car starts at around twenty-five thousand.
In the beginning of the 20th century, electric cars appeared and were representing 40% of the cars in the United States. Even though, green cars got rapidly popular, they came with many problems and people stop using them by 1920. Infrastructure to recharge the battery, the impossibility to go fast, and the price of cheap gasoline all contributed to the end of the electric cars period. Today, the electric fuelling station are still in development. Not many places have fuelling station which mean that long trips are not a good idea. Also, green cars still can not go fast and are still limited in speed. Plus, the price of electricity is really expensive it might not be a wise choice if you did not carefully think about switching to a green car. Electric cars might help the environment, but the problem of before are still present today.
However, even though green cars present a number of environmentally friendly advantages, they have a much greater negative impact on the environment than most would expect. Indeed, these cars have a negative impact in other ways throughout their life cycle. In the case of electric cars, for example, if your local grid generates electricity from fossil fuels like carbon, there will still be a massive amount of carbon emissions released in the atmosphere, though it will be lesser than for conventional cars. Furthermore, electric cars have to be lighter to work, and the high-performing metals needed are often rare (thus finite). For instance, the lithium used in the batteries is a precious metal which price is going up, due to the increasing demand from automakers. The mining done to extract it is also very destructive, as for the 0.2 percent found in the ground, the other 99.8 percent of the earth is contaminated and put back. It is also these rare metals that lead to complicated shipping, as they come from all around the world to make one battery (that’s not even involving the car itself). Also, there are some disadvantages regarding its use, like the fact that it can’t necessarily go to remote areas, and it is expensive. In the green cars, there is also the hybrid car, that also presents some defaults; less powerful than conventional cars, expensive, poorer handling as its weight is greater, higher maintenance costs and presence of high voltage in the batteries.
All of these negative flaws can make us wonder if green cars are really much better than conventional cars… should we be orientating ourselves towards a world of public transportation and biking instead? A world where the time spent commuting is decreased maybe…
Advantages of electric cars
Using an electric car can make you save, as a consumer, a lot of money on gas. Even if those types of cars are much more expensive, still they are becoming more and more affordable than driving fuel based cars. In long term electric cars are cheaper to run.
Another reason to have an electric car is that they don’t produce emissions. They contribute to a healthy environment because they do not emit harmful gases in comparison with conventional cars that produce particulate matter, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hazardous air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Furthermore, those eco-friendly productions can improve safety. The fact that they don’t contain gas they have a lower risk for major fires and or explosions. Also, because they are construct in function of having a lower center of gravity, it makes them less likely to roll over.
Additionally, the fact that electric cars run on with a battery, they are low in maintenance.
Finally, compared to conventional cars, electric cars reduced noise pollution because they are more quiet.