It is no longer news that we have all experienced different level of hardships over the last several months. But as hard as it is to imagine, in the middle of the pandemic, climate change has the potential to be even more devastating.
The global health crisis is a loud reminder of how much innovation is needed to prevent a climate disaster. The lockdown proved that there was reduced global emissions by around eight percent. Now that life is getting back to normal in some places there is the dire need to address climate change, by finding new ways to do things that don’t release greenhouse gases, including how we move around.
China, United States, India, Russia and Japan are the top five countries with the highest carbon emissions. With these depressing data, some countries are making moves towards reducing the harmful effects of moving vehicles like cars, buses, trains, articulated vehicles and the likes which continuously release heavy doses of harmful gasses into the atmosphere.
The goal isn’t necessarily to make people move around less as we have seen over the last several months that economies suffer when people are forced to stay home.
We want more people and goods to be able to travel. For some of the people—like smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa—the ability to move goods from rural areas to city markets can make the difference between living and starving to death. To achieve that, we need to make sure transportation remains affordable to everyone who needs it. That’s why products like gasoline, diesel, and even jet fuel are the standard for a reason as they can send you a long way for a low cost per gallon.
So, how exactly do we make moving around happen without emitting greenhouse gases? The answer is simple, despite the face that making it happen won’t be easy: use clean electricity to run all the vehicles we can, and get cheap alternative fuels for everything else.
As futuristic as that sounds, the good news is that some advocates of a cleaner, greener atmosphere have made lots of progress on electric vehicles, or EVs. You can go out and buy one right now. Another good news is that you can buy it right now. The batteries that power them have seen an 85 percent price drop since 2010, meaning they’re getting more affordable to purchase, although they’re still more expensive than gas-based options.
Several companies are developing better and cheaper batteries that will hopefully make EVs a realistic option for every car owner. Keep scrolling to see more.
Hyundai’s all-electric Ioniq Electric features a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery (LiPo) that delivers an EPA-rated all-electric range of 200km. At the 2016 LA Auto Show, the South Korean car manufacturer announced plans to extend the electric range of the Ioniq EV to more than 200 miles by 2018.
The Chevrolet Bolt or Chevrolet Bolt EV is a front-engine, five-door all-electric sub-compact hatchback marketed by the American manufacturer, developed and manufactured in partnership with LG Corporation. A rebadged European variant is sold as the Opel Ampera-e. The Bolt has an EPA all-electric range of 383km.
The German car manufacturer describes its BMW i range – featuring the BMW i3, BMW i3s, BMW i8 Coupe and BMW i8 Roadster – as ‘the re-invention of sustainable mobility’. An all-electric BMW i3 will take you up to 201km on a single charge, or even 312km when using ‘range extender’.
BAIC Group is a Chinese state-owned enterprise and holding company of several automobile and machine manufacturers located in Beijing. BAIC has four EV vehicles. The E150 EV is powered by an electric engine with an output of 61hp and a 25.6kWh lithium-ion battery. It has a top speed of 125kmph, a range of 150km, and charging on 220V takes eight hours.
The Californian company’s Model S was the world’s best-selling plug-in electric car in 2015 and 2016 and its owner Elon Musk was proud to announce that Tesla topped Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey at 91per cent. Tesla’s recent Model 3 boasts a range of 310 miles and a top speed of 140mph. The founders were influenced to start the company after GM recalled and destroyed its EV1 electric cars in 2003.
Signed on March 27, 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has seen both companies, which combined, represents the world’s largest car maker, excel at producing electric vehicles. The French-Japanese business has also joined forces with China’s Dongfeng Motor Group to form eGT New Energy Automotive, a 50:50 joint venture. The Nissan Leaf has two battery options of 24kWh and 30kWh that have ranges of 199km and 249km. Renault’s Zoe was named ‘Best used green car’ by What Car? in 2018 and has a range of up to 402km per full charge and a real-world range somewhat of 297km, depending upon temperature and climate control use.
These cars are simply charged up using electricity. You may be asking what role do I have to play here? Good question! You can do a lot to making planet earth a safer place for generations unborn. Simply become an advocate or join groups in your country that push for a greener economy.
Do you have questions or comments? You can share with us in the comment section.