Research Inquiry

Are Electric Vehicles the Future’s New Wave of Transportation?

There has been a lot of debate about whether or not electric cars would stand the test of time and become the next big thing in the transportation industry. Electric automobiles, with all of the technological advancements, benefit the entire population while also helping to minimize the pollution that the planet is now dealing with as a result of all of the fossil fuel usage through industrialization.

Electric vehicles, for starters, are the way of the future. President Joe Biden, for example, and several vehicle companies, such as Tesla, are attempting to push electric cars and phase out gas cars by 2035. California has already accomplished this, and New York is next on the list. New plans, on the other hand, bring with them a plethora of new views. Many people are weighing in on President Biden’s idea and voicing their thoughts. The article by Paula Froelich, “NY state to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035,” contends that gas-powered automobiles should be phased out, and firmly supports Governor Hochul’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that harm the Earth’s climate and meet the lofty goals set forth. Every day, the emissions from gasoline-powered automobiles have a harmful influence on the environment. They pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As a result, they account for 20% of total global warming pollution in the United States. These greenhouse gases trap the sun’s rays, preventing them from escaping back into space, resulting in a rise in global temperature. This could result in a significant increase in global temperature during the next few years. As a result, Paula Froelich is raising awareness among those who are considering acquiring or continuing to purchase gas automobiles in the future. She is informing New York’s citizens and residents who drive automobiles. Overall, Governor Hochul’s proposal to phase out gas-powered vehicles will have a significant positive impact on the environment in the long run.

Moreover,  Spencer Bokat-Lindell, the author of Can America Really Drive Its Way Out of Climate Change?, expresses that “Gas-powered vehicles are the biggest single source of greenhouse gases in the United States, accounting for more than a quarter of the country’s total emissions.” To put it another way, gas-powered vehicles contribute significantly to climate change and air pollution, which has bad consequences for farming, animals, sea levels, and natural landscapes. Because gas-powered automobiles are large emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2), encouraging the use of electric vehicles would help to slow climate change and reduce CO2 emissions. Though there would most likely be no immediate effects because many people still drive gas-powered automobiles, the environment will benefit in the long run as more people use electric vehicles. As a result, electric vehicles should become the new mode of transportation in the future to lessen the influence of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate and protect the environment around the world. In addition, author Jack Ewing published a piece. “President Biden sets a goal of 50 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030” It’s mostly about the Biden administration’s goal of having all major U.S. automakers, as well as a slew of international automakers, sign on to the plan. In June, pure electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids accounted for less than 4% of new automobile sales in the United States. “Electric vehicles account for a much higher share of auto sales in Europe and China because of incentives for consumers and government regulation.” Also, Ford, Stellantis (owns Jeep and Chrysler), and General Motors all said in an interview, “We look forward to working with the Biden administration, Congress, and state and local governments to enact policies that will enable these ambitious objectives.” As a result, incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles will mostly allow the ambitious goals set to be achieved.

However, even with all of the proponents of electric vehicles, there are certain to be others who disagree. Take, for example, the article titled “How Green Are Electric Vehicles?” by Hiroko Tabuchi and Brad Plume, the downsides of electric vehicles were illustrated. Although electric vehicles are great, they still take a lot to make. For example, they demonstrate that“…as 70 percent of the world’s cobalt supply is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a substantial proportion in unregulated “artisanal” mines.” In other words, the water required for producing batteries has meant that manufacturing electric vehicles is about 50 percent more water-intensive than traditional internal combustion engines. As a result, manufacturers must work with these mines to lessen their environmental footprint and make sure miners are working in safe conditions, a human rights expert says. However, failure to comply “will put the environment, and many, many miners’ lives at risk.” To add on,  they can hurt the environment in different ways, such as the use of electricity, what materials are used, and questioning what will happen to all the batteries that need to be recycled. Furthermore, “Like many other batteries, the lithium-ion cells that power most electric vehicles rely on raw materials — like cobalt, lithium, and rare earth elements — that have been linked to grave environmental and human rights concerns. Cobalt has been especially problematic.” As mentioned before, the batteries used in electric vehicles are taking up some raw materials that bring out concerns of the environment. Exposure to the mineral can show health defects to not only the environment, but also the miners since they still use hand-made tools to gather such ores. Still, President Biden strongly demonstrates his support towards electric vehicles in the U.S since he “…set an ambitious goal for the transition to electric vehicles: By 2030, half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. should be electric.” Biden claims that Electric vehicles are “a vision of the future that is now beginning to happen,” To add on, “A rapid shift from fossil-fueled combustion engines to electric vehicles is an essential step toward mitigating climate change,” Coral said. Even though there are downsides to the manufacturing of electric vehicles, many believe that as more drivers purchase them, the ‘greener’ it will be.Furthermore, research has revealed that electric vehicles do not require cobalt to function. Other non-cobalt battery technologies, such as nickel-iron-aluminum cathodes or lithium-iron-phosphate cathodes, not only exist, but are actively being developed for use in new electric vehicles. As a result, producers of electric vehicles are moving away from cobalt. Tesla’s current vehicle batteries, for example, contain less than 5% cobalt, and the company revealed in September 2020 that it is creating its own cobalt-free batteries. To summarize, clean energy and clean transportation solutions are required around the world to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

To summarize, electric vehicles aren’t exactly new, but there are still a lot of things for carmakers and drivers to learn about them. President Joe Biden and numerous automakers are attempting to push electric vehicles and phase out petroleum vehicles by 2035. Electric vehicles, they believe, are the mode of mobility of the future.