BMW i3

Why Australians are not driving electric cars, and why we should be

September 1, 2014

Electric cars have been around for a while and the technology around it is quite advanced compared with a decade ago. But with car manufacturering giants like Toyota embracing hybrid cars, why aren’t we seeing more electric cars on Australian roads? Here we take a look at the reasons why we all still prefer driving a fuel-consuming car and why we should probably change our ways.

With the intensifying global movement against carbon emissions and stricter global environmental controls, electric cars are set to revolutionize the car industry and are seen as an important step towards to decreasing global carbon emissions. Simply put, electric cars are an excellent solution for a society that has been dependent on combustion engine vehicles for decades. Environmentally speaking, it is undeniable that the adoption of electric cars would decrease the amount of carbon emissions and can possibly reverse some of the impacts of global warming. Furthermore, a decrease in carbon emissions can have an impact on urban climates such as decreasing smog problems in downtown city areas and decreasing heat island effect that is caused by the accumulation of carbon and other gaseous emissions in an urban core.

Electric cars can be an overall cheaper transportation option when compared with traditional combustion-engined vehicles. This is partially because electrical cars do not consume fuel—which has seen prices steadily increasing over the years—and it requires minimal serving. However, despite such cost savings, electric cars have a high startup cost. Electric cars, for various reasons like higher production costs and the cost of the batteries, are more expensive than comparable combustion engine vehicles. This surely deters some buyers from making this ‘green’ transition into electric cars. Despite their higher cost, they can provide significant cost savings on fuel and—in the long run—potentially override the initial high startup cost.

Despite their obvious benefits, electric cars are only available in limited models. This is bound to change as more and more car makers get into the electric car business. BMW’s i3 City Car is a stellar example of a luxury electric car, and it’s coming to Australia in November 2014! Another reason limiting the popularity of electric cars is essentially its over dependence on electricity – potential car owners constantly highlight how they are worried of the absence car charging points in Australia. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the car batteries might die out before one reaches a destination. The electric car therefore might be limited to journeys based on its battery capacity. Hence, improvements—especially in to its battery capacity and charging points—can truly revolutionize private transport in the future.

Image via: extremetech.com

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