Are we on the cusp of an electric revolution?
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for well over 150 years – considerably longer than their petrol and diesel fuelled cousins. But it’s only in the last couple of years or so that drivers and car-makers have begun to realise the potential for an electric car revolution. Technological advances in battery construction and rapid charging mean that, for the first time since the 1870s, electricity has the chance to displace fossil fuels as the driving force behind the world’s transport systems.
Is an all-electric future likely?
Replacing billions of petrol cars with electric vehicles obviously won’t happen overnight, but many analysts are predicting that an all-electric future is becoming increasingly inevitable. Many European countries have signed ambitious EV targets into law, with France and the UK both aiming to ban the sale of fossil-fuelled cars by 2040. And sales of EVs are booming around the world, with 70% growth in 2018 alone.
For years, electric cars were available from only a handful of companies – Tesla of course, plus the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf or Toyota’s Prius being the most famous examples. But now almost every car company on the planet is stepping into the ring.
At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, electrification was everywhere. Dozens of new electric models were on display as big-name brands ramp up production for mass markets, including Volkswagen, Porsche, Volvo and Audi. Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler, has announced that they too would have electric versions of its entire fleet by 2022, including popular models like the newly introduced smart car.
“ Exhaust emissions from fossil fuel transport cause 53,000 premature deaths per year in the US alone, and are especially harmful to children, the elderly, and low-income communities.”
Electric vehicles are going mainstream in a big way. But will they truly be able to topple the might of the petrol engine? And why might consumers be persuaded that their next car should fill up at a wall plug rather than a petrol pump?
Read more: Green Economy Coalition