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The problem with fossil-fuel cars are that most of the energy burned in engines is wasted and harmful for the environment.
The standard car produces around 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The substance that drives climate change. A need for a revolution in our transport system is vital and electric powered cars offers that solution.
Comparing the amount of electric cars being registered on Irish roads in comparison to 2016, statistics from motorcheck.ie show the total electric and electric-hybrid market is up 67.35% year on year. Whilst fully electric car sales are up 32.25% year on year.
As a proportion of the new car market however the green sector is still very small with electric and electric-hybrid sales only representing 3.73% of total new car sales. Fully electric cars only represent 0.41% of total new car sales.
The revolutionary transition in transportation has not only begun on Irish roads but with companies such as Boeing and Microsoft investing in hybrid electric/fossil fuel aircraft, the future of electric transport is nearer than we think.
Beside being more eco-friendly and people choosing to switch to a zero carbon-emitting vehicle, it is also cheaper than buying and running a conventional car. When you consider that someone who uses their car to commute each day could be spending €100 a month, the green option is starting to look better for the pocket.
The cost of an overnight charge can cost as little as €2. This charge on average gives an output of 160 kilometers. Put into perspective, according to data provided by the AA, the average cost per kilometre cost the Irish consumer with a conventional car works out on average at 60c. Therefore to cover the same distance in a conventional car would cost up to €96!
In additions to cost saving in terms of fuel prices, car insurance companies such as Zurich Insurance are also offering discounted insurance premiums on electric cars as well as specialist breakdown assistance services for electric car customers.
Despite all of these financial rewards offered to electric car drivers, there are certain drawbacks to using an electric car. The fact is, to own an electric car, you need a space close to your house to charge it at night. For people living with on-street parking this option are hampered unless they have a functional charging station at work.
To combat these drawbacks and help people facilitate to a more ecological solution for transport, currently a team of researchers from Stanford University are working on new technology to wirelessly deliver electricity to moving objects such as electric cars.
Their research has made considerable progress showing their ability to transmit one milliwatt of electricity wirelessly to a moving LED lightbulb. Despite their progress, it’s early days as electric cars require tens of kilowatts of energy to function. Nevertheless, the future of electric cars will allow us to drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to stop to recharge!
Despite seeing an increase in new electric car sales, replacing 100 percent of fossil-fuel-powered cars is impractical in the short term. Some car owners might not even replace their current car until it is dead. This is because in Ireland, it still remains cheaper to run an older car than to buy a brand new electric car. For electric cars to become the norm in Ireland we would need to see some serious initiatives from the government. In addition, there would need to be considerable improvements in infrastructure to accommodate this shift. But in 2-3 decades we can expect to see the transformation as technology and innovation in electric cars continues to improve.