Marching. Shouting. Protesting. In the midst of it all, the roar of an engine. The past few years, our world has been more vocal about the negative effect fossil fuels and gas powered cars have on the environment. Their negative impact is the gateway to bringing our Earth to a state which cannot be reversed. But we still have time to make a change, a change that can only be made if we implement electric vehicles into our society on an incredibly large scale. Currently, only one out of 250 cars in the United States are electric. Why are electric cars so scarce, especially with the amount of attention being drawn to the negative aspects of gas powered vehicles? The answer lies within the fact that the world hasn’t realized what could happen if electric cars integrated within our society as soon as possible.
Gas powered cars have numerous benefits. To start off, cars powered by diesel have more power compared to alternatives, leading to feasible long distance trips, as they dont require constant fueling. However, electric vehicles need to be charged every 150 miles, making gas powered cars more ideal for individuals with long commutes or a taste for travel. Another factor to consider is cost. The up-front cost of gas powered vehicles is much cheaper compared to that of an electric car due to the cost of producing an electric car battery coupled with the decreased competition in the electric car market. This prevents low and mid income groups from buying electric powered vehicles. Another pro of gas powered cars is infrastructure. Gas stations are everywhere as opposed to electric charging stations, which are not nearly as common. This can especially be a problem for rural areas, which may not receive the proper infrastructure necessary to support electric vehicles as soon as urban areas will.
While gas powered vehicles have some advantages, they are not perfect. Gas powered cars require expensive maintenance often, but electric cars do not need nearly as much care. This is because electric cars have considerably less parts compared to gas powered cars. Going along with maintenance costs is the cost of power. Gas prices fluctuate and increase, unlike electric cars, which have been proven to save their owners money in the fueling department. The politics and economic factors of obtaining gas are very uncertain. If our society is fully dependent on gas, and a major crisis happens- such as the development of a hostile relationship with a prominent gas supplier- it could result in issues for an entire continent. We can see this in the impending gas crisis between Russia and certain European nations.
Additionally, one of the most significant disadvantages of gas powered vehicles is their negative impact on air quality, the environment, and climate change. In the United States, 20,000 deaths were caused by vehicle emissions, which are responsible for up to 95% of carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides. The overload of carbon monoxide is directly linked to natural disasters, which displace millions from their homes, and provide considerable economic issues. Human health is also put at risk because of emissions. Gas powered vehicle emissions heavily contribute to ground level ozone, a pollutant that can cause an abundance of health problems, such as asthma, damaged lungs, or leave one more susceptible to respiratory diseases. While many argue that the emissions used to produce energy that powers gas powered cars are equal to the emissions from gas powered cars themselves, this is simply untrue. Electric cars have the alternative to be powered by renewable energy sources, lessening emissions. Gas powered cars do not have this capability as they will release harmful material into the air no matter what.
Are there any power types besides gas and electric? Yes, there are many. Some examples include nuclear powered, saltwater powered, and steam powered vehicles. However, these all have their flaws- danger due to radiation, high cost because of undeveloped technology, and risk of explosion- making electric cars the most probable alternative for gas powered cars at the moment.
Both gas powered cars and electric cars have their advantages and disadvantages. But thinking about the future, the environment, and the economy, the car that we should be seeing on the highways is clear. If we want to save our Earth, move forward as a society, and improve our future’s outlook, we need to continue implementing the infrastructure and systems necessary to implement electric powered vehicles into our lives. We need to provide access to rural communities, make renewable energy sources more attainable, and advertise the extensive amount of benefits of electric cars to consumers. In taking this step now, we can guarantee a clean and stable Earth, as opposed to a smog filled, economically unstable one.