Cars, taxis, bikes, vans, helicopters, and even ships: Hybrid vehicles are slowly but steadily making inroads into the transport market, but is this enough to transform the way we travel? About 930,000 cars had been on the road here in Singapore in 2018. Among these, only 707 were electric. That doesn’t sound like much, but there were just seven electric cars five years ago. That is an increase of 10,000 percent, and we’re seeing more charging points spring up around the country and electric car-share systems.
Well, in 2018, the United States, Europe, and the china was lead purchasers of electric vehicles, with nearly two million electric cars. And they’re just a tiny percentage of the world’s cars. However, EVs are beginning to gain a large market share in the Nordic countries.
Nearly 50 percent of Norway’s vehicles are electric vehicles. Traditional manufacturers, start-ups, investors, and even unexpected brands are hungry for a share of this emerging technology. Tesla, Beijing Electric Cars, BYD, and Nissan were the top sellers in 2018, but electric mobility is not limited to personal vehicles. Electric three-wheelers and mini-cabs are rising all over the globe. Not to mention hoverboards, seg ways, and even supercars of laptop size, which you can carry in your pack.
But you’ll need the infrastructure for more electric vehicles to charge them. Countries like the USA, China, and India are all setting ambitious targets for the electric car industry, whether by charging points or phased-out carbon-emission cars altogether. But that’s only one aspect of the equation. Because the electric vehicle industry expands, more expertise and money are going to be needed.
In Singapore, thus, the government is more inclined to let the private sector or private companies take the lead. In other nations around the world, where there is an overall dedication to the environment, the community has been more than able to have charging facilities. As of today, EVs are less cost-efficient than traditional petrol, diesel, or LPG vehicles. However, within the next five years, an EV’s cost is projected to be up to a conventional diesel/petrol-driven car. It’s going to be a no-brainer for people to turn to the EV car at that point.
The biggest attraction for the transition to electrical transport is, of course, a reduction in our carbon footprint. But energy always has to be drawn from somewhere, and power plants are not entirely pollution-free.
Thirty-eight percent of the world’s electricity also comes from burning coal and gases, which generates the foremost emissions. Americans still depend on coal to supply quite 1 / 4 of their electricity. China depends upon coal by 60% for generating electricity. With more electric vehicles (EV) and charging stations being installed, the electricity demand will increase. According to future forecasts, electric vehicles will raise global energy demand by 6.8% by 2040. It raises the question of whether the electrical transport system’s beneficial environmental effects would be significant enough. If the savings aren’t there, will a global adoption be worth it?
A diesel vehicle transition to a hybrid or full-electric vehicle would reduce emissions by at least 20-30 percent. But you’ll see the first hybrid buses, and then the buses that are electric only. And I think that’s going to make a big difference. And that’s probably going to be the most efficient mode of transport we’ll see in the future. However, there could be other considerations that impede the widespread acceptance of electric cars. It would be impractical or impossible to construct charging infrastructure in countries with sizeable mountainous terrain or incompatible electricity grids, such as Nepal or Pakistan. And let’s face it, the number of electric passenger vehicles available on the market is still tiny. The road scene is still vying for a piece of electric candy, with a range of dirt bikes, scooters, and mopeds. Proven brands like BMW, Vespa, and Harley-Davidson are now entering the party.
But just 11 months after the launch of Harley’s fully electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, the company ceased development after finding a flaw with its charging system. And Dyson, more famous for its vacuum cleaners and fans, has also unexpectedly canceled his electric car idea, citing economically viable challenges. Despite Dyson’s departure, existing carmakers and emerging entrants are pressing on with their plans.
The list includes Apple, its rumored Electric Vehicle project, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It may mean that we should predict a few developments in technological advances. As exciting as it will be to watch heritage brands pair their distinct designs with electrical technologies, a dedicated consumer base may not be enough to exploit the electrical industry for a ride, considering the challenges that businesses are now experiencing.
But it’s not just customers or consumers who need to be won over. New electric car makers have more entry barriers, such as developing a network of vendors and markets, offering existing car producers an advantage.
Skyports and Volocopter
EV travel has also taken to the air and oceans. Flying cars, air taxis have been thought about for several years. Volocopter, in cooperation with Skyports, is working to establish a commercial air cab service in Singapore. There is, I would suggest, a collective desire to make this happen to make CO2 or emissions-free transport possible. I don’t think we have a choice but to be emission-free. And the only technical option we have right now is to go electrical.
Out on the highways, hybrid cars only make up less than 1% of the road’s billion vehicles. But now that there are more competitors and more ideas, we should foresee more competition, creativity, and technology in the field. That means that you could be plugging into the electric city of the future faster than you expect.
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