The conventional car industry is now in sharp decline across the world while consumer demand for zero or low emissions green cars is rising fast. Electric vehicles are now the most popular option.
The pseudo-freedom and autonomy offered by cars has largely become an accepted part of life for many in developed countries but is becoming less popular due to increased congestions. However, cars with internal combustion engines consume a lot of fuel and emit greenhouse gases.
Some people are unhappy about promoting the use of cars, and prefer bikes and public transport.
However, a large number of people now regard the convenience and freedom of car use as an essential part of their life. If you are going to drive a car, choose the “greenest” one you can.
The benefits of electric cars and how many are in use
Electric cars are 30% more efficient (in terms of greenhouse gas emissions) than cars powered by internal combustion engines (that use petrol, diesel or gas), even taking into consideration coal-fired power generation.
Transitioning to electric drive trains for cars would reduce global carbon emissions. For those that need more range, a plug in hybrid would suffice – fuel can be used to generate electricity when needed for longer trips.
In November 2008, the numbers of electric vehicles of car size (excluding bicycles) in use are estimated at:
- less than 300 on Australian roads
- about 500,000 world wide
California Air Resource Board/ZEV States Report
California, New York, Massachusetts and some other states have had zero-emission-vehicle programs since the early 1990s, because battery electric vehicles in those states, taking into account power plants, are far cleaner than gasoline cars in reducing urban air pollution and smog..
Choose a “green car” – buy an EV
Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) have emerged as the option to replace fossil fuel vehicles Some models can travel over 400km between recharges.
If possible charge it with electricity from renewable sources (solar, wind etc).
You can also convert a car to electric power.
Battery Innovations are making Electric Vehicles cheaper and more efficient. See: latest on EEStor’s Ultracapacitor and ZENN Car
Electric vehicles are now very popular. Is some countries such as Norway, sales are now exceeding fossil fuel powered vehicles.
EVs are now available from most car manufacturers. Some popular models are listed below:
- BMW: iX1, iX34, i4
- Tesla: Model 3, Model Y
- Kia: EV6
- Hyundai – Ioniq 5, Kona Electric
- BYD: Atto3 EV
- Volkswagen: ID.4
- Nissan: Leaf
- Jaguar: I-Pace
- Mercedes-Benz: EQS, EQA, A 350e, EQC
- Ford: Mustang Mach-E
- Skoda: Enyaq iV
- Audi: e-tron GT
- Honda e
- LDV: eT60, Mifa 9
- Mazda: MX-30 Electric
- Mini: Electric
- Peugot: e-2008
- Polestar 2
- MG: ZS EV, HS PLUS EV
- Volvo: XC40 P8 Recharge
- Renault: Megane E-Tech
- Fiat 500
- Porsche Taycan
Micro electric vehicles
Micro electric vehicles are small electric cars designed to address current and future urban traffic problems. They are smaller and lighter than standard electric vehicles. The often only provide seating for two people and have limited luggage space.
At present, no micro electric vehicles are certified for use on Australian roads.
Electric cars that incorporate solar panels have been made for special events such as the Darwin to Adelaide Solar Challenge. These are not available for retail.
Build your own EV
Electric car networks
Electric car networks were announced for Denmark, Israel, Australia and California’s Bay Area in 2008. These networks will include recharge points where cars are parked, and battery swap locations for longer range trips.
Power and grid utilities companies are gearing up to tap into the stored energy that plug-in electric vehicles can provide using smart-grid technology.
Car batteries can provide a buffer to lighten the load on the grid during peak times and potentially provide back-up power to home owners. In addition, old plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries could be recycled as storage devices.
- Other alternatives to petrol cars
- Tips for green motoring
- History of electric vehicles in Australia
- Australian electric car network 2008
- Greening Australian Transport
- Australian electric car network
- Smart networks
- CERES electric car project
- *Aptera super fuel efficient vehicle
- *EvMe electric car
- *Tesla Motors
- *Daihatsu Mira
- The Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) – provides information about the environmental performance of new light vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass) sold in Australia. The GVG can help you to choose a cleaner car.
- greenercars.org – official website for American Council for an energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Green Book which is a consumer resource providing Green Scores rating the environmental friendliness of every vehicle on United States market.
- Electric car uses sun to show watts driving the future, The Age
- Wikipedia:Alternative fuel vehicle
- Electric Cars links, Red Car
- Autobloggreen – green car news and information.
- Most Economical Cars – Find out the most economical cars for each vehicle category from small cars to sports cars. These are the most fuel efficient cars you can buy.
- Electric Echo – How? – A manual on how to convert a Toyota Echo to an electric vehicle.