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IDEA Series: Do We Need Electric Vehicles? What are the Drawbacks?

This article is a part of IDEA series. The purpose is to share ideas to write an effective essay. The topics under these series are derived from latest newspaper reports.

What are Electric Vehicles: 

These are the vehicles that use electric motors for propulsion instead of a fossil fuel powered engine.

Why Electric Vehicles?

Governments, as well as organizations and individuals, believe that EVs are required in the present scenario due to the following reasons:

  1. Rising cost of fossil fuels: Since most of the countries are net importers of oil, a high price of international crude seriously impacts finances of the governments. This has a net effect of reduced expenditure on welfare activities such as education and health services. Moreover, a high price of petrol and diesel also absorbs a significant proportion of a middle-class family’s income. This money can be more effectively spent on necessities such as food, clothes, and education.
  2. Worsening state of urban pollution: Various cities of the world from New Delhi and Beijing to Riyadh and Lahore suffer from obnoxious air pollution. The World Health Organisation has raised serious concerns over deteriorating health of residents of these cities. They suffer from diseases such as asthma and lung cancer.
  3. Global concern over climate change: The increasing emissions of greenhouse gases is leading to climate change which has been labeled as the greatest threat to humanity. As a commitment to United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), developing countries plan to reduce their GHG emissions by at least 30 percent from the 2005 levels. This is possible only through non-polluting sustainable transport and EVs form the backbone of such infrastructure.

Challenges to EVs:

  1. Loss of investment in the existing system: Companies have already invested heavily in the existing fossil fuels based manufacturing system. With a massive push to the EVs in various parts of the world, billions of dollars of investment by large companies such as General Motors and thousands of ancillary units will be scrapped.
  2. Loss of employment: Millions of people who are employed in the existing automobile industry will lose their jobs. On the other hand, EV manufacturing units are not expected to generate an equal number of jobs since they require only about 20 components, unlike traditional engines that need more than 2000 parts.
  3. Massive investment in charging infrastructure: The charging infrastructure requires a massive investment that may take years to mature. There is a need to install charging stations at regular intervals since EVs travel up to 100 kilometers in one complete battery charge. Consequently, there are serious travel restrictions.

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