EVs Drive Towards Sustainability

25th April 2024, Tara McManus

In recent years, a quiet revolution has been underway on our roads, one that promises to reshape the automotive industry and drive us towards a more sustainable future.

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) represents a shift in how we think about transportation, with importance far beyond the car itself.

Let’s dive into EVs, their history and their impact on the future of vehicular transportation.

So when was the first EV created? The first electric car was created in 1890 by German inventor Andreas Flocken, aptly called the ‘Flocken Elektrowagen. Although a far cry from the modern, sleek electric cars we see today, the Flocken Elektrowagen is a testament to the pursuit of eco-friendly transportation solutions.

Driving Towards Sustainability

At the heart of the EV revolution lies a commitment to sustainability. With growing concerns over climate change and air pollution, the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation has never been more urgent. Electric cars offer a cleaner alternative to traditional fuel vehicles, emitting zero tailpipe emissions and significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

From the late 90s to the early 2010s, there has been a huge push towards electric cars. Amidst mainstream competition, Tesla rose the ranks and has since become one of the most popular EV brands- with the Tesla Model Y recording 1,211,601 registrations across 2023.

The EV Advantage

What sets EVs apart from their conventional counterparts? For starters, they offer a smoother, quieter, and more responsive driving experience. Beyond performance, EVs also boast lower operating costs and reduced maintenance requirements thanks to fewer moving parts. Up until 2025, EVs are exempt from road tax as a part of the government scheme to encourage the transition to greener cars.

Hybrid cars offer flexibility too. The ability to switch between fuel or electric depending on your journey saves money and time. Many newer Hybrid vehicles automatically switch to electric when entering a low-emission zone!

Charging Ahead

One of the key drivers behind the rise of EVs is the rapid expansion of charging infrastructure. Governments, utilities, and private companies are investing heavily in charging networks to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. As of March 2024, there are 59,590 public EV charging points across the UK- a 47% increase since March 2023.

From public charging stations in urban areas to fast chargers along highways, EV drivers now have more options to recharge their vehicles conveniently and efficiently.

A Growing Market

As consumer demand grows, automakers are ramping up production and expanding their electric vehicle contributions. The EV market is more diverse and exciting than ever, from sleek sedans to powerful SUVs and futuristic concept cars.

With advancements in battery technology, range, and affordability, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly accessible to a broader audience, driving further market growth. More battery electric vehicles (BEV) were sold in 2023 than ever before with 16.5% of all new car sales and 7.4% being plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Environmental Benefits

Electric vehicles help cut down transportation emissions and play a crucial role in integrating clean energy sources into the grid. Thanks to vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, the batteries of EVs can act as mobile energy storage units, helping in balancing the changing supply and demand on the grid.

This dynamic interaction between EVs and clean energy offers a glimpse into a more sustainable, resilient future. Research by Kempton and Tomic (2005) highlights the potential of V2G technology to improve grid reliability while promoting greater use of renewables. This synergy aligns with global efforts to combat climate change.

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