by Mya Chew
Climate change and its effects are accelerating, bringing the world closer and closer to its tipping point — when the effects of climate change are so severe, they are no longer reversible.
According to Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation, the only solution to slowing down climate change is to get rid of fossil fuels in the power production and
transportation industries. Electric vehicles (EVs) have thus recently been thrown into the spotlight as these battery-powered cars could be the key to mitigating climate change.
What’s the difference between our normal petrol cars compared to EVs? EVs cost less than petrol cars due to many different factors. Firstly, many countries are trying to phase out fuel-run cars and replace them with EVs to hopefully reduce carbon emissions, leading to the implementation of many schemes and incentives to encourage consumers to buy an EV. In Singapore’s case, there is the EV Early Adoption Incentive which offers a rebate of 45% off the Additional Registration Fee. Secondly, day-to-day spending on an EV is cheaper than a fuel car. According to the first Tesla EV owner in Singapore, he spends about 6 cents per kilometer for his Tesla, whereas a fuel car will cost him 15 cents for every kilometer he drives. Lastly, there are much fewer car parts in an EV compared to a traditional fuel-run car. EVs do not have a fuel pump, fuel tank or combustion engine since they run on electricity. They also lack S transmission and carburettor, a device that mixes air and fuel for internal combustion engines. Moreover, EVs have regenerative braking, which means you will not have to change your brakes as often.
EVs have much more torque (power) compared to a fuel-run car. The electric motor, which is absent in a normal car, generates torque in a way which produces the necessary force for the car to speed off much faster than its conventional counterpart. Gas engines are generally heavier than an electric motor, hence traditional fuel-run cars have more resistance when accelerating, resulting in lower torque at the start. However, fuel-powered cars are able to maintain their high speeds for a much longer period of time compared to an EV.
Most importantly, EVs are a more environmentally-friendly alternative compared to conventional fuel-burning cars. Even though some critics of EVs may argue that the manufacturing stage of an EV can generate the same amount, if not more, emissions than a fuel car, the growing demand for EVs suggests that manufacturing will become more efficient. There will be greater recycling of car batteries which will mean decreased reliance on extraction of new materials to make the batteries.
EVs are here to stay and with more people becoming aware of the alarming increase in carbon emissions over the years, EVs may just be the solution to give us a fighting chance in mitigating climate change.
Mya is a recent graduate of Anglo-Chinese School Independent who is passionate about environmentalism. She takes part in many other environment related activities such as starting her own website OurGreenHelpers to educate domestic helpers on sustainability.