THE VEHICLE AHEAD IS ELECTRIFIED!

Nowadays, it is pertinent to ask: what are the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles? How do they compare to the ones with internal combustion engines?

There was the recent news, Solar-Powered Tricycles Takes Over Nigerian Market

With us being copiously blessed with abundant sunlight (solar) energy, it is mystifying why we have not taken more advantage of this free source of energy, especially in a country with unstable electricity power supply.

However, it looks  as if Nigeria is finally waking up with news like We‘ll Deliver Electric Cars To Nigerian Market In 2018, Says Prince Ado Ibrahim. It means things are about to start changing as regards of the gradual jettisoning of the use of fossil fuel to power automobiles.

A Senator and business mogul, Ben Murray – Bruce owns a customized Electric Kia Soul, and it is hoped that more people would adopt vehicles that are green, that are not  ‘earth warning’ , reducing the level of pollution.

Have a look at  Dirtied By Success? Nigeria Is Home To City With Worst PM10 Levels , a report that shows the undesirable level of pollution in the country.

The advantages of electric cars transcend just the reduced decimation on the environment, however . These vehicles emit no greenhouse gases , releases no hydrocarbon / smoke, and are ‘whisper quiet’.

In busy metropolis where traffic noise level is a major concern – deafening us slowly –  this is a big relief.

For those who have already noticed the pollution layer in the atmosphere of big cities like China, and other highly industrialized cities, you would realize why a country like China is at the forefront of the reduction of the their carbon footprint. It is a matter of death and death – by installments.

While we say that the electric vehicles generate zero emissions, we must acknowledge that the batteries powering them are  not totally biodegradable. There is pollution due to the process of producing the batteries. More on this later .

But the electric car remains a solution to urban pollution (just like our electric solar tricycle).

An electric car, complemented with  solar panels, represents a real ecological solution to the frightening current global warming situation. If we keep warming and polluting the atmosphere at the current rate, the future is truly bleak. This is something Tesla and others are trying to tackle with the acquisition of Solar City, where roofing sheets have embedded solar panels, at an affordable price level.  In a place in Nigeria where sunlight is abundant, this would be a major solution to our electricity woes.

NOISE POLLUTION

When  an electric car passes you, you only perceive an ethereal whisper. The danger of this silence is that a driver may sleep off, or a pedestrian may not be aware of an electric vehicle until he gets knocked down.

Driving An Electric Car Is Like A Procession  Through A Graveyard In The Dead Of The Night

The manufacturers are therefore introducing artificial noise into this ultra silent vehicles.

MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE.

What you pay to charge your electric vehicle, compared to what you would for petrol or diesel is far less, and saves you a bundle over time. You can charge for free in a parking lot or at your place of work.

There is also reduced maintenance costs.

On an electric car, there is no oil to change, no oil filter, no radiator or its coolant to replace, etc. The electrical system is mechanically more spartan.
Maintenance will therefore be limited to changing your windshield wipers, tires or brakes. Brakes that will wear less quickly, thanks to energy recovery from regenerative braking systems.

EXHILARATING ACCELERATION.

If you are a lover of hair splitting gut_wrenching acceleration (I am), you would love the electric vehicle.

Read about the Ludicrous Mode of the Tesla. The BMW has nothing on a car that does 0-60 mph in 2.275507139 seconds, and  noiselessly too.

ENERGY CONSERVATION.

In a traffic prone city like Lagos, the volume of fuel wasted in traffic is calamitous. An electric vehicle runs on motors. Those don’t consume any energy while in traffic, so that eliminates the kind of energy wasted in traffic with fossil_fuel powered vehicles. Compounded over time, that’s lot of savings.

Of course the electric vehicles also have a few disadvantage. Let’s take a look.


THE DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES.


RANGE ANXIETY

Range Anxiety Is The Fear That A Vehicle Has Insufficient Range To Reach Its Destination And Would Thus Strand The Vehicle’s Occupants. The Term, Which Is Primarily Used In Reference To Battery Electric Vehicles (Bevs), Is Considered To Be One Of The Major Barriers To Large Scale Adoption Of All-electric Cars.

The EV batteries have a limited range compared to the gasoline powered vehicle, but this is improving.

The new 2018 Nissan Leaf offers 150 miles (240km) range on a full battery charge, the new 2017 Renault ZOE ZE would do an impressive 400 km, a 2017 Chevrolet Volt  would grind to a halt after  238 miles ( 380 kilometers), while a  Tesla S would do a superlative EPA-rated range of 335 miles (536km) on a full charge, making it, according to Autoblog, the longest-range consumer electric vehicle in the world. 

Then the battery will have to be recharged, which can take a some time compared to filling a sedan with petrol, for instance.

If you have to travel long distances frequently with no facility to recharge easily -an Electric Vehicle is not for you.

“Range Anxiety” Is The Prime Reasons Many Nigerians Believe The Electric Vehicle Is Not A Tenable Proposition In Nigeria, Presently..

Where Is The Electricity, The Charging Stations, They Ask.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks:
recharging can literally take hours.
The type of connection affects charging time, but it is currently impossible to match the 5 minutes needed to refuel the gasoline powered vehicle.

If you want to embark on a Lagos – Maiduguri journey, you need to ensure that you are able to charge your EV when you have to. With time, we could see a situation where the batteries can be swapped out and a freshly changed one snapped in in three minutes.

BATTERY LIFE / LONGEVITY

The majority of current batteries are
lithium-ion, a technology that is quite successful but has defects. The electric car battery is much more reliable than that of the smartphone but will however lose some retentive power over time, especially during the first two year. There is a loss of about 7.5% after 2 years and 160,000 kilometers on a Tesla Model S.

PRICE

With the purchase, an electric car is more expensive than a conventional car, but this is also changing. At this frenetic pace of competition, prices can only keep reducing…

DISPOSAL OF BATTERIES.

This was earlier mentioned. Nevertheless, the recycling of a lithium-ion battery can reach about 80% according to the experts. This is a very good figure.


Buying an electric car is only done by conviction. It is a viable choice for a large part of the population, if we manage to go beyond natural human inertia or resistance to change.

If you only make short trips, and you have a personal garage or an equipped car park? You are the ideal user.

If you are a lover of the engines, their  vibrations, the smell of burnt gasoline, and raucous throaty sounds they produce, leave the electric car alone, or possibly buy as a second car.


Would I buy an electric vehicle despite the power situation in Nigeria? You betcha! The advantages are simply too many, compared to the disadvantages.

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