We have been observing the household use of electric golf carts in the area of Prinkipo Island Büyükada for the past 2-3 years. Electric carts wear out quickly, their batteries run out quickly, Chinese-made electric cars first came to the islands, they wore out very quickly on the island’s slopes, after which domestic small cheap production taxis and buses were used. These cars have a short lifespan, they have battery and charging problems, they struggle on slopes when the battery is low. The electrical energy required for electric cars is transported from the mainland through a submarine cable, it is not possible to build onshore wind and solar power plants on Büyükada because there is not enough land, there is not enough suitable wind. If the future wind and solar power plants are built on offshore platforms on the sea around Büyükada, they can operate in an environmentally friendly way.
For almost more than a century we have used internal combustion engine (ICE) cars all over the world, today electric cars are gradually becoming more prominent, but are electric cars the best solution? Here we are talking about commercial electric vehicles (EV) and not simple golf carts. We will review Tesla, BMW, VW and others. Yes, they are the future, but what are their drawbacks, what problems do they have to overcome.
What are the advantages of electric cars? They do not produce exhaust gases, they do not affect air quality. Electric motors are more efficient, which means lower fuel costs. Electric cars are very easy to start and drive on the road. It is safer. The engine is small. The service is very easy and cheap. It is possible to charge your car with the solar panel that you place on the roof of your home and workplace. It is well suited for short-distance city driving.
However, electric cars are still relatively expensive compared to old (ICE) cars, the batteries they use are heavy, the batteries used today require expensive special lithium minerals that are rare in nature, their supply is difficult. These difficulties will be overcome in time, but there is no quick solution from today to tomorrow.
Compact passenger cars of sedans weigh on average 1000 kg, while electric cars weigh about 500 kg more due to heavy batteries. Heavy electric cars quickly erode the asphalt they drive on, highways are quickly eroded, more roads – asphalt renewal requires maintenance and repair, more costs are required.
How environmentally friendly are electric cars? The energy generating power plants they use are as environmentally friendly as the fuels they use, so if they use the electricity produced in the coal-fired thermal power plant, it is not environmentally friendly, if they use the electricity generated in the natural gas-fired power plant with combined cycle, again it is not environmentally friendly. If they use the electricity produced at the nuclear power plant, the answer is different. It is necessary to know how the waste from the nuclear power plant that produces this electricity is eliminated, disposed of.
The most stressful thing for the driver when driving an electric car is that the electric charge is not enough, that is, stop with no energy on the road, because there are currently not enough charging stations on the road, your battery power could be damaged at any time. runs out, you can stay on the road. They are therefore suitable for short-distance use in the city. It is not possible to cover long distances with an electric car, you can drive an average of 500 km and a maximum of 1000 km with a full charge, very optimistic. 1000 km is a long distance, but when the battery is low you worry about “I wonder if I can find a charging station soon”. In the future there will be more charging stations on the road and this problem will disappear.
The charging time of electric cars is also a problem, you can’t charge energy in such a short time when you get gas, you have to wait at least 20-30 minutes, maybe more time for a full charge. The energy you buy is not cheap at all, the price of electricity today is quite high depending on the cost of fuel used in the power plant. natural gas and imported coal are now very expensive because of the war in Ukraine.
Let’s talk about using heating in winter and air conditioning in summer, this is a big problem in electric cars, you need electric energy to heat the interior of the car in winter. There is no warm engine at your disposal, it is preheated and where you can use heat energy. Using heating quickly reduces the amount of battery charge, and using air conditioners in summer also weakens battery power. Anyone who drives electrically has to use the heating for a short time in the winter and the air conditioning in the summer. In very cold and very hot climates, the battery uses a lot of energy for heating and cooling and runs out quickly.
Electric cars are not a perfect solution, let’s know their drawbacks, let’s come up with the necessary solutions, these cars are heavy, batteries may become lighter over time, but the weight problem will always remain, the heating and cooling problem will always stay that way. There will always be distance issues, long battery charging times.