In 2020 in Europe, electric and hybrid cars sold were 11% of the total, registering 314% compared to 2019, and in Italy it was 38% (even if, compared to the total number of cars on the road, electric or hybrids still account for only 1.5%) . In July 2021, the European Union proposed a final farewell to petrol and diesel cars by 2035, marking another step towards an electric future.
In short, within a few years, electricity will likely be the only option we will have when buying a new car: this BBC article attempts to answer the most common doubts about this subject with the help of some experts, to understand whether we are. Really ready for a whole future on four wheels Green color.
Why are electric cars so expensive? The drawback is batteries: in addition to being expensive to produce, they divert production lines for existing plants. That won’t be the case forever, though: The price of internal combustion and electric cars will be roughly the same by 2030, according to the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
However, it must also be taken into account that in this case, the principle “he who spends more spends less” applies: in addition to the fact that a full tank will cost us less (if the electricity price increase allows), in Italy electric cars do not pay road tax for the first five years, Then pay only 25% of the total (in Lombardy and Piedmont, on the other hand, they have a lifetime exemption).
Are there enough charging stations for everyone? Not at the moment: According to a Motus-E report, at the end of 2021 there were just over 26,000 public charging stations in Italy. If we all drive vehicles full electric, we’ll be on foot in no time: “The current number of poles is not close enough to meet demand,” says Paul Wilcox, general manager of Vauxhall Motors, referring to the figures for the UK (similar to Italian ones, with 30,000 poles for 67 million). breeze). According to Wilcox, charging stations will naturally increase as there are more electric cars on the roads.
How far can I go? It depends on the model: “Currently the average range for an all-electric vehicle is 300-400 km,” explains Peter Rolton of Britishvolt, “but by the end of the decade, the range will be much greater.” Crucial to improving the range of electric vehicles is the production and marketing of solid-state batteries, which are lighter and faster rechargeable batteries than lithium batteries.
Will we all have our own cars in the future? Mostly not. According to Wilcox, Leasing, a concept now connected above all to the reality of business, for which we will pay a fixed monthly fee for the long-term rental of the car without having to worry about stamps and insurance. Another sector that is expected to grow is the sector car sharingwhich are shared vehicles: Already prevalent in large cities such as Rome or Milan, this is a convenient system for those who do not have to commute daily to go to work but rarely make small trips.
Do electric cars really do not pollute? We add this question, and we answer that it depends on several factors: first of all, we must believe that for the production of lithium batteries, lithium is needed, and its extraction costs a lot on the environment (and for people, because of toxic waste.) but also other metals such as cobalt, manganese and nickel And copper, graphite and aluminum, the demand for which is increasing precisely due to the transition to electricity.
To get electricity to public charging stations, you need to anticipate kilometers and kilometers of cable, and thus tons of copper, another mineral whose extraction is harmful to the environment and people.
Finally, we need to understand the source of the electricity we use to recharge our energy electronic car: If it’s coming from coal-fired power plants, we haven’t done a big deal environmentally, but we’ve simply cleared the site of the pollution upstream. Therefore, the transition from an internal combustion engine to an electric motor cannot be separated from the use of renewable energy and the recovery of minerals used in batteries.
Automobile History: 1920s and 1930s