Electric Car Industry Part 2
Overview of the project
Electric cars are the recent innovative additions in automobile industry, which have mainly gained attention due to their environmental friendly aspects. These cars have several benefits like, exemption of fuel expenses and saving the fast depleting oil resources. Electric cars are also available at different prices with optimised performance facilities. However, despite several advantages, the industry has not yet received a proper acceptance from society. Therefore, this research project aims at finding out the main barriers that electric car industry is facing.
Continued from Part -1
Some of the major barriers, which have been identified by all the studies are discussed below:
1.1 Limitations of battery technology
Studies have shown that battery technology is quite expansive, and to run electric cars efficiently, these vehicles would certainly need to hold massive amounts of charge to make them practical for drivers, which unarguably means a lot of expanses on battery.
1.2 Greater expanses, less efficiency
Since electric cars need a lot of amount to be built, they can cost to a customer more than what they can put in gasoline cars. This can make customers reluctant towards electric vehicles.
1.3 Shortage of electricity due to electric vehicles
Out of all of the research studies presented above, over 20 studies have explored and discussed that millions of electric vehicles would ultimately need electricity, which ultimately means a huge consumption of electricity, which may create shortages within the system. There may be certain places where Production Park will no longer be available to vehicles, because of incapacity of generating huge electricity.
This shows that, an increase in the number of electric vehicles causes shortage of electric power, which is quite realistic and specifically for certain hours. Likewise, an increase in electric cars may also lead to inadequate power supply.
Chinese government is however making continuous efforts toward carbon free environmental protective vehicles, and the target of government is to produce over 500,000 alternative energy cars to existing cars, by the year 2015 (Bloomberg, 2013). Another study reported that China shipped over 2000 electric and hybrid cars in 2012, contributing as 14.6 million passenger cars sold in 2011 in largest auto markets of the world (Bloomberg, 2013). Some of the automobile industry officials reported to looking for ways to subsidise electric cars to 25 cities (China Daily, 2013) which is credited by legislatives (Bloomberg, 2013; Forbes, 2013). Many leading automakers are also supporting the plan for carbon free environmental friendly electric cars, and consider that ideas of environmental protective vehicles should be encouraged (Forbes, 2013). Despite these facts, majority of automobiles have not shown considerable concerns toward introducing or supporting electric cars (Xinhua, 2012).
1.4 Convincing public
Almost all the academic research studies, surveys and interviews have showed that public is increasingly reluctant toward electric cars. It is quite evident that not all the customers support the idea that electric cars can alter their lives in some way. This is because of their fears about electric cars and the uncertainty that how far they can travel before their car batteries are down on the way to an important journey. Another perception of general public was their ease and confidence on gasoline cars; as it was not a big matter of concern, if their cars on gasoline in sometimes are low on gas, as they can pull their cars to a gas station, get it filled in five minutes and get back to roads. On contrary, charging an electric car does not seem to be as simpler as this. As, one of the internet based research article shows that electric cars on average can hit the market about 100 miles (160.9 kilometres) on one recharge (Deaton, 2011), which on an estimation means a full recharge may require eight hours. Deaton (2011) indicated that people on average drive less than 40 miles (64.4 kilometres) a day, and they can conveniently recharge their cars overnight. However, in my view, despite these figures, electric cars cannot said to be efficient for road trips, since in case of 80 miles a day, and suddenly in case of emergency, the cars cannot lead to destination of another 30 miles. It can certainly affect consumer perceptions toward these cars.
1.5 Charging stations
As found in academic research articles, another hindrance of electric car in marketplace is about charging stations, which can alleviate another range of consumer concerns toward electric vehicles. From the research studies carried out in China, Netherland, Korea, Germany, UK, USA and others (as presented in literature review section) it is quite evident that a country’s infrastructure is enormously influenced by electric cars, if a proper implementation of these cars in certain regions is imposed. There are yet many charging stations in trial phases, major charging is yet to be at home, in a garage. This can also lead to another barrier that people living in shared apartments, or parking their cars outside of homes, in narrow streets or other such places, may face hard times.
1.6 Charing batteries
Another big concern about electric cars is that, people are worried about the prices of these vehicles, by comparing with gas guzzling cars. This option may vary from one country to another. For example, in United States, it may quite likely cost from 2 to 4 dollar.
Environment is consistently suffered with higher gaseous exchange, including carbon emission, and greenhouse effect. Due to increasing environmental concerns and hard situations, the critical need for sustainable and environmental friendly actions is increasing. It has also been found that air pollution is the most damaging cause behind ill health and environment. Likewise, the major source of air pollution is automobiles, and therefore, electric cars as a contribution toward global environment protection and saving the existing energy depletion sources are introduced. However, it has been found through several research studies that there are some major barriers hindering the way of successful execution of electric cars. Among them, acceptance from public, performance, pricing issue and charging issues of the cars are the main barriers.
The future mobility needs are dependent on climatic changes, health relevant emissions, and high dependence on oil reservoirs. It is very critical to move toward environmental friendly alternatives, if survival is needed. On the transition to sustainable society, specifically there is extremely high need for efficient mobile technologies throughout the world. Electric vehicles have found to be among such environmental protective technologies, which received mixed responses. However, many countries of the world, like Germany, Denmark, and Sweden have decided to switch their electricity productions from fossil fuels to renewable sources, by increasing electric cars.
To conclude, electric cars have the major benefit of environment protection and saving the depleted natural resources. If all the barriers and hurdles are removed and public acceptance is made possible, these issues can be overcome.
After examining all research studies and personal observation, there are some suggestions, which have specifically written to assist automobiles in removing barriers in the way of electric cars and giving these vehicles a public acceptance.
2.1.1 Pricing Policies
Since it requires big resources to produce electric cars, which ultimately results a higher price of the product; likewise, battery charging is a long, expansive and tiresome process. In order to ensure that people start purchasing electric cars, from manufacturers’ end, the pricing should be controlled. The government can play its role here, by exempting tax policies (which has also been done by Chinese government, as identified in above research review), so it can be convenient to people to make a purchase decision toward electric cars.
2.1.2 Economies of Scale
General opinion of public toward electric cars is that, these cars are highly expansive than their existing gasoline cars. If all the automakers ramp up production volumes and use economies of scale, the overall price of an electric car can be affordable to customers.
2.1.3 Renewable electricity
Renewable electricity can technically be realised as one of the alternatives of electricity issues for electric vehicles. By making some efforts, its integration into current electric systems can be instilled. Some of the alternative sources are wind and solar power, which though intermittent, and consist of only a restricted ability to produce electricity, can also be used very effectively by the regions with high wind pressure and solar energy. For example, in certain regions of Asia and Africa and at all other countries of the world, where enormous blessings of solar energy are present, renewable electricity can conveniently be used. Another alternative is gas power plant, which can be used as backup power plants, since gas power plants have an advantage of regulation, faster than nuclear plants and coal fires. Another suggestion is that, storage can be domestically implemented, for example, a North Sea island can be used for hydro pumping, likewise, compressed air energy reservoirs, batteries, or abroad pumped hydro in Norway, and similarly, storage can wisely be made. Within a European-wide grid, another opportunity is to make varying production of electricity by increasing connections. Likewise, backup power plants for wind power can fulfil energy demands at times of low wind. By implementing these recommendations, the issue of electricity shortage can be covered to a broader level, meeting the requirements.
2.1.4 Presence of solar powered cooling devices in electric cars
There should be cooling devices in electric cars, supported by solar power, comprising three major components, which include a solar panel, four axil fans and a rechargeable battery pack. These devices can work solely from solar power, which can also solve the issue of temperature and velocity fields in cabin of vehicles, and this can also effectively accumulate solar irradiation energy and run cooling devices in these cars, by making electric cars more comforting and reliable.
2.1.5 Friendly tax policies
To encourage electric cars, government is the major contributor. As identified throughout the research, among all countries globally, China is the only country contributing greatly toward electric cars by friendly tax policies and exempting legislative barriers toward electric vehicles. This should be considered by other countries as well to set a proper implementation of electric cars.
2.1.6 Improvement in infrastructure and charging stations
As discussed, improper infrastructure can also be a barrier to electric cars, specifically for those people living in shared homes or parking their cars in streets, where supply of charging to their cars is not possible. For this, an improved infrastructure is a solution, and more charging stations should be opened, which may undeniably encourage more people to buy electric cars.
2.1.7 Recharging convenience
People residing their homes with an ease of recharging their car batteries within their residences can benefit from low cost option. In this way, people can have some options to recharge their cars at home with either of two options. First, they can recharge their car batteries with normal speed, supply take 6 to 8 hours, and another option is for fast recharge supply, which can take 3 to 4 hours and that cost £2,000 to install.
3 Limitations of the research study
This research project carried out over 50 academic research studies and several statistical figures, government reports and organisational reports. Overall, the research project included in the project was strictly relevant to this project and involved either of three points:
- Electric cars and barriers faced by these cars
- General public opinion and perceptions toward electric cars
- Future of these cars
All the projects included for secondary research were selected on the basis of geographical dispersion. That is, academic research studied conducted in different countries of the globe were selected. One of the biggest limitations was however that, the overall population in those research studies should have been higher and further surveys should be carried out on a broader level.
4 Reflection of the Study
I received a range of benefits from this piece of research project. First of all, I learnt the sequential steps of a research project, where secondary data gathering and presenting my own analysis, opinion and discussion were concerned. Secondly, the research project gave me a great deal of awareness about automobiles, gas guzzling vehicles and electric vehicles. I came to learn that seeing the current environmental issues, there is a critical need for aggressive steps from government and automobiles, toward introducing environment friendly vehicles and electric cars can be among those products. I personally believe now that electric cars are a good alternative to petrol cars, and if all the barriers are considered by automobile makers and government agencies, the consumers can show an interest toward using them. Before it is too late to save readily depleted environmental resources, it is the right time to take initiatives and introduce such projects on a broader level. For that, the barriers must first be addressed and removed, and then it may help the organisations in receiving a public acceptance for electric vehicles.
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