HomeEducationSustainability EducationGCC 3011/5011: Pathways to Renewable EnergyElectric Vehicles: Beginners guide and what YOU need to know!

Electric Vehicles: Beginners guide and what YOU need to know!

By Peter Krastev

Realistically, even if you don’t want to admit it, we all know the future of vehicles is electric. Our planet cannot sustain a gas-powered transportation system much longer. In 2010, there were only about 17,000 electric cars on roads around the world. By 2019, there were 7.2 million — that’s a 42,000% increase in electric vehicles in use. Although this is an impressive stat and sounds like a lot, In the United States, electric vehicles make up less than 1% of the 250 million cars. One of the main issues is that public opinion is still in opposition to electric vehicles. A recent Pew Research Center report finds 51% of U.S. adults oppose a proposal to phase out production of gasoline-powered cars and trucks for E.V’s. I believe that this opposition stems from ignorance. People are uninformed about modern electric vehicles and when they think of E.V’s they either think of a 2010 Chevy Volt that has a battery capacity of a toy car or a $100k Telsa that is unrealistic. In reality, electric vehicles are quickly becoming more affordable and reliable and now with every giant car manufacturer from Toyota to GM trying to get a piece of the pie, competition is propelling innovation.

This page will serve to inform the public and give updates on our journey to extinguishing combustion motors.

What is an EV?

Electric cars are vehicles made up of electric motors instead of internal combustion engines. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a wall outlet or charging equipment, also called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does not contain typical liquid fuel like gasoline or diesel.

Why go electric?

  1. Better for the environment-They emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants thanpetrol or diesel cars.
  1. Save on fuel and maintenance costs- Electric car charging costs roughly half the cost of a tank of gas and the gap is only growing with increasing gas prices. Electric motors also have less moving parts which translates to less trips to the shop.
  1. Higher performance- Electric motor means instant linear torque. The acceleration in electric cars can only be matched by super cars. EV’s also have a lower center of gravity which improves handling.
  1. Get paid to go electric- federal, state and local incentives to bring down the cost of buying or leasing an electric car ranging from $2500-7500. Local air districts and electric utilities often provide rebates for purchase of electric cars and incentives for installing home charging stations.
  2. Better technology- Electric vehicles receive the most cutting edge technology such as autonomous driving, Heads up displays, massive screens and overall comfort.

Latest in the electric world:

Road to sustainability

The main issue electric vehicles face is generating lithium batteries in a sustainable and scalable manner. To put things into perspective, the demand for lithium is through the roof. Lithium is the light weight metal responsible for the batteries in electric cars, phones, planes and almost any technology you can think of. Considering that there were 5.6 million EVs on the road globally in 2020, and 145 million expected by 2030, the sourcing of lithium becomes a major issue. Traditional lithium extraction involves mining which disrupts local ecosystems, contaminates water and leads to ground destabilization.

Luckily, there have been breakthroughs within the lithium field that provide opportunities for sustainable development in the extraction process. Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) has become the go-to technology recently. DLE is more time, cost, and resource efficient while also providing higher lithium yields – up to 90% of lithium recovered from a brine instead of 30%. This technology has a much smaller environmental footprint as it does not use chemicals, heavy equipment, or large water usage. This is the future.

One man, Teague Egan is doing his part in making that future a reality. Teague Egan (33), the CEO of EnergyX, has his eyes set on the salt flats of Bolivia. Bolivia is considered to have the largest untapped lithium reserve and this is where Mr. Egan is working to set up his DLE units.

“Our whole goal is to try to unlock this huge treasure that they have, and hopefully see to it that the revenue that’s generated from that goes back into the economy and helps people.”-Egan

The main thing standing in his way is politics. He hopes that the Bolivian Government will work with him on this and let Egan help them and our planet.

More updates on the way.

Todays take away

“Tech will continue to make the advancements needed for the global community to pursue the greater good – and we need to ensure that the solutions being developed are used.”

 

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