Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

The Green Move

How very small and busy we all seem, speeding around like ants in concrete mazes. We move, that is in our nature. But the way we move is changing.

Why aren’t we going Green?

This is the question that has been plaguing my mind for some time. Most of us know that Low emission Green Cars are available, but they have been somewhat targeted to a more elite market.

They are those “alien” looking cars that can drive themselves and are charged rather than fuelled. And it isn’t until the past decade or so that Hybrid and Electric cars are being purchased by your average-joe.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, are moving rapidly onto the roads. Consumption targets as well as government subsidies are incentives to boost the green market.

Internal combustion engines are aiding the increase of COemissions. The primary greenhouse gas emitted by motor vehicles. And more now than ever, we can see that the Earth has been greatly affected by the boom of humanity.  

Cars are the cattle of the road –  in Australia, they pollute on average 188 grams per kilometre (g/km) of CO2 emissions.

We are people, we are consumers. Cars are a primary part of our lives, and guide large networks of travel possibilities. For the most part they are necessary. But there are alternatives for everyone, including Mr Bean.

Goodwood Revival, Goodwood, West Sussex, Britain - 18 Sep 2009

Electric vehicles are a zero emissions alternative, that a progressing across the globe particularly in Japan and Germany. There are more electric-vehicle charging points in Japan then there are gas stations. This availability of charging-stations creates an incentive for the Green car market. (see below)

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Germany have introduced government subsidies as an incentive for the Electric Vehicle market.  And the intention for these vehicles is for renewable (solar power and wind power) to be the primary supplier of energy for these Electric vehicles charging stations.

Substituting electric vehicles into the power grid will not guarantee low-carbon transportation. However they can bridge the transition into renewable energies and can cut transport emissions.

What is the Electric Vehicle (EV)?

Three types of energy systems exist for powering transportation vehicles; electricity, conventional petrol or diesel, and natural gas.

The Electric Vehicle or EV cars run off the chemical energy stored in a battery, which power an electric motor. They emit very little to zero CO2 and fuel life-cycle emissions. They are a viable alternative, arguable excelling in effectiveness compared to the soon-to-be-old Combustion Engine (ICE) technology.

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However there are three main limitations to Electric Cars:

  • The reliability of the battery depends on the model efficiency and the power stations between each recommended power-verse-distance period
  • The time taken to charge the EV at a charging station can vary between a ‘power charge’ of 30 minutes to a slower 5 to 6 hours
  • Money, money, money! Most of the highly efficient electric cars are pricey ranging from the Renault Kangoo at $22,990, to the Tesla Model S (70D) at $102,400

Hybrid cars and Electric cars are an alternative. Although their progress on the market is still in its infancy. At the moment Australia do not have the charging-stations available like that of Japan or Germany, and this can contribute to the reservations purchasing an Electric vehicle. Australia have a relatively small market for Electric Vehicles (including hybrids), and unfortunately they are still prized as a Green Energy novelty.

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I do not own a car. I am still a learner driver. But by the end of the year I will turn twenty-one, and I will hopefully pass my drivers test. This will make life a whole lot easier! Getting around in buses, trams and trains isn’t as fun as it looks – actually it can be quite a nightmare dealing with the notorious Myki inspectors.

However, a dilemma exists for me – on the one hand buying a car would make life so much easier, and on the hand cars the primary cars available to me are the petrol guzzling type.

The EVs available in Australia:

Sometimes riding a bike isn’t very practical.  And buying a ‘regular’ car can be an environmental burden. But there are various green vehicles on the market. The Top 5 Green Vehicles available in Australia and the Retail Price are BMW i3 ($63,990), Mitsubishi iMiEV ($52,000), Renault Kangoo ($22,990), Nissan Leaf  ($39,990), and Tesla Model S 70D ($102,400).

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The Tesla is an example where EV innovation is actually excelling in luxury and efficiency. It is an icon for innovation. If I had an excess $102,400 that would be my next ride.

Tesla-Model-S-ADV52MV2-22inch-Wheels-Front

CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, estimates that is takes around three models for these luxury cars to become affordable.

LeEco have just announced a new Electric vehicle competing with Tesla. The LeSEE can drive itself using voice-commands from a smart-phone. This is one example of the growing competitive market that “Green” alternatives are driving.

Cars like the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla are small steps towards reducing our impact on the Earth. These cars can be powered by renewable energies. With the right combination of financial interests and moral concern, we can change the way our world moves; One car at a time.

And maybe I won’t feel so guilty about buying a car. Maybe.

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One comment on “The Green Move

  1. Adam
    May 4, 2016

    G’day,

    Great blog, I can’t wait until I can buy and EV (hopefully an electric 4X4 van, the dream!!).

    I think you have done a really good job. It is clear well structured and has the right mix of science and personality. I also really like your use of pics and the quote at the top is great (though if it is a quote it needs an attribution). Your paragraphs are a good length.

    Have a read through for clarity but it’s pretty good. You need an ‘about’ after reservations as well.

    Great job.

    Cheers,
    Adam

    Like

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm.

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