By accident I overheard part of a conversation that really made me laugh: replies one person to her buddy, “[…] my lease ends next month.” Says Buddy, “What? All this time you’ve been on about a hybrid car? I thought we were talking about animals..!”
This got me thinking about the largest consumer GHG emitter –fossil fuel– engines. And my own brilliant experience with Moray Carshare together with COP26 having “happened” (resulting in vaguely recollected unclear government target promises+pledges), I was inspired to look into & share with you the +/- current state of the car propulsion market. Here’s a brief overview of what I found.
The UK government will ban sales of most new non-zero-emissions cars and vehicles by 2030, although certain plug-in hybrids (vehicles, not animals/plants) will be allowed to remain on sale until 2035.
Choosing hybrid vs hybrid-plugin vs electric?
If you don’t have access to a charging port, a non-plug-in hybrid is the better choice. You simply get in and drive like you would a petrol powered car. The only thing you need to learn is how to use regenerative braking and other tools that improve efficiency. Plug-in hybrids provide extra ways to drive efficiently.
The biggest drawback of having a hybrid car is that it can burn a hole in your pocket. Hybrid cars are comparatively more expensive than a regular petrol car. However that extra amount can be offset with lower running costs and tax exemptions. And the timeframe issue.
- EV PROS
- Saves money: Your bottom-line will thank you. Electricity costs less than petrol.
- Convenient for short trips: Tailpipe emissions-free driving around town and for shorter road trips
- Good for the environment: No more fossil fuel. Electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions.
- Low maintenance: Save money on service. Electric cars don’t need much maintenance.
- Suitable for hazardous driving: Some electric cars are even 4-wheel drive.
- Special driving lanes: Some cities offer special driving lanes, which save time.
- Incentives: Check for financial incentives/rebates for electric cars. While some tax credits are phased out, others remain and more will probably emerge (though plan for future crummy subsidy-change experiences, like with solar panels…).
- EV CONS
- Batteries are not very eco-friendly: Electric car batteries are composed of rare earth materials that require rather dirty mining to excavate.
- Charging infrastructure: You’ll want to add a Level 2 charger at home, and no charge is rapid.
- Impractical for street parkers: If you are not able to park near a charger at night, you are missing out on ideal charging times.
- Limited range: Cross-country road trips take serious planning.
- Expensive to replace battery packs: When batteries die, it can be costly to replace them.
- Peak charging costs more: A full charge during peak hours can cost drivers more money.
What are Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars?
You may have heard of hydrogen fuel-cell cars available on a limited trial basis. The fuel-cell cars get widely pitched as the most eco-conscious vehicles. These vehicles add tanks of hydrogen to the mix to power the electric motor, which means lighter and smaller batteries.
Unlike electric cars, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles require only a brief top-off with compressed hydrogen, the most common element on the planet. It takes about as much time to fill one up as it does a petrol car.
“Hydrogen is safe[mfn]I hate statements like this only because they remind me of similar ones made about nuclear fuel, asbestos and smoking… Oh, and didn’t it explode? [/mfn]” — it carries less energy than petrol — but there is minimal infrastructure open to the public to fill a vehicle up with hydrogen.
What about solar?
Well check theße guys out! They just started trading on the Nasdaq… Vorsprung durch Licht!
Financials & timing
These are the most personal and tricky variables in our personal “change when and to what” equation. First you’ve got to decide if you want to own or not. If so, then when to make the transition to electric based on your current state of play PLUS how: straight into hydrogen and/or solar –EV or –Hybrid.
Spirituality in action
Like I wrote before: I’ve had a great experience with com-munity car share and with using col-lective group transport — especially because it slows me down naturally (not artificially), deepening my awareness of con-catenated life right at the moment I experience it! So my choice supported MY spiritual experience (I figured out after the fact…).
Hoping to have informed… Happy right choice-making! for you.
PS. CO-P26 and air travel
After seeing these crazy/typical/laughable headlines, I wondered what the future holds for the airline industry too, and by extension our own oh so deeply held need/want/desire to visit exotic places, pollute en masse and unwittingly overwhelm glocal environments, while successfully kidding ourselves that we’re having an authentically local experience.
For example do we ever think about how we transport with us all that CO² equivalent food&packaging, potable water usage, landfill waste and our humanure on those holidays? Where do our destination’s town/county councils put all that imported stuff?
Interest Group lobbying has been&is skewing the amounts of easy2access unbiased information on this subject, just as it negatively impacted the official Glasgow’s COPagreemnts — is “après moi la déluge” ever a defendable position?