Where are We Going, and Can Electric Vehicles Take Us There?
Electric Vehicles (EV) are the focus of most vehicle manufacturers’ today, but are they a better solution for our planet?
What about our health? Having been in the automotive industry for the past thirty years I hear a lot about the plans for our future in regards to EV and Hybrid’s that require larger batteries to operate.
After some research, I discovered that most of the studies done were by those who have an interest in either promoting the benefits of EVs or those who are totally against them. It is difficult to find any trustworthy, unbiased reports. And truly, there are pros and cons for both.
Electric Vehicles will certainly have an advantage over emissions generated by the combustion engines of today.
However, according to The Conversation, April 2018, there are a few things to consider. The elements used in the production of lithium-ion batteries for EVs are finite and in limited supply. Another factor is that on average EVs are 24% heavier and heavier vehicles are often accompanied by higher levels of non-exhaust emissions along with faster tire wear that cause more dust particles.
Then there is the concern about electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation generated from batteries. This can have an ill effect on human health, especially for children who are more susceptible. According to the EMF Academy, some common symptoms of EMF exposure are as follows: Glioma and other brain cancers, male and female infertility, mood disorders, childhood cancers, heart disease, severe depression, anxiety, muscle pain, drowsiness, and more.
The question we must answer is: “Are we creating a bigger problem by fixing the problems we face with emissions by moving toward electric in the future?” It is a mass trend and we all should be aware of what the risks are.
Another concern the Electric Vehicles bring is the disposal and recycling of the lithium-ion batteries.
And although there may be processes in place we will not see many bulk returns for at least ten years or more. Will these methods provide the protection our planet needs from the hazardous waste? Too soon to tell.
The EVs’ EMF radiation does not stand alone. The other issue for all types of vehicles and EMF radiation is the electronics that are in our vehicles: Bluetooth, cameras, sound systems, WiFi, and all the other safety features we have become accustomed to, all emit EMF radiation. Even the cell phones that we keep close at hand emit EMF radiation, and when exposed in the confined space of a vehicle the dangers are more threatening.
The truth is that Electric Vehicles will definitely expose drivers and passengers to higher levels of EMF radiation, primarily from the batteries needed to operate them.
But is EMF radiation a lesser risk than continuing on the path we are on? With the luxury living we have today with three, four, and five car households we have bigger fish to fry. As a race, we all need to look at our lifestyle and see how we can make a difference whether we are combustion, hybrid, or EV drivers. But who is willing to give up their personal vehicle? I know I am not there yet.
Think about this: Over the past several years over 17 million vehicles per year have been sold in the US alone. And for each car sold it does not mean another is retired. The used cars are sold once again or kept as an additional family vehicle. No matter the type of vehicle we drive the issues of traffic, parking, and roadways, are becoming real threats to our existence as we know it. If we keep expanding this way where will our planet be by 2030, 2040, and 2050? The number of vehicles sold and pumped into our world each month has boggled my mind for years.
Whether we choose Electric Vehicles or combustion engines, we are creating a universal nightmare!
Something has got to change. The money wasted in times of traffic alone with vehicles idling is astronomical worldwide. I write this to create awareness and hopefully with consciousness we can come up with the best solution for our planet as a whole. I am a true believer in our survival and surviving in the best possible way.
So, I pose the question: “Where are we going, and can Electric Vehicles take us there?