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Electric cars safety and environmental performance

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular all over the world. In the near future, national governments are working to ensure that all newly sold cars are equipped with electric drives only. This also applies to representatives of the UK authorities. Such declarations are motivated by concern for air quality, which deteriorates significantly from year to year.

Full electrification of the UK by 2040

The official position of the UK Government has been made clear. The UK authorities are fully committed to ensuring that, by 2040, sales of all new cars will only include those with electric motors. The declarations are covered in activities, which is reflected in the document 'The Road to Zero', which was released on 9 July 2018. It includes, among other things, 46 targets that will bring the UK closer to achieving its 2040 target.

Sales of electric cars are increasing

The UK residents themselves are showing interest in this type of car. According to official statistics, their sales continue to grow year on year, with the British buying 15,474 electric cars in 2018 alone, representing around 2.6% of total sales of new vehicles, a 12% increase on 2017. However, the rulers aim to increase this share to 60% already in 2030 and to 100% in 2040.

Environmental impact of electric cars

Like almost every socio-economic phenomenon, the transition to the so-called "zero-emission" transport also has its critics. However, they do not question the environmental impact of the use of electric vehicles, but rather undermine the very processes of their creation. In their opinion, during the production of electric cars, much more pollution is produced than in the production lines of cars with conventional engines. What is also questionable is what happens with used batteries. In their opinion, storage of used batteries has a significant negative impact on the quality of the environment.

Research by the Danish Climate Council

The Danish Climate Council has carried out studies to finally put an end to these speculations. The following assumptions were made in order to make the results more credible:

  • an electric car is powered by a 40 kWh unit;
  • 150 kg of carbon dioxide was used to produce 1 kWh of battery power;
  • before the car was scrapped, it drove 200,000 kilometers.

As the researchers rightly pointed out, one of the most popular models, the Nissan Leaf, fits perfectly into these assumptions. The results actually confirmed the criticism of electric vehicles with higher carbon emissions during production. The situation is slightly different if we summarize the total emission of this element into the atmosphere until the moment of scrapping. It turns out that with 50,000 kilometres driven, total emissions of electric cars are already lower than in the case of diesel and hybrids. If only renewable energy sources were used in production processes, the difference in favour of "electricians" would be reduced in as little as 10,000 passes.

The issue of battery disposal

A separate issue is the disposal of batteries that supply power to electric vehicles. These parts are usually more powerful than those used in cars with conventional engines. Manufacturers such as Tesla, Mercedes, Nissan and Renault have found a solution to this problem. Both Powerwall, Energy Store, xStorage and Powervault are systems that enable efficient storage of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells located on the roof of the house. Significantly, all these manufacturers use recycled batteries in the manufacture of these products, the reduced efficiency of which disqualifies them from use in cars. However, they retain sufficient parameters to store electricity from renewable energy sources when the sun is not shining.

Electric cars and safety

The initial phase of development of the entire car industry may suggest that there will be problems with the stability of electrical systems. Although this has not yet been found to be the case, a problem has been noted with vehicle charging. Some models are equipped with a plug-in charger, which allows you to power the battery using home electrical outlets.

It is worth being aware that such an installation should be adapted to high and constant power consumption in order to avoid serious failures. Before you decide to run the battery in your home, it is recommended that you have an expert review of the entire installation. The user should ensure that the socket used for this purpose works on a separate circuit. Grounding type B is also important, as well as the installation of a maximum fuse of 10a.

Great Britain second Norway

The British Government's plans are ambitious and, importantly, realistic. An example is Norway, which, thanks to government support, is the world record for the sale of electric cars. The consistent implementation of 'The Road to Zero', and in particular the 46 separate points, may bring the authorities closer to ensuring that by 2040 all newly registered cars will have only electric units. This is important from an environmental point of view because the British Isles are already facing poor air quality, particularly in London and other highly urbanised areas.


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