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article imageOp-Ed: End of the road for petrol engines? World going electric, fast

By Paul Wallis     Jun 27, 2017 in Technology
Sydney - Whatever the fossil fuel sector says, the ancient technologies which are killing the world are themselves dying out. Petrol engines are on the way out, in no uncertain terms.
Two million electric vehicles (EVs) were on the road in 2016 thanks to China and Norwegian sales, but many times more are in pre-production and design stage. Honda, Volkswagen, Volvo, Tesla, and even previously tentative Porsche are gearing up for market release of a swarm of models in 2018.
EV sales have been going up and down, but the trend is obvious. People don’t buy cars they don’t use. One of the main drivers, pun intended, for the move is the clearly cheaper values of electric power over petrol engines. Batteries may be cumbersome, but just about everything about EVs is cheaper to run than the dino-cars.
Wright Electric s goal is for every short flight to be electric within 10 years.
Wright Electric's goal is for every short flight to be electric within 10 years.
Wright Electric Inc.
Some electric car drivers double up on their clean energy options and use their home solar panels to charge electric cars. The cost reductions are very real. In an unexpected twist, one expert says that power from EVs can return the favor, and power buildings, even large buildings.
At national levels around the world, the push is stronger. The EU is looking at minimum quotas for electric vehicle sales. This means sales of zero emission vehicles are mandatory, a major step for governments, and likely to be a major initiative in combatting carbon emissions.
In India, a project called FAME is underway to deliver fast-charging electric cars to the subcontinent’s huge demand for vehicles and pollution reduction.
The U.K., embarrassed and choking on bizarre pollution, is looking at taking the initiative on EV technology. The U.K. government hopes to become a leader in this very large emerging market.
The other upsides of the electric vehicle revolution
It’s fair to call the electric cars a real revolution. After nearly 100 years of technology not really too far removed from Henry Ford’s Model T, this is a huge cultural shift. It’s also likely to be an equally huge economic shift, very much for the better.
An eVgo charging station for electric cars  located in Centreville  Virginia
An eVgo charging station for electric cars, located in Centreville, Virginia
Petrol and cars have basically called the shots for modern societies. The petrol technologies can’t really evolve much further. Given the limitations of absurdly expensive miles per gallon, insane servicing costs, clogged roads, and mindless long commutes, a petrol engine is a sort of endless liability to consumers.
The next stage is power plants for heavy vehicles. There’s no real reason why an electric engine can’t run directly off an onboard plant, rather than an engine. There are power/weight considerations, but the problems are pretty simple, the engineering issues are easy, and the rewards are obvious.
Cars line up in Beijing as heavy air pollution shrouds the city on February 26  2014
Cars line up in Beijing as heavy air pollution shrouds the city on February 26, 2014
Mark Ralston, AFP/File
Reduce freight costs by losing fuel costs, and the transport industry can lose one of its worst, most expensive overheads. The world’s distribution needs a better cost base, and this is it.
The politics of electric vehicles will also change the world. Nobody needs to be told the poisonous history of oil and politics. The hideous Middle East wars, the eternal corruption, the grotesque American politics, you name it; oil is holding the world back. It’s a fossil economy, hopelessly out of place in a world where just about anything is more cost-efficient.
Costs of living are high, money is hard to get around the world. People will vote with their dollars for a much cheaper alternative. The end has arrived for the planet-killing greatest polluter in human history. In the US alone, car emissions make up 20% of carbon emissions. If you’re going to shed a tear, shed it for the countless people poisoned by oil drilling, handling toxic fuels, and breathing the hideous “air” the 20th century thought was normal. Sic transit obscenum. (So goes obscenity.)
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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