We all might not know this, but cars genuinely contribute a huge proportion of the global carbon dioxide emissions to the environment. According to the estimated figures, more than 1.37 billion cars exist across the globe and the figure is not complete yet. It’s growing with each passing day, and it's expected to grow by 2 billion by 2040. Most car experts quote that the automobile sector, specifically cars, will change more in the upcoming years than they have changed in the past many years.
And before jumping to the EV bandwagon, we should understand the distinction between fighting climate change and fighting for the resources. A 2021 Tesla Model 3 will definitely not emit as many hazardous pollutants as say, a 2021 Ford F-150, however, let’s not forget how much an EV pollutes the environment. Around 265 gallons of water is wasted, or ‘used’ to manufacture a battery, from 2,200 lbs of Lithium.
And before jumping to the EV bandwagon, we should understand the distinction between fighting climate change and fighting for the resources.
Considering the aforementioned, there have been multiple ideas that experts have come up with to handle the polluting emissions from cars. Some worth mentioning is hydrogen fuel cells, flying cars, etc., which emits only water and nothing chemical. However, while working towards the climate condition, some prospective crossovers are compared to driverless cars and electric cars. And some of these might be running on the roads by 2030. Well, we have our fingers crossed!
According to the sources that we refer to, we’ve been able to decipher those humble cars that are going to evolve into something heroic in the coming future, especially when concerning the climate change issue at hand. Of course, they need to be charged with renewable energy worthy equipment. So, there have been scholars exploring initiatives from all across the globe, be it the Caribbean or America, or China, that will help reduce the emissions that cars give out and revolutionize their role in the auto-sector.
Most scholars or academicians would agree that future cars will be engineered in a way that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in turn helping manage climate change. It could be in the form of a city-wide transport network, a fuel-saving network, or a distributed battery system.
The Launch of the 2030 Cars, focused on fighting Climate Change
The common expertise of Debi Roberts, Dan Lewis, and Claude Chibelushi of Staffordshire University says that cognitive computing, industrial design, and transport engineering will be seen in much higher numbers in the future. That’s what they picture a car in 2030.
Their predictions say that these cars will have more flexible and functional interiors in a manner that you’ll be given the ability of customizations such as privacy, color, light, and layout; all by pressing just a button. That’s something you’d get excited for! Apart from this, here are some other changes that you can look forward to as per what experts predict about the car world in terms of efficiency and curbing pollution.
- Automation: It’s expected that by 2030, the cars will evolve completely into a self-driving crossover rather than just an AI assisting the drivers to drive the car. Some of the cars would still be manually driven but the city driving will become old-school. High demand for autonomous vehicles will be seen, and thus, you’ll see lesser and lesser cars on the road.
- Electrification: Electric cars are preferred better than the cars that pollute fossil fuels. Fully electric vehicles in the auto-market are only just 2% currently. However, by the mid-2020s, it’s expected that their prices will drop even more than the petrol-run cars. And by 2030, only fully electric vehicles will be the first choice of drivers.
- Connectivity: These cars will reduce fuel consumption by synchronizing the movement of the cars, thereby improving the flow of the traffic. Thanks to the internet and its various uses, there’ll be sensors that will both recognize as well as communicate with other vehicles, road signs, networks of cameras, pedestrians, and markings.
Electric Cars Will Be A Revolution
Researchers tell that there’ll be a global shift from petroleum-fueled cars to electric cars much sooner. An element to note about electric cars is the batteries. Currently, they are expensive. However, we can expect them to be cheaper in the next five years. Surprisingly, even more, cheaper than petrol-run cars.
Currently, China makes more than half of the EV batteries of the world, and it’s expected that they’d be producing more than 70% in the future. The more the demand the more the batteries from China!
Of course, the maximum demand will be seen emerging from China for most of the non-car-owners are now moving towards electric cars rather quickly.
According to a researcher, the Electric Cars revolution would be surprised not driven by the US, and instead, it would be run by China.
Will our cities change with our cars?
Most of the population of the world accommodates the cities. And talking of cities, they account for 76% of carbon dioxide emissions and 75% of global energy use. Cities can reduce emissions on a large scale, thereby helping human beings adapt to climate change.
One may wonder, similar to what Mayfield and Punzo wondered or rather predicted, that if a networked system of electric vehicles is introduced within the cities, congestion would be eased to a greater extent, pollution would be reduced, and a lot of time would be saved for each one of us.
Driverless cars will come into existence and prevent traffic jams to consume people’s time and efforts. Over time, there’ll be more benefits that this system will bring on. The roads will also get a chance to be improved. City planning will need some alterations too, and the planners will be expected to invest more towards providing the infrastructure for autonomous cars like the 2021 Tesla Model 3 and the 2021 Ford F-150.
Well, what we are talking about is the far future. If we come back to the present, cities are worried about the increase of CO2 emissions and are planning to curb it as soon as possible for the benefit of the environment as well as the people living in it.
There are three main measures suggested by Ransford Acheampong who is a research fellow and Richard Kingston who is a professor of urban planning. These measures can successfully help the residents reduce their usage of cars without troubling their everyday routines too much. Check the measures below:
- Restrict car usage by introducing car free zones and charges
The need of the hour is to restrict residents from using their cars by creating zones where it is deterred to drive a car. Some parts of the city could have cars banned entirely. Another way is to introduce partial bans on cars such as what was done by Madrid.
The cities can be kept completely car-free by giving permits to public transport with an allowance to drive up to 5-6 km/h such as done in Belgium and Ghent. Other than this, similar to London, there should be peak hours during which people wouldn’t be allowed to drive cars or use polluting vehicles.
- Provide alternatives for public transport
This idea might cause a lack of mobility within the city and cause a lot of inconvenience to the residents. However, to curb this, cities should provide its residents with flexible and cost-efficient public transport. In the long run, it could certainly help.
In regions like Europe, Australia, and America, the usage of cars is constantly decreasing. People are delaying learning driving even. Public transport, in turn, is becoming more accessible and affordable for everyone.
- Restructure The City
It might sound impossible, but we need cities that have high convenience for the residents. They should have shops, employment opportunities, and recreational spaces nearby them. Cities could then promote activities like cycling and walking.
How To Unlock The Potential Of The EV
It’s true, electric vehicles have the potential to reduce emissions. However, if these are charged using electricity that comes from fossil fuels what greater good will it bring? It’s estimated that the global electricity consumption from electric vehicles could grow to 1800TWh by 2040.
These energies should be sourced only from renewables, else one could not expect the level of global CO2 emissions.
Learn from these countries how to fight Climate Change with these autonomous cars
Barbados, a small island, has already prepared the ground for a transition from fuel-run cars to fully electrified transport. 100% renewable energy is aimed at by most of the Caribbean islands.
These islands will be required to store up energy excessively. With the implementation of the EVs, the car owners would be able to sell the electricity back to the grid operators while keeping the cars plugged in. EVs can become back-up energy storage that would help recover and rescue people after catastrophes like tsunamis or hurricanes.
Barbados has been able to achieve the third position in being the highest user of electric vehicles in the world. There are around 132,000 vehicles currently running in Barbados, and if we suppose that all are electric with vehicle-to-grid charging systems adopted, then one could expect that it would provide a storage capacity of approx 0.5GWh.