Electric Cars – What is the Hype?


Emma Kuschmeider

Many companies are considering transferring from producing gas powered vehicles to electric vehicles. With more concerns about the world’s climate, the production of electric vehicles is expanding hopefully leading us to a healthier future.

Emma Kuschmeider, Staff Member

The expansion of electric vehicles increases globally, meaning more and more are on the road around the world. Tesla Motors being one of the biggest competitions of the makings and sale of electric vehicles. But what is all the hype about electric vehicles? Why are companies failing to make their own EV’s? And how much will motorsports change due to the mass production of electric vehicles?  

Electric vehicles do not require gas to operate, instead using electricity as the main source of power(which is why majority are plug-in). EV’s rely on either fossil generated energy or nuclear power. Fossil energy can generate pollution, so the makers of these electric vehicles have found their way to get a cleaner energy sourcerenewable energy.  The adoption of renewable energy has increased significantly since 2007 and the cost for it has dropped, making it affordable and easier to meet climate objectives listed on the Paris Agreement, which is a plan set out to improve and replace the Kyto Protocol, an earlier international treaty designed to curb the release of greenhouse gases.  

As more types of energy such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power plants become more common, the efficiency of how the electric vehicle operates, will only get better.  

However, electric vehicle batteries are one of the downsides to an environmental-friendly vehicle. To manufacture an EV battery, you need as much as 20 rare earth minerals, including lithium and cobalt. Cobalt is a scarce, toxic and lustrous mineral and is expensive, heavy and linked to unethical mining practices. It is said that EV battery production is a lot worse for the environment than gas engine battery production. It takes about 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide to produce an electric vehicle and can add on based off how long the battery is to last.  

Additionally, production of lithium is just as much of a concern. The process to get lithium causes to remove massive amounts of ground water which then decreases water supply, affecting agriculture in areas that lithium is mined. The process to recycle lithium-ion batteries are not at the place it should be due to some of the batteries catching on fire and how it has not been easy to store for later use.  

On the other hand, despite the concerns of production, electric vehicles end up being better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles. As expected, gas-powered vehicles do produce more CO2 than an EV. The national average of carbon dioxide produced by an EV is about two metric tons per year representing that an electric vehicle is more efficient than a gas-powered vehicle.  

Furthermore, basing off the Paris Agreement, many car companies like BMW and Volkswagen, are transferring from producing gas-powered vehicles to electric. One of the biggest competitions on production of EV’s is Tesla Motors.  The company that has been making EV’s from the start and whose CEO everyone knows makes it hard for other companies to sell their electric vehicles. Tesla has made up 78% of all EV sales and are now outselling the next three biggest EV manufacturers combined.  

Majority prefer Tesla because of the reason that they’re better to drive than most EV’s on the market right now. Tesla’s are said to handle well, drive smooth, and be incredibly safe when it comes to most EV perks. Tesla batteries also have a longer range compared to other competitors. Additionally, Tesla has been evolving more and more technologically. Some of their cars have self-driving capabilities and has a game that can be played in and with the car. People want the coolest car out there and Tesla offers that.  

Talking about car companies transferring to produce electric vehicles, Volkswagen has been making big steps into making themselves an environmentally friendly company. Volkswagen announced that they will be backing out of any gasoline combustion powered motorsports. With that, many believe that they will inadvertently change all of motorsports. In contrast, Volkswagen owns many other companiessuch as Porsche and Ducati. These companies are all heavily involved in rally, GT racing, F1 and more, thereforesince Volkswagen is changing them to be a better environmentally friendly company, they will most likely enforce that to the other companies who they own.  

Therefore, the more electric vehicles in motorsports, the more gas-powered vehicle companies will follow. Volkswagen launched, what may cause the biggest change in all motorsports, the I.D. R. The I.D.R. crushed about every lap record in the world proving that electric cars can be just as good as gas powered vehicles. Additionally, Tesla’s Model S has surprisingly good 0-60 times, ranging from around 2.28 seconds which is about as fast as the Dodge Demonhelping them find their way into the drag racing community. 

Multiple opinions may come to how the cars look, though. Many favoring the older look rather than the new, more futuristic look of the vehicle companies may offer. It will be most likely take some getting used toespecially if the companies change the looks of the cars majorly than what we are used to seeing out on the road.   

Clearly, electric vehicles will most likely take over gas-powered vehicles. With all the technological advances and environmental improvements, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more and more show up on the road. From the looks of it, they will most likely improve the environment like many hope and for the lookssome of the vehicles could probably be more improved to what is closer to the brand everyone knows the look of, let it be BMW, Jaguar, VolkswagenetcThough, we can probably say what was once a dream, is now becoming reality.