The zero tailpipe emissions have made electric cars a hero to eco-conscious consumers, but cars aren’t the only electric vehicles getting attention. Electric transit buses have become an option for cities looking to reduce their carbon emissions and 2020 has even seen the purchase of an electric fire engine.
The Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck was ordered at the beginning of 2020 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The new fire truck has an electric hybrid engine and contains two batteries with a 100-kilowatt capacity. This electric capacity means the fire truck can run for two hours on electric power before switching back over to diesel fuel. The switch to a hybrid engine wasn’t cheap, either, and cost the department $1.2 million. However, the city of Los Angeles and the fire department see this switch to a hybrid vehicle as a necessary step toward a more sustainable future. With more and more cities committing to zero carbon emissions by 2050, electric vehicles are a must for achieving this goal.
As far as consumer vehicles go, Tesla is one car brand that has brought a ton of attention to electric cars the past few years, especially with the release of the self-driving feature. Videos have been popping up all over the internet of people driving down the interstate without any hands on the steering wheel. Another reason Tesla has become a bit of a poster child for electric vehicles is the marketing of their brand as a luxury car. As car aficionados became more interested in the brand, it gained more notoriety and attention than any other electric vehicle before it.
Of course, Tesla isn’t the only electric car brand on the market. Many car manufacturers are coming up with electric or hybrid options to offer customers as they recognize the direction the future is going. A small percentage of passenger vehicles on the road right now is electric, but that number is predicted to rise significantly in the next couple of decades. In fact, BloombergNEF released its annual long-term report on electric vehicle outlook and estimated that over half of all passenger vehicles sold will be electric by 2040.
Electric vehicle technology advancements
Technology advances are getting better and better every day. This is particularly true when it comes to the various components of electric vehicles. Electric car batteries, for example, now have significant battery life and while the batteries are lasting longer, the charging speeds are getting faster.
Electric vehicles are also known for having highly advanced smart features. As already mentioned, the self-driving feature is a big one that people are loving. Autonomous driving will not only make long car rides more comfortable, it’ll also make driving a lot safer. The reaction time of an artificial intelligence system is much faster than a human, and the AI in self-driving cars is expected to reduce car accidents.
Charging stations are still one aspect of electric cars that need to improve, but cities are working to install more in park garages and at other public locations. As the popularity of electric vehicles and the push for sustainable transportation increases, charging stations will start to be more common.
A more sustainable future
The younger generation has become quite concerned with climate change and sustainability. College students and even high schoolers are advocating for the reduction of carbon emissions and are beginning to hold companies accountable for their emissions. Stakeholders in a lot of car manufacturing companies have recognized the buying power of this up and coming generation and are already working to create vehicles that will satisfy sustainable demand.
As technology continues to advance, it’s believed electric cars will become more efficient and affordable. Currently, you can’t find many used electric cars and not many people can afford to buy them brand new. As more electric cars are created, however, the computing market is expected to produce affordable electric options that will begin to saturate the market. Before you know it, every other person you know will be driving an electric vehicle and your city will have a fleet of electric buses and fire trucks.
Consumers are looking for more ways to be eco-friendly, and soon instead of asking about gas mileage, they’ll be asking about battery life. The future of electric vehicles used to feel a long way off, but the age of electric and hybrid cars is now right around the corner.