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Diskussionsbeitrag / Streitschrift, 2018
9 Seiten, Note: 1.6
Electric cars have emerged at a time when a constellation of issues is gathering among the global population. From a personal perspective, it is apparent that electric cars are not as beneficial to human race as it is claimed by some people. First, they pose health risk to the users due to electromagnetic radiations. Second, they cause harm to the environment. Finally, these cars are not convenient to the consumers. It is apparent that electric cars are not as beneficial as it is preached by most crusaders.
Evidence indicates that these cars are not safe, long-lasting and convenient for consumers. However, proponents argue that electric cars are safe. Second, electric cars are not environmental-friendly, especially due to their production process and disposal. In contrast, proponents claim that the cut in CO2 emission outweigh their environmental harm. Finally, electric cars are not convenient to the consumers due to affordability, mileage and recharging period. However, it is argued that these cars are quick with not fueling point visits.
Conclusively, it is apparent that the debate on electric cars is not varnishing from public talk any time in a foreseeable future. Therefore, this essay seeks to justify that electric cars are not any better than the ordinary cars.
ARE ELECTRIC CARS BETTER THAN THE ORDINARY CARS
Over the centuries, advances in the automobile industry have led to fast and convenient movement of people. It is also worth noting that the availability of reliable transport for goods has enhanced mobility in the post-industrial era. In road transport, life-changing transport technologies have increased the mobility of people. Since the invention of the first car by Dr. J.W. Carhart in 1871, the search for faster means of road transport has driven technological advancements in the automobile industry. This first full-carriage car was powered by steam, more or less the same as the other steam-powered engines which were used by other locomotives in the automobile industry. However, it did not take long before petroleum-powered cars were invented. This made a significant departure from the use of steam-powered motor vehicles to today’s vast range of vehicles. Of great importance to note is the development of electric cars which seemingly becoming popular in the automobile industry. Electric cars are considered as a reliable alternative to gasoline-powered cars (Hawkins, Singh, Majeau-Bettez & Strømman, 2012). From a critical perspective, there are several reasons why the development of electric cars has been gaining popularity over the past few decades. Foremost, gas shortages seem to be one of key factors which are behind the advancement in the development of electric cars. It is a common-knowledge that over-dependence on fossil fuel, primarily petroleum has influenced the global economy. This is evidenced by the past global financial crises whose underlying causes are related to changes in petroleum supply from oil-producing countries. An outstanding example is the 1973 oil crises which plugged the global economy into a dark end (Hammes & Wills, 2005). The second factor which seems to be driving electric cars forward is the raising environmental concerns associated with gasoline-powered vehicles. Finally, convenience of these cars to consumers has turned out to be a challenge.
Electric cars have emerged at a time when a constellation of issues is gathering among the global population. From a personal perspective, it is apparent that electric cars are not as beneficial to human race as it is claimed by some people. First, they pose health risk to the users due to electromagnetic radiations. Second, they cause harm to the environment. Finally, these cars are not convenient to the consumers. Therefore, this essay seeks to justify that electric cars are not any better than the ordinary cars.
In retrospect, it is apparent that electric cars are not as beneficial as it is preached by most crusaders. Evidence indicates that these cars not safe, long-lasting and convenient for consumers. This aspect is overshadowed by the deception from electric car manufacturers. Safety is the most paramount aspect of transportation. In this context, electric cars are extremely unsafe to the consumers. Research indicates that these cars generate electromagnetic radiations due to the flow of electrical currents. Electromagnetic radiations have been identified as possible carcinogens. According Concha, Velez, Lafoz and Arribas (2016), radiations from electric cars increases health risks for the consumers. They present evidence that electric devices in electric cars, especially the batteries generate harmful radiations. In this case, the proximity of the sources of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFs) within the car and the high amount of currents produced are the points of concern. Ordinarily, drivers and passengers spend considerate time inside cars. This implies that the presence of high levels of ELFs generated by electric cars exposes the consumers to health risks. Therefore, it is observed that electric cars are not safe for humans (Concha, Velez, Lafoz & Arribas, 2016). This point of view is reaffirmed by Hareuveny et al. (2015) who present further evidence on the possible harm of electromagnetic radiations from electric cars. In one prospective study, electric cars were found to generate extremely low frequency magnetic fields. In some hybrid electric cars, the engine is located in the front of the car, whereas the battery is located at the rear of the car. These two devices are connected by cables which run underneath the cabin. In non-hybrid cars, batteries are located in the front in close proximity with the driver’s seat, whereas others have the battery located at the rear with cables running to the dashboard in the front (Hareuveny et al., 2015). Therefore, it is apparent that both types of electric cars generate ELFs that may harm the driver and passengers.
Proponents of electric cars seem to overlook the aspect of safety. They approach the aspect of safety to the passengers and drivers from different perspectives such as pollution-related health risks and accidents, rather than the generation of harmful magnetic fields. This notion has been advanced by the approaches of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA rated one of the electric car models, the Telsa model S as a high-safety vehicle compared to the ordinary cars. In this case, the five-star rating of this model was based on the associated fatality in the event of accident and stability on the road. It is argued that electric cars do not cause extreme fatalities on passengers, especially in frontal collisions compared to the ordinary cars. This aspect is associated to two key factors. First, electric cars have small engines compared to large engines in the ordinary cars. As such, they have adequate frontal crash-protection crumple space that reduces injuries to passengers. Second, it is argued that electric cars have a low center of gravity due to the stability provided y the batteries. As such, it is more stable than the ordinary cars; thus rolling over of these cars is relatively difficult. In rebuttal, it is apparent that electric cars pose a serious health risk to the consumers. Shifting the safety focus to collisions and stability on the road is quite misleading. Instead, all dimensions of safety should be put into consideration. In this context, the NHTSA five-star safety rating of the Telsa model makes electric cars to be deceiving to consumers. Foremost, I refute that electric cars are any safer than the ordinary cars under the same factors cited by the NHTSA. The rationale for this perspective is based on the fact that road traffic accidents are diverse. The second reason why the argument on the safety of electric cars as propagated by the proponents is based on the fact that electromagnetic fields may cause more health problems to consumers than accidents. Hareuveny et al. (2015) provides evidence that magnetic fields from electric cars are more harmful than those of the ordinary cars. Compared to the ordinary cars, electric cars generate electromagnetic fields as high as 0.06-0.09 T; whereas diesel cars produce 0.02 T (Hareuveny et al., 2015). Further evidence indicates that passengers in electric cars are exposed to high radiations than in homes, offices and other places (Concha, Velez, Lafoz & Arribas, 2016).
The second reason why electric cars are not better than the ordinary cars is that they are harmful to the environment. Despite the possible environmental benefits associated with electric cars, it is apparent that the transition from fossil-fueled vehicles will not solve the environmental problem. Of concern are the disposal of lithium batteries and the manufacturing process of electric cars. Their harm to the environment seems to be catastrophic than that caused by the ordinary cars. In this context, there are supporting arguments that electric cars are not the solution to environmental problems. Foremost, it is argued that the contribution of vehicles to carbon emission is little compared to other sources of emissions. It is argued that greenhouse gases are not produced by vehicles only. There are other sources of greenhouse gases which produce significant amounts of emissions. For instance, other automobiles such as aircrafts are emitting carbon into the environment. Additionally, fossil fuel, especially natural gas and kerosene have been some of the major sources of energy for domestic uses (Yang, Dong, Xiu, Dai & Chou, 2015). Moreover, it is argued that the production and disposal of electric cars have devastating consequences to the environment.
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