Category Archives: electric vehicles

Costa Rica’s Young President-elect Promises a Clean Energy Future


It is important to note that the new president-elect of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada has come out with a promise to phase out the use of diesel and petrol in the country’s transport system by replacing them with clean sources of energy with a comparison of the task to that of abolishing the army.

The new president-elect in his younger days sang as a member of a college band known as Dramatika. After college, he got his first job working at a gambling centre where he staked mainly on American teams so as to earn enough money to purchase his first guitar.

alternative-cell-clean-ecological-solar-energy

Giving the speech while addressing his supporters just after being elected president, the 38-year-old made a vow to get the economy of the little Central American nation de-carbonized while also upholding the green tradition of the nation.

Alvarado Quesada who is a former centre-left minister from the ruling party came out to make a promise of a future where the nation can bask in the euphoria of being liberated from diesel and petrol dependency in its transport system, thus replacing them with sources of clean energy.

This transformation in the words of the president-elect would be the “abolition of the army’ of our generation”, making reference to the dissolution of the country’s armed forces back in the year 1948 which still stands as a point of pride for many a Costa Ricans.

By his election, he will be the youngest among the presidents of Latin America, thus joining the exclusive league of leaders in the world who were elected at an age below 40 and also with a commitment to a future that is based on clean and renewable energy, in addition to leaders such as the Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand as well as Emmanuel Macron of France.

According to an economist, Monica Arya who is a leader in the advocacy for mobility of electricity in Costa Rica, this is simply a very young president who is sending a very clear message to the nation, with emphasis on the younger generation.

Araya made a call for the new leadership of the country to adopt the promotion of electric vehicles via the purchases of public institutions and also to form a synergy with citizens who are engaged in order to come up with greater coalitions.

The country which has a population of about 5 million people also has an electricity generation system which is almost about hundred percent low-carbon and last year (2017), the country was able to go for about 300 days without making use of fossil fuels for the purpose of electricity generation.

As against the system and policy of other countries seeking to do away with diesel and gas cars using a certain date in mind, the new Costa Rican government would instead focus on the improvement of its metrics after which it would set its own targets according to Paola Vega who was responsible for the coordination of the manifesto which the winning party made use of.

During the campaign period, Alvarado Quesada made a promise to lead the modernization and electrification of an old diesel train with a view to leading the promotion of research and development of biofuels and hydrogen by leading the transformation of the government-owned petroleum refinery and also in signing a law which would ban the exploration and exploitation of gas and oil in the country.

As far as the ban on exploration is concerned, it should be a pretty straightforward affair as there is basically no oil industry established in the country, however, the transport sector will definitely pose to be a greater challenge. The transport sector of Costa Rica is reputed to be responsible for over half of the total CO2 emission of the country; this makes the sector paradoxically quite profitable for this ecotourism purpose.

A certain analysis recently carried out has also indicated that about twenty percent of the income of the state is derived from this sector of the economy, and most of the time from taxes gotten from fuel as well as the taxes derived from the sales of brand new cars as well as property tributes.

A recent statement by Vega who won an election to Congress indicated that there was a great need to effect a change in the institutional framework. According to him, the climate change issue requires policies that emanate from the presidential palace and not just from one ministry alone.

The previous year, the Congress of Costa Rica created and passed a certain incentive package with a view to promote the electric mobility. It is necessary to keep in mind that these incentives include decreased taxes for EV’s as well as more charging stations as well as a renewed commitment to ensure that some parts of public institutions ‘fleets to be free from oil.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

BP: The Need for Oil Is Expected To Increase by 2040 with Five Times Growth in Renewables


The demand for oil is expected to peak by 2040 and then decrease, this was stated by BP. This occurrence is due to the increase in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and increasing regulations on plastics.

However, on Tuesday, an energy viewpoint was stated by BP (which is one of the biggest oil companies in Britain) thus, forecasting that the demand for oil will reach a high point at 110 million barrels per day between 2035 and 2040 before gradually slowing and leveling down. Although, the current demand for oil is about 97 million barrels per day.

russia-oil-platform-rig-boat-ship

The viewpoint from the British oil giant solely relies on forecasts and estimates from its “Energy Transition” setting which redirects to government plans, technological and also social happenings.

It is also important to know that BP also forecasts that lots of consumers will shift their attention to electric cars in the near future. Right now, it has been estimated that about 2 million people now use electric cars, but this is likely to increase to about 300 million by 2040.

Nevertheless, the 300 million figure that estimated the expected usage of EV ( Electric Vehicles), only signifies 15% of the amount of the predicted 2 billion passage cars that will be used in 2040, this means that there is still a long way to go before the use of crude oil diminishes, BP executives stated.

Also, there have been lots of speculations that the increase in the production of EV will drive away the use of oil among consumers, but BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale said to the Telegraph that, “the suggestion that the increased growth of EV will cause a decline in oil demand has not really been supported by basic numbers- even though there has been a rapid growth”.

“We have seen the situation on the ban of ICE (Internal Combustion Engines). Even with the ban on the ICE, oil demand will still increase in 2040 than it is presently”.

In addition to these, the reports that stated the Evolving Transition have not predicted that carbon emission will also rise.

However, under the Evolving Translation situation, which accepts that vital rules and technology will continue to evolve at a faster state similar to that seen in the past, oil demand will slow and eventually plateau in the late 2030s.

Also in the ET scenario, there are nearly about 190 million electric cars by 2035 which doubles the estimated 90 million EV’s forecasts. This scenario has also stated that the number of electric cars is expected to increase by extra 130 million in the next years, thus, reaching a total of 320 million cars by 2040.

Other energy research groups have increased their level of EV forecast in recent years. Although, BP’s latest prediction is more predominant.

However, it is necessary to know that the Chief Executive Officer of BP, Bob Dudley, also declared that even though there have been adequate policies ( technological and political) to decrease the rise of carbon emissions, “these measures fall short of the sharp drop in carbon emissions aimed to achieve the Paris climate goals.”

From the viewpoint of BBC  which also pointed out from the outlook of BP, it has been said that BP expects the emissions of carbon to increase by 10% in 2040 – this would shun and collapse the promises made in Paris.

It is important to know also that this BP had suggested that decreasing the demand for oil at 85 million barrels per day would gratify the Paris climate goals.

On a lighter mode, BP has acknowledged the fact that renewable energy is the fastest-growing fuel source and will increase 5 times more by 2040 to attain about 14% of the level of energy consumption of the world. This is more reason why BP is putting all of its stakes in this sector.

However, Bloomberg conveyed that BP currently bought stakes worth $200 million in British solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd.  The British oil giant is not stopping at this joint and it has also considered bidding for an Italian company called Terra Firma’s Rete Rinnovabile Srl.

Furthermore, other policies and measures that are available are indenting the level of oil demand across the world today. Dale made it known to the Guardian that if policies are increased on plastics and plastic bags, it will reduce the growth of oil demand per day to about 2 million barrels by 2040.

Dale also told the Guardian that “all over the world, you will see lots of awareness of environmental damages that are associated with plastics.”

Nevertheless, by the end of BP’s forecast period, the growth of electric vehicles would have increased by 15%. Although, the number of EV’s can’t give a total story. When it has to do with knowing the future energy, it all relies on how vehicles are exploited.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

China Makes Move to Limit Air Pollution by Ending the Production of Over 500 Car Models


China has made a vital move to stop air pollution by ending the production of more than 500 car models and other model versions that do not meet the economy’s fuel criteria. It is important to note that 535 car models have been affected. However, China’s move to curb air pollution by putting a ban on these car models have been announced on the official state news agency this week.

Furthermore, the suspension of these car models has taken an immediate effect since Jan. 1 2018. Cars that do not meet the country’s fuel economy standards, plus vehicles produced from internal manufacturers such as Cherry Automobile Co, Limited, and also models from FAW-Volkswagen and Beijing Benz Automotive have been affected.

air-pollution-from-Audi-A3

China’s move was apparent to “shake” the car manufacturing sector which boasts of 28 million vehicles produced in 2016. Nevertheless, China has lots of small-scale car manufacturers, in which some of these manufacturers produce more than a hundred cars annually. The government has made adequate efforts to merge its automobile sector, which is a factor that has played a major role in the suspension.

Moreover, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, Cui Dongshu has said that the suspension of car models in China would only affect 1% of the Chinese market. Although, China’s decision to deregister the fuel economy on different versions of car models is a good sign of the commitment the government has to combat air pollution that is resulting in climate change. The Chinese government has set out plans to promote electric vehicles in order to encourage a better environment.

Before now, China has placed more priority on economic growth than protecting the environment and produced more than half of greenhouse gases, but it has resurfaced as a stronghold to combat climate-change after several actions from the U.S government in the rejection of the Paris climate accord.

However, the Chinese government is under much pressure to dive into the problem of air pollution and put a halt to it once and for all. Several effects of air pollution have caused serious panic to the Chinese populace; there have been situations where air pollution has forced schools and businesses to shut down briefly. Late last year, China made plans to have the largest carbon market across the globe, thus, offering lots of Chinese big businesses a financial spur to operate freely.

The president of Dunne Automobiles, Michael Dunne, has said that “China is sending an immense message across the world”. It is important to note that Dunne Automobiles is a Hong Kong-based company in China’s automobile sector.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to note that China has now emerged as the world’s biggest sponsor of electric cars; it has also offered incentives to car manufacturers to produce electric vehicles. Although, these incentives will be replaced by quotas in 2 years’ time for the number of electric cars that must be sold. This plan has urged lots of automobile manufacturers to increase the pace in the production of electric vehicles.

By contrast, the U.S under the leadership of President Donald Trump has considered withdrawing its support from plans to combat change, thus, killing the tax credit for battery-powered cars in its recent tax overhaul.

However, considering the fact that big automobile manufacturers such as Dongfeng Motor Corporation were not spared, says so much about China’s commitment to fight air pollution and achieve their goals as soon as possible, thereby, not giving-in to favoritism to the “big players” in the automobile industry, says Bruce M. Belzowski, of the Automotive Futures group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

China’s commitment has surprised other governments across the world today; this is due to the fact it has never indulged itself to take-up adequate measures on emission standard, not until now. At the moment, the Chinese government is empowering automobile manufacturers in the country to catch-up with the latest trend in making “clean cars”.

Mr. Dunne has made it known that “the latest stride is a recent indication of how fast their own automobile manufacturers have emerged and they are showing no signs of slowing down”.

Nevertheless, other foreign automobile manufacturers had to tally the effect of the ban on Tuesday. Manufacturers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Honda, etc. have placed lots of probes. BMW, which is one of the biggest automobile industry has said that the company is not yet prepared for any statement.

Moreover, Engadget has stated that “the ban on vehicles that don’t meet the emission standards stands contrasts with the U.S. The Republican tax plan which has been released does not have adequate plans that would take out the EV tax credit, but only the spurs to move for environmental-friendly vehicles, which have little possibility to survive, due to the efforts of the current government to protect fossil fuels at all costs.

On the hand, the Chinese government is increasing its pace in the production of greener cars, because it has no option. Air pollution is imposing detrimental effects on China; due to this reason, the Chinese government is looking for adequate means to sustain the health of its residents.

Image credit: flickr

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The Journey to Limelight of Electrically Powered Vehicles in the US


The use of electricity to power vehicles in the world can be dated back to as far as the 19th century. A lot of people made tremendous contributions to the development of this kind of vehicle. Around this time, there were other means of powering vehicles which include the use of steam and fuel (coal, gasoline, etc.) which have gained prominence in the world today. The electric cars at this time were very slow and they could only work for a limited time due to the capacity of the batteries used at that time. Some could only travel a few miles and a few hours.

Before its acceptance in the US, it was already widespread in the UK and in France with so much improvement because better durable batteries were made and its speed had improved. It was until about 15 years after that the US accepted it. The first in the US was by William Morrison. It was 6-carriaged, with a speed of about 14 mph in 1890. By 1897, through the “Electric Vehicle Company,” the electric car had started to gain prominence in the US as it was used as cabs in New York, with about 62 electric cabs during that period.

amsterdam-smartcar-electric-car-eco

Because of some limitations in the batteries used at that time, i.e., early 20th century, the top speed of these early electric vehicles was limited to about 20 mph; but, it still earned the consumers’ preference because of some advantages it had over the other vehicles. It didn’t have vibrations, bad smell and an awful noise as can be attributed to gasoline cars.

They were also very easy to operate and they didn’t require much to start up, unlike their competitors – steam vehicles which usually took about 45 minutes to start up on cold mornings; and gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine. Because of the ease of operation of Electric cars, it was accepted widely by women in the US and was even tagged the women’s car.

When power supply became better 1912, there came a surge in the popularity of electric cars so much that it grew to a 38% use among all other types of vehicles. A total of about 34,000 electric cars were registered in the US. In the early 1920’s, the electric cars in the US began to suffer a rapid decline in its use, owing to some factors highlighted below:

  • Good road infrastructures which now required vehicles that could travel faster and for longer periods. Electric cars couldn’t stand this test as they were slow with their maximum speed of about 20 mph, and they couldn’t travel more than 60 miles or thereabout.
  • The discovery of large oil reserves in the world made fuel readily available and cheap. It now became a cheaper means to power vehicle using fuels which could even travel faster and longer.
  • Gasoline cars became even easier to operate. The hand crank which was a difficult way of starting fuelled-vehicles was replaced with an electric starter by Charles Kettering; and the noise from ICE cars became more tolerable as mufflers were used, which Percy Maxim had invented in 1897.
  • The mass production of fuelled-vehicles by Henry Ford during that period made the price of gasoline cars affordable, up to half the price of electric cars.

Consequently, these led to a drop in the demand for electric cars, leading to many of such companies being closed or converted. Only a few electric vehicles such as the milk floats in the US were still functioning.

Looking through these facts, it would seem as though electric cars would never gain prominence again in the US and even in the world at large. But, nature has its way of recycling, bringing old methods to limelight. Such is the case of the electric cars in the US today. The recent problem of global warming, a result of greenhouse gases from fuel combustion, has called the attention of the world to save our crashing Earth. One way this would be achieved is by curbing the use of fuelled-vehicles.

The US has from the 1990’s, made remarkable advancements in the design and improvement of electric cars. During this period, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), began an advocacy for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles.

From December 2016’s analysis, about 2 million electric vehicles are used all around the world, an amount of 0.2% in comparison with non-electric vehicles. America recorded an amount of 570,000 electric cars. It is said that US citizens want zero or low-emission vehicles, and it is only a matter of time for electric cars to gain prominence again, may be permanently this time.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)