Climate change is a problem that compounds every year. One of the main contributions is the non-renewable oil and gas we use to fuel cars. Canada and the U.S.A. need to work towards banning gas cars and replace the main mode of transportation with electric cars.
It is a risky idea. Limiting all vehicles to electric cars in two of the biggest countries in the world would cost the continent billions of dollars, force companies and people to change their work style. There’s even a chance the electricity used can be just as polluting. However, if done properly, this change will still maintain employment and solve the polluting problem with updated technology.
According to WallSt.com, there are approximately 150,000 gas stations in the U.S. alone. Replacing them with electric power stations will take years, maybe even decades. Some may argue this will steal jobs from the mining industry. However, just because someone has worked in mining or oil does not mean they cannot work in a different industry that produces energy.
Some of the troubles facing an entirely electric-powered car system, especially in the U.S.A., would be the driving distances.
It can take 30 minutes to 12 hours to recharge an empty electric-car-battery, and while this is possible to do overnight and there are places in the world, like Europe, where not much distance is required, certain occasions where lots of travel is required, like taxis and long distance trips, could cause problems and delays. Drivers would need to have spare batteries or shops could supply them.
This transition is already starting.
According to CNN Money, Britain, India, Norway and the Netherlands want to stop the production and use of gas-fuelled cars. India is going to try to have every car in the country run on electricity by 2030. At least 10 other countries and eight U.S. states have set goals for sales, according to the International Energy Agency.
Canada and the U.S.A should follow this lead.
Many people worry that electric cars are not green. There are plants that create electricity, ironically through fossil fuels and oil, but there are clean ways to create electricity. One idea is to collect solar rays from outer space: an experiment with very big benefits.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), around 30 per cent of solar radiation doesn’t make it to the earth’s surface and into solar panels due to greenhouse gases and the resistance of the atmosphere. But in space there is no atmosphere. The panels absorb the sun’s solar radiation then transmit it wirelessly to an energy station in Earth using microwaves. The DOE says one swoop of these microwaves could generate several gigawatts of power at safely low levels of intensity.
To put this in perspective, a gigawatt is 1 billion watts of power and most videogame systems require between 40-150 watts to play an hour, according to EnergyUseCalculator. One gigawatt, which is a fraction of a single swoop of this solar energy, is 1 billion of these watts.
According to Plug In America, an electric vehicle needs on average only 30,000 of these watts to travel 100 miles, so having these eco-friendly solar panels working daily or even weekly giving energy to power electric cars and homes would be powerful and eco-friendly.
Lastly, it’s time to face the facts. The world will be unable to use gas cars in 50 years. It is time to make changes. British Petroleum, a multinational oil and gas company, estimates we have about 50 years of oil and gas reserves left to mine, which is one of the main ingredients refineries make gasoline from. According to Ryan McWeeney of Nasdaq, that number only amounts for proved reserves that we know are there and are drillable with our current machinery. Even if that’s true, fossil fuels and petroleum are non-renewable sources. If the world has 50 years of oil, then it would be smart to have a backup source ready to go by 2067. And gas cars pollute, plain and simple.
Both Canada and the U.S.A. need to get rid of gas powered cars. It’s time to wake up and smell the smog.