Electric car limitations?

Do electric cars have plenty of "oomph" on the roads?

The Conversation

Here's why electric cars have plenty of grunt, oomph and torque

Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have raised the question of electric vehicles' capacity for " grunt ".

Now I'm by no means a "grunt" expert, but when it comes to performance, electric cars are far from lacking. In fact, Australian electric car owners have ranked performance as the top reason for their purchase choice.

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Lack of spark: do electric cars have limitations?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Electric cars are the future for our roads - but they may have some catching up to do in the present.

Some argue that they do not compare to mainstream cars, because they are more expensive and travel shorter distances.

However, others believe they have plenty of "oomph" and they are "far from lacking".

The Claim

Reuters reports that electric vehicles face an "uphill road" due to the limitations of its batteries.

They write: "In real world conditions, all-electric cars can sometimes fall far short of advertised ranges, car engineers say. That’s particularly so when driving at length on freeways or hilly terrain and in hot or cold weather."

There are drawbacks that hinder electric cars, and prevent them from wider acceptance: they have "shorter driving ranges than gasoline vehicles anyway, are more expensive and take a long time to recharge".

While China, Europe and parts of the United States have set "ambitious requirements" to increase the sales of electric cars over the next five to 10 years, those goals are at risk if they cannot match mainstream cars in cost and ease of use.

The Counterclaim

However, Jake Whitehead, a research fellow at the University of Queensland, argues that electric cars have "plenty of grunt, oomph and torque".

Writing for The Conversation, he says that electric cars are "far from lacking". He notes that Australian electric car owners have "ranked performance as the top reason for their purchase choice".

Whitehead explains: "Australians must decide whether we want to capture the enormous benefits this technology can bring, or remain a global laggard, literally being killed by our current vehicle emissions."

He concludes: "It is clear that electric cars can provide plenty of grunt for Australians, so let’s make sure we are ready for an electric performance future."

The Facts

Diesel cars are still dominant in the UK market, controlling 32 per cent of the market share. Their sales, however, have plummeted by 30 per cent in the past year. All new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK by 2032.

In 2018, the sales of new electric cars rose by 21 per cent (a market share of six per cent). There were 60,000 electric cars registered in the UK last year - that means a new electric car was registered every nine minutes.

There will be an extra 21 million electric vehicles across the world in the next decade. There were two million electric cars globally last year, and this is set to double by 2020. It will reach 12 million by 2025.

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