Will Eco-Cars be the Next Trend? - Vol.390
Some consider alternative energy to be the future and that the change starts with eco-cars. It's important to understand what the purpose of eco-cars is. Understanding what problems they attempt to address is central to any predictions regarding the future of the technology. It's also essential to establishing how far ahead that future really is.
What Eco-Cars Look Like Today
Most people look for eco-cars to save them money on fuel. Traditional fuel choices are ever fluctuating in prices and eventually, our options will also run out. However, until such time there is still plenty to go around. At least in our lifetime.
While eco-cars try to use only electricity or bio-fuels to run their engines, most models are not nearly as cheap as you might think. Tesla vehicles may be all the rage at the moment but they hardly save money for an average income household.
Sure, the Tesla Model 3 car starts at $35,000 but it's not like these cars are growing on trees. Only 500,000 were announced for 2018. For a world population of over 7 billion, the number of eco-friendly Tesla Model 3 means nothing.
Right now eco-friendly cars are a novelty. They don't come cheap; most don't have 0% emissions and serve more of a proof of concept. Not to mention, maintenance is a pain, so is refueling on the road.
However, if you can afford it, why not give living green a try? Most eco-cars with absurd prices don't charge for technology. Most of them charge for amenities and luxuries. So if you ever worried that green-driving is reminiscent of the Flintstones, relax. You can travel in style in most eco-cars.
The cheapest of eco-friendly cars are usually two-seaters. That's not a valid choice for any family. Also, just because they are small doesn't mean they charge super-fast. Most eco-friendly cars have a very long charge time which can be very inconvenient for long trips.
What you save on gas you may spend on a new battery. Regular car batteries are more durable and cheaper. The batteries from electric cars are more expensive at the moment and they don't share the same durability either. If you like speed, eco-cars aren't on par with traditional fueled vehicles yet. There have been models that managed to hit 100 in fewer than 10 seconds but they won't do you any good if you have to recharge them every two hours.
Although some models offer luxury amenities, interiors and everything else cool cars have going for them, they can't make up for the lack of convenience. Eco-cars may help reduce the greenhouse gas effect but to flood the market with them at this point would require a drastic change in culture across the globe.
The Long Road Ahead
Without a doubt the future demands that we eventually switch from traditional fuel to alternative eco-friendly solutions. Before that happens, there's a lot of work to be done in terms of infrastructure. Right now, we are lacking alternative refueling stations and enough charging stations to make long distance travel comfortable in eco-cars. The technology is also not optimized for our current needs. Many eco-cars built today can't squeeze the same mileage from electricity or bio-fuels to keep them running for hundreds of miles. The constant need for refueling is currently a great inconvenience for our society that's always on the move.
Eco-cars will be the next trend but more time will pass until then. Although there has been a surge in eco-car purchases in recent years, it is still too insignificant to make this a trend. The only trend related to this industry is the willingness of so many large companies and new startups to focus on developing alternative fuel technology, usually at substantial government subsidies.