Raul Freitas

Other ways


 It wasn’t long ago that when I happened to come across an electric vehicle on the road, it would be a doubletake moment. Kind of like If I had come across a Rolls or a Lamborghini. Today I have a few friends that own electric vehicles, so it seems like the people are warming up to the idea pretty quickly.

And that’s a good thing, one way or the other, climate change is here, (and probably to continue), so it’s good that governments are pushing to eradicate the production of the combustion engine, which in turn influences the population into purchasing what are called alternative vehicles. Having said that, I have also noticed that plug-in hybrids make up a large chunk of this market, and they incorporate combustion engines. What we can’t forget is that the production and use of these vehicles produced ‘biproducts’ of their own. Unless you have your head buried in the sand, you know that the batteries that store the energy to make the vehicles go require a massive amount of work to produce, beginning with lithium being mined. The mining of Lithium is being contested in many parts of the world, including near to where I live, due to the usual nightmares, (mainly pollution and destruction of habitats), that the very word “mining” conjures up in our minds. Charging is the other main issue.
The people of Ontario are well aware the headaches due to shortages of power in the Summer, when AC’s are at full blast. I don’t know for sure if it will actually create a big problem but, having a million cars also charging? Battery technology is seeming to advance, and I have read a few promising articles about companies that are making great strides, so I’m pretty sure the battery of today will be extinct in the near future. But in the meantime, sell as many as you can. There’s where I take issue. Important moments such as the one we are living in, the transition from the traditional combustion engine, is something that should be carefully considered and planned, by both manufacturing and government. Right now, it’s all market driven. Convince people they are doing a great thing by buying electric cars, by telling them gas engine bad, electric good.

Governments are all in, subsidizing the automakers’ new plans, which blows my mind, considering the people will never see any of the profits, but that’s for another discussion. Ok, electrics are flying out the door, so let’s put all our efforts into making and selling these. It’s always about money. Instead, why not equally invest in other already proven technologies? Cooperate and work on other options, thus possibly reducing the negative impact that will probably result from the use of just a single one? Let’s face it, we are still a long way from devising systems that have no negative impact on the planet and its people, so spreading it out might lessen the blow. Besides, with alternatives, natural selection will also have its effect, eliminating some alternatives that are not so much. But again, until these kinds of things are propelled with the intent to serve better the people, we’ll continue to be subjected to whatever the market says. Squeeze it until it’s dry, then move on to the next.
Fiquem bem,

Raul Freitas/MS


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