Automobiles and other motorized vehicles have left a significant physical impression on modern cities. According to estimates, most of the land space in contemporary cities is allocated to streets and highways, parking lots, service stations, driveways, signals and traffic signs, automobile-related companies, car dealerships, and other structures.
All of that is about to change as many cars with internal combustion engines will be replaced by electric vehicles (EV) in the next few years. EVs are truly a new breed of car, outfitted with sophisticated sensors and even more sophisticated computers.
They have a variety of unexpected features, like brakes that require less maintenance. They can accelerate very rapidly and produce little noise. EV batteries bring their own set of weather issues, particularly during storms, when seawater flooding increases the risk of fire.
The unforeseen effects of transiting to an EV world:
Electric Vehicles produce less noise because they have fewer moving parts. As a consequence, EVs may help us reduce noise pollution, which may improve our sleep quality and health.
Electric Vehicles are heavier because their batteries may weigh hundreds of pounds more than gasoline-powered rivals. While bigger automobiles protect passengers better, they are significantly more harmful to pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles.
Electric Vehicles are affected by weather conditions. The chemical processes that power lithium-ion batteries in automobiles, like those in phone batteries, slow down in colder temperatures. There are other weather concerns. In the aftermath of hurricanes, EV batteries can end up submerged in saltwater, which is particularly conductive for electricity. This raises the risk that the battery ignites and starts a fire, which is what happened to several EVs in Florida during Hurricane Ian.
Electric Vehicles are changing the mechanics of driving a car — namely through extreme acceleration. The super-fast acceleration means driver, pedestrians and cyclists all will need to become a lot more cautious when navigating the road. Accidentally hitting the wrong pedal will also get significantly more dangerous.
EVs not only require less maintenance and repairs, but they are also highly computerized which makes them a double-edged sword. While it’s easier to download a software fix than it is to take a car in for repair, a surge in over-the-air updates may also increase the likelihood of new bugs, creating additional problems you didn’t have before.
It’s vital to realize that internal combustion engines have problems as well. Many of them will be eliminated over time by EVs. But they’ll create some new challenges, which means we’ll also have to learn how to shift gears.
Reference- VOX, Consumer Report, Recode newsletter, Bloomberg, CNET, Electrek