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We Need More Pollution-Free Vehicles to Combat Climate Change

09/21/2015 12:18 EDT | Updated 09/20/2016 05:12 EDT
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The world is in dire need of efficient and pollution-free vehicles. According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), emissions from road transportation is responsible for 30 per cent of greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change, and these emissions have grown 35 per cent since 1990 with no sign of declining.

It's a sad state of affairs -- we're choking on pollution and waste but we don't have to. Humans require transportation but our addiction to combustion engines and fossil fuels is a large part of our downfall. The solution to our needs and care of the planet lies in efficiency. When we can't walk, bike, or take public transportation, we need to ride in vehicles that run on clean energy and do not increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Making a change to electric vehicles is perhaps the way of the future if we really want to commit to clean energy. However, people are not always open to change and our most immediate response is, how much will it cost me? The WWF insists that turning to electric vehicles has financial benefits. Electric vehicles may cost more up front than conventional cars, they say, but once you start driving, the savings add up. "A pure electric vehicle can slash your fuel costs by 80 per cent and cut your maintenance costs in half." That's a huge amount of savings over time and a tipping of the hat to our planet and our future.

Motorcycle hybrid

Gearheads, an auto news site, calls combustion engines "a bit primitive" when the technology to harness power from the sun, water, wind, and nuclear fusion could provide humanity with sufficient energy. The green revolution in transportation is revving and there are some astonishing options coming onto market.

The site discusses a very encouraging new vehicle from San Francisco's Lit Motors that runs on clean energy. The C1, an enclosed, electric, non-tipping, "motorcycle car" that can go up to 200 miles or 321 km per charge, is what Lit Motors CEO and C1 creator, Daniel Kim, calls "the future of transportation."

Unlike motorcycles, the C1 is safe. It is equipped with airbags and gyroscopic technology that keeps it upright -- even in side-impact car accidents. The C1 vehicle is more of a hybrid, between a car and a motorcycle, and though you won't feel the wind through your hair, you also won't get bugs in your teeth.

Municipal electric fleets

It's encouraging that public service vehicles are beginning to show interest in electric vehicles. On Sept. 11, 2015, Tesla Motors tweeted, LA Mayor @ericgarcetti announces historic transition to Green Energy Vehicles. Green Car Reports says that Los Angeles' police and fire departments are slated to lease all-electric cars (the LA police department is already investing in 23 electric scooters, a few electric motorcycles, and 100 battery-electric cars), and water, power, and general services vehicles will be plug-in hybrids. The city would like 80 per cent of municipal vehicles to be electric by 2025.

To compare, in Canada as of 2014, there was just one police fleet (in Saanich, B.C., home to Green Party leader, Elizabeth May) that included electric vehicles. Though this is disappointing, there is some good news in Canadian municipal vehicles. According to a 2014 UBC study on sustainable vehicles states that a number of Canadian cities currently use electric city vehicles. "Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria are all currently making use of these vehicles in their municipal fleet to complete tasks related to parking enforcement and routine administrative duties." We`re getting there, slowly and hopefully surely.

The environmental crisis wasn't created overnight and the solutions to the crisis won't come that way either. Our technology has to catch up and cater to our needs as we turn into a greener society, and it's step-by-step. That there will be a staggering two billion vehicles on the earth by 2035 with a mere 2.5 per cent being battery, electric, plug-in, or fuel cell-powered should make us all pause for thought. We`re the ones who drive the green energy market, so let`s put our foot to the floor and head towards a cleaner future.

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