Clare Ip –

Ever since its rise in popularity in the 1990s, electric vehicles (EV) were seen as a revolutionary solution to emerging issues of climate change and pollution, as well as soaring oil and gasoline prices. Additionally, the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment and the 1992 Energy Policy Act saw the need for sustainable non carbon-emitting vehicles. More companies saw the potential of EVs, and initially started to manufacture hybrid models. Tesla Motors’ Prius became the bestselling hybrid worldwide as it utilized hydride battery, garnering support from environmental organizations.

EVs don’t have tailpipes, meaning they produce less carbon dioxide and toxins for the environment. According to the EDF, while production of an electric car requires more energy than a regular one “more than a third of the lifetime CO2 emissions from an electric car comes from the energy used to make the car itself”. An EVs capability of reducing emissions and reusing batteries proves it to be the more sustainable option for transportation.

Shell, the world’s leading petroleum company, has also expressed the importance of EVs on the future of our planet. Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director, said that they aim to construct 2.5 million charging hubs by 2030. Along with the company’s involvement in legal battles regarding pipeline leaks and oil spills, Shell has been ambitious in becoming a “net-zero emissions energy business.”

Shell has recently constructed the first ever EV-only charging hub in the UK, hoping to build more EV-supporting infrastructure to encourage more people to use EVs and to accumulate the 300 percent growth of EVs over the last decade. Moreover, the number of registered EVs in the UK have grown by almost 186 percent every year. The station contains 10 charging spaces, with 150kW chargers. Some other features of the hub include solar panels to produce renewable electricity, greenery, and a cheaper and more sustainable timber canopy.

However, this shift to EVs undoubtedly has a large impact on the fossil fuel industry. Over 90% of the transportation fuel market is controlled by fossil fuel companies, and with more people turning to EVs, they are starting to feel threatened. As a result, efforts have been made to challenge proposals made to stimulate the growth of the EV industry. For instance, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers opposed Colorado’s new zero-emission vehicle mandate, claiming that all people have the freedom to choose whatever they want to drive.

Overall, EVs have received widespread support, including companies like Shell who are willing to embrace this change for a more sustainable future. This inevitably causes a change in the transportation industry, with fossil fuel companies slowly losing their positions as the top providers for traditional cars.