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Let us start by explaining the ecological impacts of electric motor cars and traditional automobiles.  E-cars do not emit health-harming nitrogen oxide or .climate-damaging greenhouse gases.

They are quiet and straightforward to operate. Electric vehicles appear to have many advantages over cars that run on diesel or gasoline.

Indeed, with discoveries about the automobile industry lying on emissions tests, numerous consumers feel deceived - and are searching to escape becoming a victim of this deception. One means to do so is to switch to an electric car.

Frequently, governments are supporting this transition. E-cars provide a quick solution to two societal needs: handling air pollution in city centers and reaching targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Germany, which has assured to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1994 levels, aims to have 1 million e-cars on its streets.  Although, it is not likely to reach this objective.

However, beyond that, electric cars are not an ideal solution - for several reasons:

  • Because of the sophisticated batteries they use, it currently takes more energy to build an electric car than a conventional one.
  • Moreover, disposing of those batteries creates an environmental hazard.
  • How can consumers be sure they are making the correct choice?

Shifting Emissions Off Streets - And On Power Plants

Under present conditions, the total carbon footprint of a battery-powered car "is very similar to that of a traditional car with a combustion engine, irrespective of its size." That is the conclusion of a 2011 research by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) at Heidelberg.

While fewer emissions are generated by the cars themselves while driving on the roads, CO2 is still being released by power plants that create the electricity to charge the cars.

In Germany, for example, Over 50% of Germany's is generated from coal and gas. An individual charging an electric car with what often comes from a German power socket would have to drive 100,000 km (62,000 miles) to be able to “pay off" this eco-debt and produces overall less CO2 than forcing a gasoline-driven vehicle.  If the car is charged through a green electricity only, this figure is reduced to 30,000 km.

Energy-Intensive Battery Manufacturing

The making of electric vehicles currently poses the most significant environmental issue. As per research by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, it requires more than double the amount of energy to build an electric car as a traditional one.

The principal reason for that is the battery. The institute estimates that every kilowatt-hour of battery capacity entails 125 kilograms (276 pounds) of CO2 emissions. 

Research by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute discovered that the greenhouse gas load of modern battery manufacturing is 150 to 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kWh. Battery production with current technology needs 350 to 650 Megajoule of energy per kWh, the analysis states.

Batteries also require to be made from rare earth like neodymium, and minerals like cobalt and copper.

Mining activities in countries such as China or the Democratic Republic of Congo frequently cause human rights breaches and comprehensive ecological devastation: deforestation, polluted rivers, polluted land.

Also, several automakers use aluminum to construct the bodies of e-cars, and an enormous amount of energy is needed to process bauxite ore into the lightweight metal.

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Too Many Cars

Yoann Le Petit, an e-mobility expert using the Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment, says there is an incorrect approach to go electric - and the correct one.

Manufacturing an electric car today is much more energy-intensive than manufacturing a conventionally fueled automobile, he confirmed to DW.

Once in use, however, electric vehicles are a lot cleaner and energy-efficient. Concerning the surroundings, the modern electric vehicles are already doing better than internal fire engines; he tells.

Furthermore, this performance is set to improve as more renewable sources supply clean electricity to the grid.  Then there are additional considerations.

The German Environmental Forecasting Institute (UPI) informs that more electric cars could create more traffic generally.  Norway is the leading nation in Europe for electrical vehicle sales. However, because the sales of electric cars have gone up, the use of public transportation to get to work dropped by 80 percent, reported by the UPI.

The environmental organization Greenpeace has advised that the advantages of conversion to e-cars would be restricted if it led to more private automobile ownership. Instead, governments should concentrate on electrifying public transportation.

However, the German authorities and the country's car industry continue to be encouraging private transportation, giving customers an incentive of up to 4,000 Euros to purchase an electric car as part of a scheme to subsidize electromobility.

Electric Greenwashing?

Due to their indirect emissions, there has been a controversy over whether electric cars could be called “zero-emission vehicles." It is a question with far-reaching effects.

The EU’s new CO2 limits have to be met on an average that takes account of all of the different cars a producer manufactures. By building “zero emissions" vehicles, car-makers may also continue to sell gas guzzlers such as SUVs that exceed these limitations.

According to the latest study from the Logistics, Mobility, and Automotive Technology Research Centre at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), a battery-driven electric car that uses electricity produced by fossil fuels will emit somewhat more emissions over its lifetime than a diesel-powered auto - still less than a gas car.

However, electric cars that use electricity generated from renewable sources will have six times less carbon emissions through their lifetimes than gasoline-driven vehicles.  This suggests that for a switch to e-mobility to be effective, countries will need to transition their energy production in parallel.

Renewables made up about 34% of Germany's energy mix in 2016 - from the year 2035, Germany needs 55 to 60 percent of its electricity to come from wind, solar, and biomass.

 

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Battery Disposal

Issues have also been raised about what happens to the intricate batteries, which also contain toxic compounds, at the end of an electric vehicle's life. Can this create a new environmental crisis?

Not if new solutions being developed to provide the batteries a second life are taking place now.  A battery can be utilized for different functions very efficiently - but we will need to plan out what "full life cycle" is for a battery.

At several universities, scientists are developing ways to recycle electric automobile batteries - for industrial methods, as an example. The more the battery can be used after the lifetime of the vehicle, the lower that vehicle's environmental influence will be beyond its lifespan.

There is also continuing research into creating the batteries more productive while they are in the vehicle. Engineers are also discovering how to use electric vehicles as storage devices in the global energy grid.

A car plugged in for the whole night could thus supply back into the grid at times of reduced renewable energy generation, for example, once the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.  There is a general consensus that while electric cars might not be real “zero-emission" vehicles, they are yet on the whole better for the environment and the climate compared to traditional vehicles.

The key in the coming years will figure out how to make sure that these new vehicles can become even more eco-friendly.

Increased Requirement For Environment-Friendly Electric Motors

A gigantic shift from the traditional motor to complete electric options has driven the need for electric motors to an all-time high.

In the modern era, major advances in technology have given opportunities to manufacture and develop electric motors for a wide variety of applications in industries such as agriculture, construction, automotive, and other industrial sectors. Over the past two decades, higher importance put on environmental protection has resulted in the drafting of several regulations and norms that precisely pinpoint this situation. Lately, innovative electric motors have found applications in electric automobiles and robots.

A report printed by Allied Market Research focuses on growth opportunities, the current trends, and significant challenges in the motors market. It provides insights such as size market share and growth. The report shows that leading players in the field are currently shifting their focus to building energy-efficient electric motors.

Recent research from Allied Market Research represents how electric motors will rule the future market. The possible ranges in markets from industrial equipment such as HVAC and lathes applications to even consumer products like electric cars.

 

Electric Motors and Innovation

Electric motors have impacted the growth of various industries since their onset in 1834. These days, electric motors are gradually replacing gasoline and diesel engines because of environmental concerns. In addition to that, they have demonstrated a longer working life, use less energy, and are easier to repair than their regular engine counterparts, as well as being well-equipped to handle voltage issues. Electric motors are also replacing hydraulic cylinders.

According to James Kirtley, an industry specialist on electric motors and professor in the Department of Electric Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, almost 40 percent of total electric power is used to drive motors. It is set to continue at that level. He adds that electric motors are widely utilized in airplanes, trains, ships, and cars. Furthermore, as stated, robots are another growth area for these motors.

The last decade has noticed a change from gas to electricity. Making this transition is the requirement to develop energy-efficient devices that use clean sources of energy. Modern-day electric motors are flexible and adapt well to new applications in smaller devices.

Kirtley says that one-size of the motor is not acceptable for all applications. Motors' specifications and requirements are continually changing, depending on the sort of application. Current electric motors typically consume less power and are smaller in size than their predecessors over the past 50 years. As an example, the cars of today incorporate around a dozen small electric motors for applications such as wiper blades, seat positioners locks, and air conditioners.

Various innovative small electric motors are produced and developed at the MIT, stated Kirtley. He and his investigation group at MIT are currently working on advanced methods to develop clean vehicles. Lately, they associated with a firm in Cambridge that produces bicycle assist wheels. Energy saved in the wheels responds to the pedaling forces that assist the bicycle in climbing, say, a hill.

Performance of Electric Motors

The efficiency of a motor basically boils down to the output and input power. Most electric motors are designed to operate at 50% to 100% rated load. Efficiency is the highest at around 75%, and it is likely to decrease by around 50% load. Motor efficiency will change based on the sort of motor.

When a motor becomes overloaded, it leads to overheating and, because of this, the efficiency takes a huge hit. Various motors are developed with a service factor that permits occasional overloading. The service factor is a multiplier that shows how much a motor can overload under ambient requirements. Generally, energy-efficient motors run under colder conditions, consume less electricity and last longer.

In an electric motor, the efficiency is the ratio of the mechanical power produced by the motor to the electrical power to the motor. To maintain a good efficiency ratio, these motors feature an improved design and use quality materials to decrease motor losses.

Electric motors manufactured before 1975 were developed to meet the basic performance levels. Though, in 1977, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) proposed a procedure to tag the conventional three-phase motors using an average formal efficiency. Energy-efficient motors are sold with the device model NEMA-B speed-torque features. The motor's efficiency is dependent upon the mechanical design and the construction materials.

The manufacturing and operating costs of electric motors play an essential role when it comes to the overall utility of the product. Efficiency improvement values, operating hours, and a load of a motor set the operating costs.

Modern Applications and Development

The arrival of Robotics and Robots in the previous decade have significantly improved facets of different industries, especially the manufacturing industry. Electric motors are currently playing a significant role in this sector.

It is vital to have a smart motor in robots that can efficiently produce different levels of power whenever needed. Electric motors can also give mobile robots a more extended battery life compared to traditional hydraulic systems.

Over the past decade, an increase in customized applications has led to a higher demand for customized electric motors. By way of instance, Sangbae Kim lately produced a robotic cheetah that has lately obtained a bit of fame. The motor used in the cheetah is powerful and energy-efficient at the same time. Electric motors also enhance responsiveness and control. 

Conclusion

Application possibilities for electric motors have ramped up across several sectors in the past twenty years. In turn, it has driven market leaders to concentrate on manufacturing electric motors that are more energy-efficient and cleaner than other conventional motors.

Government initiatives also have offered a stable platform for industry players to develop electric motors without damaging the environment. One example is an action taken by the Japanese government in 2010 to control the adverse effects of electric motors in automobiles.

Its goal was to increase the sales of vehicles that protect the environment and comply with environmental safety norms. Adoption rates of those motors are packed with India, China, Brazil, the U.S., and Argentina in both the agricultural and industrial sectors.