Electric cars: for a moment, ” said Mazda
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Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:24
Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:24
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The electric car is it really a viable solution to the fight against climate change? Not necessarily, according to Mazda.
While nearly all the governments of the western world are trying to convince the population to turn to electric vehicles to shots of subsidies and regulations, Mazda continues to question the relevance of such measures.
With no hybrid or electric on the north american continent, Mazda intends to instead continue to develop its gasoline engines to make them more energy efficient. To a point where they could even be “cleaner” than electric vehicles.
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To justify this, about, Mazda makes reference to a concept called “Well to Wheel”, that is to say, the oil wells up to the car, or “well to wheel”. So you want to consider the CO2 emissions of a vehicle for its entire life cycle, not just when it rolls. Logic.
Even if an electric vehicle emits no greenhouse gases when it moves, its manufacture and its batteries don’t happen by magic.
Same thing for the production of the electricity that powers these vehicles. “In Quebec, you have hydropower. It is wonderful, should be Robert Davis, senior vice president of special missions in the north american division of Mazda. Except that in the United States, the electricity generation is often non-renewable. And we breathe the same air”, he recalls.
An electric car, but not right away
For the successful production of cleaner vehicles for the “well to wheel”, Mazda has developed a plan really called “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030”. It indicates that it wants to reduce the CO2 emissions of the company by 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.
It hopes to achieve this by continuing to invest in the development of gasoline engines more efficient. We recently had a concrete example at the time of our first contact with the new Skyactiv-X. By using an ignition system favoured by a high compression, this engine that we will soon see under the hood of certain models of production promises a substantial reduction of the fuel consumption and the CO2 emission.
In parallel to the development of this new engine, Mazda also intends to begin marketing at least a model electrified by 2019. But be careful, it specifies that it will be only in markets where the electricity is produced in a clean way. As in Quebec, for example!
Anyway, with generous grants to buyers of electric vehicles and with legislation such as the Law zero-emission du Québec, the manufacturers no longer have the choice to turn to electric vehicles. Even if the population buys very little, the governments are forcing the note, in any way. For better and for worse.
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A way of thinking challenged
Mazda is obviously not the first to challenge the environmental aspect of electric vehicles.
And even if the manufacturer has reason to question the magical thinking that some motorists seem to have with respect to electrical technology, several studies have shown that even with the energy produced by coal, electric vehicles remain cleaner than gas-powered models.
The book, “Cleaner cars from cradle to grave” (cleaner cars from the cradle to the grave), released in 2015, the shows also quite eloquent.
It explains that about 66% of Americans live in places where driving an electric car remains cleaner than driving a gasoline vehicle, even if it consumes less than 5L/100 km. And if the development of clean sources of energy such as solar and wind power continue to grow, this proportion could increase rapidly.
According to the”Union of Concerned Scientists”, a car with regular gasoline will be produced 57 metric tons of polluting emissions at the end of its useful life. For an electric vehicle, we are talking about 28 metric tons.
This video (in English) shows these statistics in a beautiful way.
In attempting to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 of its petrol engines, Mazda has attack certainly a good part of the problem. Except that eventually, the japanese manufacturer will also turn to electric vehicles.