Big Oil Companies No longer Pull the Plug on Electric Vehicles
As gas prices continue to rise throughout the nation, rumors of oil conspired wars loom in the Middle East, and the lingering threat of human-induced harmful global warming becomes a reality; it is clear that an alternative form of energy must be implemented soon to replace the nation’s addiction to oil. While oil is used for many different forms of energy, vehicles used for transportation are responsible for a large portion of the oil consumption in the United States. Therefore, the need to convert our gas-guzzling autos to run off of alternative forms of energy is the first step to wining our nation off of oil usage.
Over the past decade, there have been several attempts to produce alternative forms of energy which can be converted to power by our every day drivers. These attempts have encompassed everything from solar to alcohol powered vehicles; however, due to lack of technology most of these non-greenhouse emitting vehicles have remained as nothing more than a dream. However, electric vehicles proves to be the exception as it has already been mass produced in 1996 by one of the Nations leading auto manufactures.
The first initial push that drove automobile producers to create an electric car came from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The CARB mandated that 2% of the cars sold in California by 1998 must be considered “Zero Emission Vehicles”(ZEVs). After the 1998 dead line, new requirements were made by the CARB, mandating that by 2003, 10% of all automobiles sold in California must be ZEVs (Motavalli, 1997).
General Motors was one of the first companies to meet the CARB’s new mandates for the first zero emission vehicle. They did this with the release of the first electric vehicle known as the EV1 (Electric Vehicle 1). Conversely, soon after General Motors started, they abandoned the popular project joining the Federal Government in successfully suing the State of California to remove the CARB zero emissions requirements.
Hence, despite the large need, want and availability of the mass production of electric vehicles—they are still not being produced due to the overwhelming influence of oil driven industries and the Federal Government’s lack of intervention.
Global warming has been the center of environmental debate since 1896 when Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, hypnotized that the build up of carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels, such as coal, would increase the temperature on the planet (Clemmitt, 2006). Since the establishment of Arrhenisus’ theory on global warming over 100 years ago, scientific advancements, and new technologies have re-enforced his theory. However, the most convincing evidence of global warming is the actual changes that are occurring throughout the globe.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the global temperature has increased by one degree Fahrenheit (Clemmitt, 2006). While one degree may not seem worthy of alarm, a change in one degree can cause a devastating domino effect that can lead to the demise of the entire planet. For example, the one-degree increase in the global temperature has caused many of the worlds glaciers to begin to melt. Glacier melting is currently affecting Montana’s Glacier National Park, where nearly 120 glaciers have melted since 1910. As glaciers, such as those in Montana’s Glacier National Park, melt they cause the sea levels throughout the world to rise in both temperature and depth. Although the negative effects of melting glaciers and rising sea levels may not seem detrimental, the increase temperatures from global warming are responsible for “… providing added fuel to growing storms and hurricanes, making them more intense” (Lener, 2006). The overwhelming de