Cars are a big part of our lives in the 21st century, and there are a lot of changes happening in the car industry. Joanne Brady explains about one of the biggest changes – the increasing use of cars which are powered by electric instead of petrol.
Electric cars are said to be the cars of the future, yet there was a time when electric cars were more popular than petrol ones.
Petrol cars use a combustion engine fuelled by petrol, while electric cars use heavy batteries which are recharged using a power lead. Electric cars are seen as better than petrol ones because they produce no smelly exhaust fumes, and the electricity per mile costs less than a quarter of the amount it costs in petrol. There are lots of electric cars in big cities such as London, like this little G-Wiz. They are popular with people who want to save money on petrol or who want to reduce the emissions that they create while driving about.
Currently, electric cars are being produced by large manufacturing companies, like Nissan, and Mitsubishi, and the UK government are giving people cash discounts to help buy one instead of a petrol car. The problem at the moment with electric cars is that, because batteries are very expensive, the cars cost a lot of money to make and buy. A small family car like a Vauxhall Astra costs around £14,000 to buy, but an electric car of the same size – a Nissan Leaf for example – will cost around £28,000.
Petrol prices have gone up a lot in the last few years, and they are expected to rise again soon. All the time, prices of batteries and electric cars are falling. Soon we will start to see recharging posts and pillars on our streets, and maybe they will eventually replace petrol stations.
What do you think? Do you think your will be driving a petrol car or an electric car in the future?