Category Archive: Enviroment

  1. Solar power in US

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    Countries around the world are continually looking to renewable energy to power the needs of their citizens. There are several ways which we as humans can harvest clean, renewable energy from our planet without the need to burn environment-damaging fossil fuels. One of the most popular of the green energies is solar power. As the name suggest, solar power harnesses the light energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. How it does this is much more complicated than we made it sound, but that is, in essence, how solar power works.

    The United States of America now has one million solar power installations throughout its vast country. This is an impressive number considering only 1,000 such installations existed in the year 2000. One of the reasons for the sudden explosion (for want of a better word) of installations is the cost of solar power installations has halved over the past six years and the technology is continually becoming cheaper to manufacture and easier to install. Despite these one million solar installations, the power produced by them only represents one-percent of the United States’ annual electricity consumption; the U.S.A is the world’s second-largest consumer of electricity behind China.

    Some 27.2 gigawatts of solar power capacity are spread over these one million installations, which sounds plenty until you compare it to other methods of creating electricity. For example, at the end of 2015, there were some 285 gigawatts of coal capacity and natural gas had a capacity of 440 gigawatts. In other forms of fuel, data from the U.S Government showed 98 gigawatts of nuclear capacity is available, as is 80 gigawatts of hydroelectric capacity. The United States generated more wind power than any other country in the world in 2015, creating 74 gigawatts of capacity.

    In other parts of the world, China produces 43.2 gigawatts of solar electricity, more than anywhere else on the planet. This figure only tells part of the story, however, because China has more than 1.4 billion residents and is heavily reliant on coal-powered power stations, which are huge polluters of the atmosphere. China creates 1,500 gigawatts of power per year, so solar power amounts to less than one percent.

    Every country, including the United States, needs to increase its solar energy because it is free and clean to use. According to figures released after climate talks in Paris in 2014, the International Energy Agency said solar power should make up at least 16 percent of global electricity by 2050 with an installed capacity of at least 5,700 gigawatts. Currently, the world has around 280 gigawatts of solar energy capacity so there is a long, long way to go in the next 32 years if this target is to be met. Reaching this figure won’t be helped by U.S President Donald Trump imposing a 30 percent tariff on foreign-made solar cells and modules. Although Trump thinks will help the U.S. economy, solar installers say the tariff will cost jobs rather than save them and could see almost 23,000 jobs lost in the next 12 months

  2. Best Books on the Environment

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    The world is awash with non-fiction books relating to the environment, so much so that is is practically impossible to walk into a bookstore and find what you want. Thankfully, for you, the dontpassgas blog has looked at some of the best books about the environment and wrote about them on these pages to save you time and hassle.

    The Water Will Come

    The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell is a superb book that may have you thinking it is a dystopian novel set in an imaginary world. It is not. What this book does is give you a sobering look at what our world could look like and be shaped into if we continue to ignore the warning signs of global warming and continue to damage this wonderful planet. Goodell talks about what may happen to Miami and New York City if climate changes continue to cause the sea level to rise and provides data to back up his claims.

    The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen is another environmental book that you have to treat yourself to. Brannen, an award winning journalist, writes about how we are now facing our sixth mass extinction and it does sometimes read like a mystery novel. Instead of predicting volcanoes and asteroids will cause the sixth mass extinction on planet Earth, Brannen informs the reader that scientists are uncovering more evidence that climate change played a major role in the previous five extinctions and that the human race as we know it now could cease to exist in the coming years.

    A book written in a different style is David Goodrich’s A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States. Goodrich recalls, in entertaining fashion, his 4,200-mile bicycle journey from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Oregon’s Pacific Coast, an excursion that took him three-months. Goodrich, the former head of the U.S. Global Change Research Project, speaks to everyday folk on his journey and learns how climate change has a huge effect on their lives and their health. The memoir is entertaining and, at times, can be quite harrowing.

    The Ends of the World

    Another eye-opening book is Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution by Marcus Eriksen. The author certainly pulls no punches and states that his goal is to end the throwaway culture that modern day people have.

    Eriksen sets sail from Los Angeles to Hawaii on a home-made plastic raft and discovers, while at sea, that the plastic waste that pollutes marine life isn’t a simple floating mass, but more millions of floating microparticles that are extremely difficult to clean up. In addition to opening your eyes to the effects waste plastic causes to marine life, and ultimately human life, you get to read all about Eriksen’s journey across the ocean, so you almost get two works to read for the price of one.

  3. Countries with the cleanest air

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    Countries around the world are vying to be able to declare that they have the cleanest air on the planet. They are doing this by a number of different measures including the banning of certain fossil fuels, increasing the amount of power created by renewable sources and educating its citizens. We have previously spoken about the cities who have the unwanted tag of having the most polluted air that its inhabitants have no choice but to breathe, now it is time to take a look at some of the places on this amazing planet that have the cleanest air known to humanity.

    The most common measurement for air pollution is PM2.5, which measures the amount of tiny pollution particles measuring two-and-a-half microns or less in width. These particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health issues to humans. Thanks to several green initiatives, Stockholm, Sweden has managed to slash its carbon emissions by 25 percent since the 1990s and the city aims to be fossil fuel free by 2050. The city’s government is improving public transport and increasing biodiversity along with promoting non-vehicular transport such as cycling.  Stockholm was the first city to be crowned European Green Capital back in 2010 and it can now boast of the cleanest air in the entire world.

    Wellington, New Zealand comes in at second place in the cleanest cities in the world, with regards to air quality. The city with less than half a million inhabitants is set to enjoy even cleaner air thanks to the Welington authorities embarking on ambitious energy efficiency programmes and waste management products. Another Oceanic city with superb air quality is Canberra in Australia. Part of the reason for Canberra ranking so highly is the fact fewer than 400,000 people live there, which does give it somewhat of an unfair advantage, but the figures don’t lie; Canberra inhabitants breathe some of the cleanest air on the planet.

    Thanks to a lack of industry and an abundance of nature, Honolulu in Hawaii has some of the cleanest air on the globe. Heavenly beaches and a picturesque landscape make Honolulu extremely popular with tourists and thanks to having a PM2.5 annual mean of just ug/m3: 4.27, its residents and visitors can breathe knowing they are not damaging their bodies.

    Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, have a project from the 1950s to thanks for their clean air. Back in the 50s, a French architect created a 126-square mile greenbelt within the city that has all but stopped urban sprawl and has allowed nature to do its thing. Ottawa residents can also participate in a cycle share scheme which means plenty of them do not use a car to travel to and from work, which in turn help maintain amazingly clean air for everyone.

    Finally, a shout out to the Tallinn of Estonia. The Estonian capital city has approximately 25 percent of its land covered in green urban areas made up of an impressive 61 parks, two conservation areas and three national landscape protection areas. Tallinn residents can also travel on public transport for free, which negates the need for cars and motorcycles, which have helped to improve the air quality for everyone.

     

  4. UK Could Be Heading for Cardboard Recycling Chaos

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    The United Kingdom could be faced with a major problem with respects to recycling cardboard and plastic in the imminent future due to new restrictions imposed by China. While people around the world are celebrating the New Year, some nursing hangovers from excessive celebrations, China is, on January 1, imposing new restrictions on the cardboard it imports. China is also banning imports of waste plastic that is mixed with paper rubbish.

    Approximately three million tonnes of cardboard are currently exported from the UK to China every year; China uses the waste cardboard for its many manufacturing ventures. Under current legislation, China accepts cardboard with contamination rates of 1.5 percent, but the new laws restrict this to below 0.5 percent. Loosely speaking, this means that any cardboard that contains staples, or contains traces of plastic or other waste products could be rejected by China and returned to the UK to deal with.

    The moves come from China’s president Xi Jinping who is attempting to create a “beautiful china” with a much cleaner environment, which includes campaigning against what Jinping calls yang laji or “foreign garbage.” China is one of the largest importers of recyclable materials in the world with the country importing an estimated 7.3 million tonnes of waste plastics from developed countries such as Japan, the United States of America and the UK.

    An expert in recycling, Simon Ellin of the Recycling Association, spoke to The Guardian newspaper and voiced his concerns for the rapidly approaching changes. Ellin admits that these new controls on contamination could results in millions of tonnes of waste cardboard being returned to the UK and has appealed to the Chinese government to delay the new restrictions until exporting countries have had time to fully implement new measures to reduce the number of rejections. “The ban and greater restrictions on imports is being implemented too quickly. As much as we in the UK, US and elsewhere do not have enough time to adapt, this is also the case with the Chinese agencies at the other end. This suggests there could be chaos.”

    One of the steps countries exporting plastic, which cannot be contaminated with waste paper, and cardboard to China will have to take is to take several more photographs of the waste so it can be checked by Chinese authorities before sending it on the container ships. They will also need to be prepared for China to reject the cargo so will need a contingency plan if the waste is rejected. This was echoed by Ellin.

    “Until we get to the bottom of some of the areas of uncertainty, we are reminding the recycling sector of the need to keep material exceptionally clean, take more photos than were required previously and be prepared that even this material can be rejected.”

    Greenpeace data suggest the UK alone exported more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong between 2012 and 2017, which amounts to two-third of the UK’s waste plastic exports.

  5. Most Polluted Cities in the World

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) set the air quality guideline for cities around the globe. This air quality guideline is an annual mean concentration guideline for particulate matter. Particulates are measures in PM2.5 and PM10, which is in relation to the size of the particles in the air. PM10 means the particles are smaller than approximately 10 micrometres. This size particle can settle in the lungs and can cause serious health problems. PM2.5 is the measurement of particles under 2.5 micrometres. This size particle is particularly harmful to humans; a study showed that as the amount of PM2.5 increase, so do the instances of lung cancer, up to a 22 percent increase.

    The guidelines set by the World Health Organization stipulates that PM2.5 should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic meter as an annual mean, or 25 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour means. For PM10, measurements should not exceed 20 micrograms per meter cubed annually and 50 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour mean. Despite these World Health Organization guidelines, hundreds of cities around the world are falling short by a huge margin. The worst city in the world was Zabol in Iran, which has an annual PM2.5 of 217 and an annual PM10 of 527. Checking this against the WHO’s guideline shows air pollution in Zabol is more than 21 times the recommended limit for PM2.5 and more than 26 times the recommended limit for PM10.

    Zabol is the capital of Zabol County, Sistan and Baluchistan Province in Iran and lies on the border of Afghanistan with a population of around 130,000. The area around Zabol is known for its “120-day wind” which originates in the deserts and blows hot sand and dust for large parts of the year. The air pollution is that bad in Zabol that a 2017 study by the Preventive Medicine journal suggested that cycling outdoors in Zabol’s poor air for 30-minutes would cause that much harm that it would outweigh the health benefits of the exercise.

    Cities from India make up four of the current top 10 polluted cities in the world. Gwalior is second on the list with annual mean PM2.5 of 176 and PM10 of 329, with Allahabad coming in at number three with a PM2.5 of 170 and a PM10 of 317. Both of these cities have populations in excess of one million, which is quite worrying seeing how the air they breathe on a daily basis is so poor it has been likened to smoking up to 50 cigarettes when air pollution it at its peak. The other Indian cities to make the unwanted top 10 are Patna and Raipur, while Delhi and Ludhiana, Kanpur, Khanna, Firozabad and Lucknow are all part of the top 20. Occupying the fourth and fifth spot in the most polluted cities in the world are in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is number four with the industrial city of Al Jubail being number five. Both cities have higher PM10 levels than all but a couple of the worst 500 cities. Bamenda in Cameroon is the worst polluted city in Africa according to PM2.5 particulate matter. Its levels of 132 place it eighth in the world.

    There is a pattern when it comes to ranking the countries with the most polluted urban areas Pakistan is the worst with an average PM2.5 concentration of 115.7 followed by Qatar (92.4), Afghanistan (86), Bangladesh (83.3), Egypt (73), UAE (64), Mongolia (61.8), India (60.6), Bahrain (56.1) and Nepal (50). All would be considered to be developing or third-world countries in hot, desert areas. Sadly, all people living in these countries are having years taken off their lives due to the air they are forced to breathe.

  6. Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

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    Since the start of the industrial revolution, humans have become reliant on the burning of fossil fuels to provide energy for machinery, heating and power for homes and businesses, and fir fuel for various methods of transportation. While the planet still has an abundance of natural gas, coal and oil, burning fossil fuels is the leading cause of the erosion of the protecting ozone layer and the biggest contributor to the global warming epidemic. With countries around the world dedicating millions and billions of dollars to become more green and help to, literally, save the planet, it is time to take a look at some alternatives to fossil fuels.

    Solar Power

    Solar panels of today may look similar to those used a decade ago, but the technology is miles apart, and in a good way. Technological advances in solar panels have made them cheaper and more energy efficient to install and use than ever before, and improvements continued to be made with every passing year. Solar panels convert the light energy from our Sun into direct current electricity, which is then passed through an inverter to create an alternating current that most household appliances use for power. Of course, solar panels need plenty of sunlight to generate electricity and they do take up quite a lot of room, but in installing them on all new build houses could become the norm, even in less sunnier climates.

    Wind power

    Wind power is a clean and renewable source of energy available throughout the world because the wind blows all around the planet. When people think of wind power, they instantly think of the huge turbines erected in the countryside on massive towers, but advances in technology is allowing wind turbines to be installed without the need for towers; some can even be mounted on balloons!

    Tidal Power

    Approximately 71 percent of the planet is covered in water and a large percentage of that water has ocean currents and tides, which we can now use to generate electricity. Creating electricity from tides and currents uses technology not too dissimilar to wind turbines, but with the added advantage that currents and tides are constant, unlike wind and the Sun. The main problem with tidal power is the fact currently we need to be located near a coastal area to harness energy from the seas and the technology needed is still very expensive.

    Geothermal Energy

    Our planet is amazing when you think of it and it is almost like it wants us to use natural resources to create clean, green energy. The temperature beneath the surface of the Earth’s core-mantel can reach up to 4,000 degrees Celsius and this energy is often released via hot water springs. Geothermal energy is already being used around the globe to power some power stations. Another method of geothermal energy is to drill down near the Earth’s tectonic plates and then harness the energy released. This method is also very expensive, but it could become mainstream as the energy source should essentially never run out, allowing us to power the world without polluting the atmosphere.

  7. Which Countries Are Leading the Way With Renewable Energy

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    Forget what the conspiracy theorists want to fill your heads with, global warming is very real. It is happening now and although the damage is already done to our protective ozone layer, it is not too late to prevent further damage and even reverse some of the negative effects caused by mankind.

    Billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions are released into the atmosphere every year. The figure was estimated at 39.8 billion tons in 2014 and that figure has surely risen since then. Industry, aviation and motor vehicles are the biggest pollutants in the world.

    Experts predict that at the current rate of pollution, global temperatures could rise by to degrees celcius within 30 years and this will cause massive devastation around the planet as polar ice caps melt; we could see entire countries disappear. The same experts predicted that we may need to leave more than half of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we want to meet targets that prevent the continued temperature rise.

    Almost 50 countries have agreed to try and make all of their energy production 100 percent renewable by the year 2050. Whether or not they manage to hit this ambitious target in the next 32 years remains to be seen, but they are at least trying.

    Some countries are doing better than others. Iceland, for example, has almost 100 percent renewable energy. By a stroke of luck, the country derives all of its energy for electricity and home heating from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.

    Harnessing the power of volcanoes

    Harnessing the power of volcanoes

    Iceland is a volcanic island that has essentially unlimited geothermal power under the surface and its government created initiatives to help harness this power and turn it into clean energy. Of course, Iceland is lucky in this respect because not every country has this unique resource available to it.

    Two other countries that do share Iceland’s luck in having plenty of volcanic activity in them are Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rica has a staggering 67 volcanoes and thanks to only having a population of 4.9 million people, has been able to provide power from hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar sources. The aim is for Costa Rica to be carbon neutral by 2021 and has already managed to rn on 100 percent renewable energy for more than two months twice in the last two years, which is a phenomenal achievement.

    Nicaragua also has 19 active volcanoes and is busy harnessing the immense energy they provide. The Nicaraguan government is ploughing money into wind, solar and geothermal energy production, so the target of being 90 percent renewable powered by 2020 looks like a realistic target. Although it does not enjoy a sunny climate, the United Kingdom is leading the way when it comes to wind power. The United Kingdom has more than its fair share of windy weather, but instead of complaining about it, wind farms are popping up all over the place and they are working to great effect.

    The UK now produces more electricity from wind farms than it does coal powered power stations. Scotland is particularly windy and is often able to produce 100 percent of electrical power to Scottish homes on particularly windy days. The same can be said of neighbouring Ireland that managed to provide enough energy to power 1.26 million homes on one windy day in 2015. Nearby Isle of Man set itself a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The island’s plantations are managed and replanted so there will always be more trees to replace those harvested.

    Germany and Morocco opt for solar power

    Germany and Morocco opt for solar power

    Both Germany and Morocco are investing heavily in solar power, despite having different climates. Germany is quite a cloudy country yet its solar energy output has increased eightfold since 1990 and in 2015 the country set a record for meeting 78 percent of the country’s electricity demand with renewable energy sources. Morocco, unlike Germany, has an abundance of sun. It is often sunny 350 days per year in the North African country. Morocco has opened the first phase of the world’s largest concentrated solar plants and it is already providing enough renewable energy for more than one million homes, a figure that is going to rise rapidly once the facility is full open.

    Two of the world’s biggest energy consumers, and therefore polluters, are also two of the biggest advocates for renewable energy source, which is quite ironic. The United States of America produces the most solar energy in the world and the second most wind power behind China. Unfortunately, its power consumption often outweighs the positives of its renewable energy efforts, something it is working hard to rectify.

    Lastly, a word about China. China is busy being the home to five of the world’s six largest solar module manufacturing companies, the largest lithium ion manufacturer in the world, and the largest wind turbine manufacturer. China has more reasons than most to try and reduce its fossil fuel consumption because some of its cities are among the most polluted in the world and its air quality if dreadful.

    The majority of the world’s countries are working hard to reduce carbon emissions and use more renewable energy source. Even I am doing my part because I have solar panels installed on the roof of my house which allows me to play games like Minecraft,  Pokerstarscasino or Astroempires non-stop on my computer without incurring any energy costs.

     

  8. The Greenest Cars Money Can Buy

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    One of the biggest pollutants of the modern world is the humble motorcar. There are more than one billion cars on the world’s roads and each of them churns out gasses that are harmful to humans and contribute to the global warming epidemic. Cars are not going anywhere; they are too integral to modern day life, but they are getting cleaner and greener with each passing year. We may not yet have the technology for self-sustaining cars but those days will come one day. Until that happens, however, we may have to make do with the current crop of electric and hybrid motor vehicles, of which some of the cleanest and greenest are found below.

    Tesla Model 3

    Tesla are without a doubt the coolest brand in the world when it comes to electric cars. The company’s revolutionary CEO Elon Musk. Musk wants to fly to space, have a greenhouse on Mars and even have a completely solar powered city, and he also wants to make sustainable energy the energy of choice for everyone in the world. The Tesla Model 3 isn’t overly cheap at $35,000 but it looks beautiful. Its sleek likes make it look like a regular sports car while its 0-60 mph time of under six seconds and a 215-mile range make it drive like one. If all electric cars looked like those Tesla builds, there would be a lot more of them on the roads.

    Chevrolet Bolt

    When you think of Chevrolet cars you think of big, brash vehicles with oodles of power that tear up the tarmac under their wheels. This may be the case for “Chevvy’s” of old but the Bolt flips this concept on its head. The Chevrolet Bolt may be a small car in the physical sense, but it could be huge if the American public get behind the project. The Bolt has 200 horsepower and can reach 60-mph from a standing start in 6.5 seconds while being able to travel up to 190-miles on a single charge.

    BMW i3

    No popular car list would be complete without it having a BMW on it. The German giant has one of the fastest and exotic electric cars on the market in the shape of the i8, which can reach 155 mph and go 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, but now it has a more family orientated car in the i3. The small car may have a love-it or hate it shape but it can travel 81 miles when run completely on electric or up to 150 miles thanks to a built-in generator. Improvements in batteries are seeing extensions to the ranges of BMW’s range with each new model so expect this figure to rise sharply.

    Volkswagen E-Golf

    Volkswagen landed themselves in hot water with the authorities after it became public knowledge the German manufacturer had doctored emission figures of its popular diesel models to meet testing standards. VW hopes to make amends with its E-Golf, a beautiful looking car that had 124 miles of range in its first all-electric car.

  9. Three famous city parks

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    A stroll in the park is one of life’s simple pleasures. Being at one with nature, having the sun on your back or kicking the red, brown and yellow autumn leaves can be a superb way to relieve stress and wind down after a hectic chore-filled day or after an arduous week at the office. There is a common misconception that the most beautiful parks in the world are tucked away in far-away places, their delights hidden away and only revealed to those willing to step off the beaten track to discover them. The truth of the matter is, there are some picturesque parks in the middle of vibrant cities around the world, right in the middle of metropolis’ and heavily urbanised areas.

    Central Park

    Perhaps the most famous city park is the Central Park in New York. Some may say that Central Park is almost a celebrity in its own right due to it appearing in dozens of television programmes and films over the years. The Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States. First established in 1857, the park was placed on the tentative list for the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visitors to the Central Park can take in breath-taking views of lakes, meander down tree-lined pathways and even stop by the world famous Strawberry Fields, a gorgeous flowering 2.5 acres section dedicated to John Lennon.

    Golden Gate Park

    Another famous American urban park is the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. Spanning 1,017 acres, the Golden Gate Park is 20 percent larger than the Central Park and is visited by more than 13 million people every year, ranking it fifth in the U.S.A. The park features museums, Segway tours, and aquarium and the Japanese Tea Garden along with the stunningly beautiful San Francisco Botanical Garden, a chain of lakes, the famous “Hippie Hill” and if you have a keen eye you may even spot some wild coyotes as more than 100 are said to live within the confines of the park.

    Hyde Park

    Covering 350 acres and boasting of more than 4,000 trees, a meadow, ornamental flower gardens and even a large lake fit for swimming and boating, visiting the Hyde Park could make you forget that you are in the heart of London, United Kingdom. The park is busy throughout the year as visitors take in the scenery and have some respite from the hustle and bustle of London life. It is in the Hyde Park that you will find several fascinating monuments, sculptures and buildings, including the Joy of Life fountain, the Achilles statue and the Diana Memorial Fountain in memory of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

    These are just a trio of the most famous city parks in the world, parks that have a place in the hearts of millions of people around the globe and parks that help us to remember that this planet is a truly wonderful place to call home.

  10. History of the electric car

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    When you think of electric powered cars, what image does your mind’s eye conjure up? The famous Toyota Prius hybrid car? What about a state of the art Tesla that is packed with the latest technology and gadgets? Both would be valid responses, as would the dozens of other modern electric and hybrid cars on the market today. People believe electric automobiles are something new and even futuristic, but what if we told you that the first electric car in the world was built in 1884, some 133 years ago.

    British inventor Thomas Parker built the first practical production electric car in 1884 after designing his own high-capacity rechargeable batteries, which is amazing when you think about it because it wasn’t until 1891 that the United Kingdom’s first alternating current power system was designed and the first power station was opened. Four years later, Germany’s Andreas Flocken invented the Flocken Elektrowagen and he lays claim, correctly or not, to creating the first electric powered production car.

    Cars powered by electric were quite popular during the late 19th century and the early 20th century, but rapid advances in the internal combustion technology led to their demise. Cars that used gasoline for fuel were quicker and easier to refuel, there was a better range of gasoline powered cars and when mass production of gasoline cars happened the writing was on the wall for the electric automobile; Ford Motor Company even reduced prices of gasoline cars to less than half of the equivalent electric car which effectively removed electric propulsion cars obsolete by the 1930s.

    In more recent times, the popularity of electric cars has increased. Part of the reason for this is the advances in batteries, concerns about the ever fluctuating oil prices around the globe and people wanting to be “greener” in their lives; electric cars do not produce exhaust emissions and therefore can help to reduce greenhouse gases. In 2004, Californian company Tesla Motors began developing the Tesla Roadster and first delivered to its customers four years later in 2008. Seen as a major breakthrough in electronic car technology, the Roadster became the first highway legal serial production all-electric car. It’s lithium-ion batteries (it had no combustion engine at all) allowed the car to travel more than 320 kilometres per charge, another world first.

    Since the Roadster’s launch, more than 30 all-electric models have been released by various manufacturers and more than one million cars have been sold up to September 2016. It appears that along with wanting to increase the potential range the cars can travel, there is also a race to see who can produce the fastest and quickest electric-powered cars. Currently, the Tesla Model S P100D is the fastest electric car in terms of acceleration, reaching 60 miles per hour in only 2.28 seconds, only 0.08 slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder that costs almost seven-times more.

    Exciting times are ahead for the electric car industry. Technology is rapidly improving, production costs are reducing and more charging points are popping up around the world. Whether or not the combustion engine’s days are numbered remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see how far companies such as Tesla can push the all-electric car.