At the end of a routine service the other day, a customer remarked: “You know, sometimes I wonder if this will actually be the last petrol-fueled car I actually own.”
It’s definitely a thought worth pondering. Electric cars have been around for a while, and in recent years, sales continue to climb. Some projections suggest that by 2040, electric cars will make up at least 70 per cent of new car sales.
Hybrid cars too – those that combine a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor in order to consume less fuel and emit less CO2 than conventional engines, are also gaining traction in the car market.
And so it begs the question. If you’re in the market for a new car, what should you buy? In other words – how much is the car market going to change, and what do we need to prepare for?
Of course it depends on how you use your car. Some people upgrade every few years. For others the investment they make today in a new vehicle is something they expect will last another 10-20 years.
Enviro-friendly cars get a lot of hype. What’s the reality?
Essentially, it all comes down to personal choice and right now the ‘green car’ movement is getting a lot of hype.
But what’s the reality?
In all honesty, right now, electric vehicles tend to be pretty pricey. The other disadvantage of these vehicles is they need regular battery charging and while infrastructure is growing, it’s at a relatively slow pace.
Last year, however, Toyota announced that it was working on innovating a solar-powered electric car that can ‘run forever’. The plan was to invent a car that could be driven for four consecutive days a week for a maximum of 50 kilometers each day, without the need for charging.
The other new technology to look out for is hydrogen. In fact, earlier this year a plan by a new company called H2X to assemble hydrogen electric hybrid vehicles in the Illawarra region in New South Wales suggested that production could start within two years.
Well known company Tesla is also now looking away from ‘singles’ and ‘family’ cars to design and produce work vehicles, like utes and vans, and is making good headway.
There are many more options coming onto the market. But gauging just how far off these new vehicles are when it comes to them becoming affordable mainstream choices is still guesswork.
Change is coming, gradually.
The only thing we can count on is that change is coming. Gradually.
There’s no doubt that petrol and diesel are pollutants. And there is a growing sentiment amongst drivers for other options. But, the reality is that petrol and diesel will both be around for quite a while yet.
The experiment in ‘green powered’ vehicles so far hasn’t included large haul vehicles. If car manufacturing companies can truly find an engine that can cost-effectively service the trucking industry, which large nations like Australia and America depend on, then perhaps we can start to truly consider a bold move away from traditional fossil fuels like petrol and diesel.
For consumers, it is very much a wait and see proposition for now. There is no rush to find a ‘green’ car, but it’s a market worth keeping an eye on, because advances are definitely occurring.
We service any type of vehicle
Here at QuickStart mobile mechanics, we are eyeing the new car technologies with both optimism and enthusiasm. The future of the car industry is changing and we are well aware of the need to keep up, at a much quicker pace than consumer demand, so that our mechanics can be well prepared for any customer, when they need us.
For this reason, our mechanics all partake in continuous professional development to ensure that they have the skills to diagnose and service a range of vehicles, whether they are the latest models with the most innovative technology, or older cars.