Bill Gates on Tuesday said that there is an ardent need to cut down the emission of greenhouse gases. According to Gates, this can be done by the use of clean electricity to run all the vehicles we can, and get cheap alternative fuels for everything else. The co-founder of Microsoft said in his blog that there has been a lot of progress on electric vehicles so far.
"The batteries that power them have seen an 85 percent price drop since 2010, so they’re getting more affordable to purchase (although they’re still more expensive than gas-based options). Plus, increased competition in the market means there are more choices available to customers than ever before, from compact sedans to sleek sports cars. You’ll even be able to buy an all-electric pick-up truck soon thanks to legacy companies like GM and Ford and new carmakers like Rivian and Bollinger," he said.
"Several companies are developing better and cheaper batteries that will hopefully make EVs a realistic option for every car owner. This video features QuantumScape, a manufacturer working to commercialize the next generation of battery technology," he added.
However, Gates also pointed out that batteries are big and heavy.
"The more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle. But the more batteries you use, the more weight you add—and the more power you need. Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles." Gates wrote in his blog.
Gates also said that even though biofuels have a lot of potential, its too soon to think about replacing gasoline and other fossil fuels with them.
"Another type of alternative fuel is electrofuels. By using electricity to combine the hydrogen molecules in water with the carbon in carbon dioxide, we can create a liquid fuel that works in existing engines. The carbon dioxide this process uses is captured directly from the atmosphere, so burning electrofuels doesn’t add to overall emissions. They’re very expensive, though. Depending on what fuel you're replacing, electrofuels can cost anywhere from 3 times to 7 times as much as fossil fuels. And like with EVs, the electricity used to create them needs to be from zero-carbon sources to be a real solution," Gates said.
"Switching to electric vehicles and alternative fuels is the most effective way we can move toward zero emissions from the transportation sector," he added.