Rainer von Sachs / University professor

UC Louvain / Mathematical statistics

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

I would like to share my experience with the use of a fully electric car which we as a household in the countryside of Wallonia own for almost one year now.
It is our secondary car (a small Renault ZOE), and serves almost daily for a variety of trips within 200 km around our house (we only charge it at home).
As we have sufficient solar panels on the roof of our house, we can charge it with our own produced solar energy, and try to avoid doing this during the night (not to need to take electricity from the
public network).
With this set-up we can face to a certain extent the criticism that we often hear about using electric cars: they increase the consumption of electric energy (not always produced ecologically),
and the production process of their batteries is polluting, and they are too expensive (needing to have a second, a conventional car in any case, except if living in a big city).
It is true that the circumstances in our country at this moment are not yet as optimal as they are for us with our set-up, but we estimate it to be very important to start going into the right direction (even though yet suboptimal). Only if people who can financially afford the intelligent mix of solar production with running their electric car start doing so, things might change for the broader public on the long run (and this is what we need NOW). Scientific studies have shown that in a couple years from now, if one seriously starts to invest into the energy transition NOW, one could provide an affordable set-up for many Belgian households, and usually with the demand for a new expensive product rising, the price will eventually fall. New materials for longer-lasting less polluting batteries arise virtually every year, too.
On a second note, our modest contribution to a more ecological consumer’s behaviour lies in the fact that we use our own bags and wraps for buying our food, even in larger supermarkets now (if we really need – as we try to buy as much as possible “locally”). Sure, it takes some extra time and effort (it is no more that more expensive than traditional supermarket food), but it is a question of habit, and definitely worth the effort – our garbage containers become less and less filled now.

Originally posted 2018-07-04 12:22:52.

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