photo: Eddy van Wessel


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Electrical cars

Kurdistan must be one of the last countries in the world that does not sell unleaded petrol. Before, I used to drive all across Europe for my holidays, but now that I live in Kurdistan that is a problem. 

If I would take my Kurdish car out, it would not go far. Because almost all petrol for sale out there is unleaded.

Unleaded petrol is not for sale in Kurdistan, because environment is just not an issue. Kurdistan is too busy developing. Yet environment is not only about cleaner air and better health. It is also about money.

For example the four cars that are waiting for their customers in Amsterdam, hooked to the electricity pole in the square. Car2Go has small cars that run on a battery and can be used by those who participate in the project. Not only are these cars clean as they run on a battery, they are there also for those who cannot afford a car.

Electric cars are conquering the European market. Just about every street in Amsterdam has a special electricity pole, and already people are complaining that there are not enough. Because the batteries of the cars only last about 65 kilometres.

I spoke to someone who had just bought a car that runs both on electricity and petrol, so when the battery is empty, you change to petrol. In a month of use, she still had not filled her tank once. So she had been driving mainly on the cheap electricity instead of on the expensive petrol.

Of course, petrol no longer is expensive in Kurdistan, and for the long distances an electric car is not practical. But as a lot of people only drive inside the towns, it still could be interesting. Kurdistan also has people with a small budget. A project like this would make the use of a car possible for them.

Even better was the bus I took in Amsterdam. It runs on hydrogen, so it produces no fumes. The energy that is produced when braking, is used for the bus to pull up faster.

I tried to imagine this bus in Kurdistan. Not only is nobody here interested in the environmental advantages, it will also be hard to find people for the maintenance of such a strange engine. And even more important: public transport still is in its infancy.

Yet at the same time, Kurdistan cannot close its eyes for these developments. It has to open up to the developments on the international energy markets. Green electricity, solar energy and clean power have been developed for a reason. Just look at the smog we have in Kurdistan. Air pollution crosses borders. 

The world has decided the environment is an issue, as it is linked to global warming. Kurdistan cannot ignore it any longer.