, finally stopped selling the toxic fuel as of July 2021. It was a major milestone for the health of the human race and the planet.
Americans haven’t used leaded gas for a long time. The process of phasing out the fuel type began in 1975 and officially ended in 1996. But other countries didn’t make the change as quickly. As of 2018, Iraq, Yemen, and Algeria still used the stuff.
Now, a new race is on to see who can phase off of fossil fuels altogether. Automakers are in a collective arm wrestle over who can electrify their lineup the fastest, and countries all over the world are setting goals for transitioning to
Why did it take so long to get rid of leaded fuel?
Concerns about the health effects of leaded gas surfaced as soon as it was invented in 1921, and bans on the fuel began with Japan’s in 1980. Some countries followed suit in the following 20 years, but by 2002,
says 117 nations were still producing or selling it.
That’s when the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) got involved. Focusing primarily on African nations, they set out to convince governments to join in the transition away from adding lead to gasoline.
The hardest countries to convince were the ones with refineries, and manufacturers of the lead additive worked out some shady deals to keep their toxic product flowing into fuel tanks. But over the last decade, the UNEP worked with the remaining nations where leaded fuel was still sold to end its use in automobiles.
propelling EVs. Most of the hope for transitioning off fossil fuels rests on lithium batteries, but they aren’t perfect. Mining for lithium can be environmentally harmful, and recycling the batteries is difficult.
Industry leaders like Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and General Motors (GM) are also developing models that run on
There are still some barriers to buying environmentally-friendly vehicles. While charging and refilling infrastructure has improved for lithium-based EVs, it’s still a struggle. And it’s even worse for hydrogen cars. But the biggest barrier for most people is cost.
Electric cars start at around $30,000, but most of them cost much more than that. Hydrogen cars are even more expensive, starting between $50,000 and $60,000.
On top of that, home charging stations cost between $1,000 and $10,000, and refilling with hydrogen can cost twice as much as refilling with gasoline.
But there are ways to save. EVs tend to require less maintenance, and recharging a lithium battery will cost you less than pumping gas in the long run. You can also save by seeking out tax credits and shopping for
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"B.A., English Literature, MedAndrew Koole is an insurance writer who specializes in writing automotive news articles. Andrew’s mission is to create informative and instructional content car owners can use to reduce costs, master repair skills, and learn more about the automotive industry. Andrew has published over 600 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from automaker history to car insurance deductibles. Before joining Jerry in 2021, Andrew split his time between freelance writing in the entertainment and travel industries and creative writing in poetry and fiction. His writing is featured on a variety of arts and travel websites, including his own Ponytail Press.