It’s no secret. Electric cars consume far less energy than their gasoline-powered cousins. That’s good news, isn’t it? Yes, but there are other things to be considered too.
Last year, the global electric car fleet exceeded five million. That’s two million up on the previous year. The environmental benefits of electric cars are many. There are other green-related factors to look at too. Here’s the lowdown.
Electric Car Batteries
Questions have been raised about the pollution behind the making of the lithium batteries needed to power electric vehicles.
There are some rare metals that are found inside of a lithium battery. Their extraction can contribute to carbon emissions.
The country where the batteries are produced also plays its part. Chinese battery manufacturers produce far more carbon dioxide than their western counterparts.
The Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars
There is a stark contrast between emissions from electric cars and gasoline-powered cars.
With electric vehicles or EVs, there’s no combustion and there are no tailpipe emissions. These cars produce the bulk of their emissions during the manufacturing process.
EVs are responsible for far lower emissions over their lifetime compared with vehicles running on fossil fuels. That is regardless of the source that generates the electricity to power them.
Debunking the Myths
It’s true that some studies have tried to claim that EVs may not be as environmentally friendly as you might at first think.
These types of studies have focused on the way fossil fuels are used to make electricity for the grid. They also center on the amount of energy used in battery production.
However, many electrical grids which power EVs are moving toward reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. At the same time, they’re increasing renewable energy production.
Last year seventeen percent of electricity generated in America came from renewable sources. In developing countries, these percentages are expected to dramatically increase.
Electric vehicles are already producing fewer emissions over their lifetime. That’s compared with traditionally powered cars. The increased economy of scale in EV manufacturing will also help.
Many EVs can now achieve higher speeds. Improvements have also been made in the length of time it takes to charge a battery.
Better energy storage in batteries means you can now drive EVs further without having to recharge. Many people though use their vehicles for short commutes. This reduces the need for bigger charge capacities in the battery.
Manufacturing techniques are becoming more efficient. Recycling options are increasing. These will help EVs to become the future cars of choice and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A Greener Future
It still takes energy to manufacture the batteries for electric vehicles as well as the cars themselves. However, this is easily offset by the lack of carbon dioxide they emit during their lifetime on the road.
The environmental benefits of electric cars make them the vehicles of the future. Continue reading more related articles in our ‘ Green Transportation’ section.