Modern age electric cars were introduced back in the 1990s but it was not until 2008 that proper steps were taken towards their development. Tesla was the first company to invest heavily in the idea of reducing environmental pollution. They did this by investing in cars completely powered by electricity, Roadster, namely showing great performance indicators. In this article, we will study the impact of these cars in-depth and see if they really are environmentally friendly.
How do electric cars work?
To understand the impact of electric cars, we first need to understand how they work.
- Electric cars are plugged into a charge point for functionality, electricity is taken from nearby grid.
- The electricity is stored in rechargeable batteries which in return power an electric motor
- The motor turns the wheels and the car is ready to drive
- Note that electric cars accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional engines.
Impact of electric cars on the environment
Are they really beneficial?
Extensive study has shown that electric cars can be good for the environment. The main reason is that these cars have no tailpipe. Therefore, Carbon Dioxide is not produced while driving. Moreover, Air pollution can be managed very efficiently if electric cars are adopted completely and used instead of traditional engine cars. One electric car can save up to 1-1.5 million grams of Carbon Dioxide. There are ongoing talks between countries like the USA and UK who want to ban the sale of petrol and diesel by 2040 and shift transportation to electrically powered vehicles.
The concern with how electricity is made : A hidden perspective
Electric cars are charged up with electricity. This electricity is produced by coals and that revelation has changed the stance of these cars being completely environment friendly. The fact remains that electric cars will always be better than traditionally fueled cars in terms of driving because of their motor being reliable. Whereas traditionally fueled cars have engines that burn fossil fuels, subsequently harming the environment.
The problem with electric cars starts with the question of how clean the power grids are and how much coal is used in recharging them. Yes, they are extremely convenient and considerably safer. However, their full potential cannot be reached until the grids are cleaned thoroughly and the amount of coal used is adjusted to a minimum.
A comparison between Carbon Monoxide produced by an all electric car and a car running on traditional fuel can be as follows:
|All electric Chevrolet Bolt||New Toyota Camry|
|Carbon monoxide produced per mile: 189 grams||Carbon monoxide produced per mile: 385 grams|
So, we can deduce that while electric cars are far more efficient than a traditional fueled car, they are still producing Carbon Monoxide which can harm the environment.
Electric cars and Raw minerals
The real picture: Why electric cars are not perfect
The answer might be surprising but on an overall basis of manufacturing, extraction and refining, electric cars generate more carbon emissions than traditional fueled cars. The simple explanation is that electric cars have energy stored in batteries which can have high environmental prices. The batteries are made of materials like Nickel, Cobalt or Lithium that need to be mined in order to extract and use. The pollution caused by this process of extraction has serious repercussions on the environment because tons of acid waste is produced and radioactive particles are left to affect the mined area. To avoid the problem, it is best to recycle minerals like Cobalt. It can save mining costs and the damage it causes in the manufacturing of these electric cars.
Final Word: Misleading information has affected credibility
Electric cars are not “zero emission” as they are touted to be. There are two sides to this situation. These cars are beneficial in the fuel when it comes to driving. However, the manufacturing and production processes are extremely damaging for the environment. This calls for a thorough research on the perseverance of minerals used to make electric cars. It is important for the manufacturers to narrate the reality of electric cars to the public. They should include their effects on the environment during the construction stages. This in turn will ensure that the audience is not misguided.
We hope this article enhances your understanding behind electric cars and their “real” impact on the environment. Give us your thoughts in the feedback if you think we added to your knowledge.