Electric cars turned up quite appealing as a potential savior from global warming and the consumption of limited power sources in a world where reducing pollution is the main concern for many people. Considering the reduction of using fossil fuels and leaning forward using cleaner power such as electricity.
How many of these assumptions are true? Recent research has shown that electric cars are good for the environment with emitting less greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
Since interest in electric cars is growing widely and constantly, there are many questions people are asking about how clean and convenient these cars are. In this article we’ll discuss some of the facts surrounding electric cars and their environmental effects.
Are electric cars really better for the environment?
The main benefit you can make out of electric cars is the contribution with improving air quality in the town or city you’re living in. Pure electric cars can produce zero carbon dioxide emissions when driving. This reduces air pollution significantly. In simpler words, electric cars give us much cleaner streets that makes our hometowns and cities a better place for pedestrians and cyclists. Over one year, one electric car on the roads can save 1.5 million grams of Carbon dioxide. Which is (believe it or not) equivalent of 4 return flights from London to Barcelona!
Electric cars can also reduce noise pollution, especially in cities where speeds are typically low. As these cars are quieter than conventional vehicles, which means you can create a calmer and more peaceful environment by driving an electric car.
Does electric car production affect the environment?
Actually, making electric cars does consume a lot of energy and can be quite polluting. It has been proved that the emissions created during the typical production of an electric car turn to be higher than a conventional car. The main reason to this emissions is the manufacture of lithium ion batteries, which are a crucial part of an electric car. More than one third of the lifetime CO2 emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to make the car itself.
Recently, reusing old batteries is becoming more popular and also a growing market. So how convenient is recycling old batteries? Well, Research into the use of second-hand batteries is looking at ways to reuse batteries safely in new technologies such as electricity storage. Opportunities like this are expected to reduce the lifetime environmental impact of battery manufacture. And so less carbon emissions and less polluted environment.
Even after taking batteries manufacture into account, electric cars are still a greener choice. Because of the reduction in emissions created over the car’s lifetime.
What about the electricity required to power an electric car?
Even with electricity generation which is considered a much cleaner energy source, still the carbon emissions of an electric car are around 17 – 30% lower than running a conventional (petrol or diesel) car. The emissions from electricity generation are also completely improved when low carbon electricity is used. In other words, it depends on the conditions in which the electricity is generated (low or high carbon).
Does hybrid cars have the same effects on the environment?
Plug-in hybrids combine both electric motor and traditional fuel engine, and produce some emissions while driving.
The green credentials of a hybrid mainly depend on how many miles of the journey are driven using electricity as well as the way you used to charge your vehicle. This is why it’s vital for hybrid drivers to consider how their electricity is generated.
All this shows that electric vehicles have a major role to play in reducing transport emissions and being a major factor in cleaning up the air we breathe. So yes, Electric cars are better for the environment, but in certain conditions as the battery production, can be as polluting as the driving of a conventional car or even higher. That doesn’t mean it’s not a greener choice it definitely is. It simply means that experts should work on a cleaner way to make these batteries and making battery recycling more familiar. So that someday conventional cars will be completely replaced by the electric ones.