There are many misconceptions surrounding the electric car industry. Rumor has it that most of these vehicles are not at all “green”. Truth be told, some of them are not, but that’s just because most people don’t understand the math beyond the technology. Electric vehicles feature a more increased emission rate during the manufacturing process; also, they use electricity with its very own footprint. That being said, people need to stop generalizing. It’s not that electric vehicles can’t save the environment, because they might. It’s all about what’s under the hood and about the “juice” used to put that vehicle in motion.
The fuel controversy
Most articles and press releases talking about electric car emissions focus on things that are black and white; they don’t emphasize on the bigger picture. We have cars that run on “zero emissions” and then we have cars that are “worse than variants that work on combustion engine”. But then again, life is unpredictable and things don’t always come in black and white.
A fully-electric car can easily run on gas too. It’s all about the blend of the fuel used to “juice it up”. Vehicles that are powered by coal don’t cut emissions, whereas natural gas electricity is a top choice for those hunting to invest in the latest hybrid. Low carbon power means less than half of the total emission amount of combustion cars. A recent study performed on the matter has made some accurate calculations. They’ve uncovered those car emissions that were grid powered by electricity doesn’t necessarily save the planet.
Mapping out emissions from electric cars
The carbon intensity of an electrical powered source can be different from the average intensity at a national scale. In terms of specific amount, electric cars can be green provided that their fuel and fueling system is green too. Critics of the eco-friendly trend in vehicles love to focus their attention on emission manufacturing and making assumptions. They almost never provide viable solutions, not to mention that they avoid mentioning clear facts about urban densification and electrical-powered public transportation.
At a commercial scale, electric vehicle are relatively new. Currently, they deal with all kinds of issues, such as charging speed, cost and range. All these matters might help improve battery. In spite of this fact, they give hope on improving the quality of the local air, reducing carbon emissions and limiting noise pollution. Bottom line is, electric vehicle are not perfect and there are plenty of things that can be improved. However, it’s not ok to pretend that a gas-powered car is able to compete with a fully-electric variant as far as carbon emissions are concerned.
President Obama wanted to see 1 million electric vehicles hit the road in 2015. The claim was made in 2010 and it hasn’t been materialized. Why? First and foremost because a country packed with electric wouldn’t have made any ecological difference. What would happen if half of the United States was driving plug-in hybrids, fully-electric hybrids and battery-powered electric cars by 2050? Many would agree that this could lead to a cleaner, more breathable environment. But the claim is not necessarily true, and here’s why:
- A recent research study performed at the North Carolina State University showed that increasing the use of EDVs, electrically driven vehicles, by 2050 wouldn’t reduce air pollutants, emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide at a very significant rate. Participants at the study emphasized that EDVs won’t have the ability to reduce emissions at a national scale in the following 40 years.
- Adding more EDV (42%) vehicles and persuading people to drive them doesn’t provide significant emissions reductions. That’s because electric vehicles burn fossil fuel too, in spite of working on electricity. Hybrids for instance, burn gas when they’re left without electricity, and both battery powered and hybrid cars require electrical power from plants that generate gas and coal for charging batteries. Basically, this means that even the famous Tesla that proudly presents itself as being a fully electric vehicle is a polluter.
The process of producing electric cars is not eco-friendly
Contrary to popular belief, the manufacturing process of eco-friendly cars is not at all eco-friendly. It involves pollutant emissions in large amounts, even larger than the production of conventional cars. Some studies have managed to prove that making electric vehicles involves twice the emissions of gas-powered car production. Furthermore, the battery of an electric vehicle is a “toxic bomb” because the manufacturing process and shipping of the materials needed for the production feature their very own environmental issues too.
As a matter of fact, researchers claim that fully-electric cars manufactured in China have a greater impact on the environment than gas-powered vehicles. There’s also one more reason why EDVs are not at all eco-friendly: the small emissions footprint, where only one fifth of the overall carbon dioxide emissions are added to the vehicle. Generally speaking, cars are particularly visible and are often used to convey consumption and wealth. Hybrids and fully electrics in particular, are a symbol of power and status; they can make a huge statement but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can save the planet.
Aren’t there any benefits to buying an electric car?
Sure there are, but they’ve got nothing to do with saving the planet. Also known as an EV, today’s electric car has taken the industry by storm. Even though some manufacturers are devoted to using electricity to produce hybrids, some models use hybrid engines, meaning that when the electrical power is gone, the vehicle stops being eco-friendly because it is compelled to use gas. Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and Chevrolet Volt are just some cars that feature both an electric and a gas-powered engine.
All cars available in today’s marketplace produce carbon emissions, thus leaving us completely vulnerable to all kinds of things like greenhouse gases and pollution. However, some are let damaging than others. We live in a world packed with vehicles of all kinds and sorts. Unfortunately, nothing we do will save the planet; at least, for now.
By Alfred Stallion and Design911.co.uk!
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