Electric vehicles are slowly taking over your roads, and while many people associate them with efficiency, they’re also kinder to the environment in the long run than an ICE car. Although the mining of lithium and cobalt for lithium-ion batteries is harmful, electric vehicles compensate for this with emissions savings over the life of the car.
So here are three reasons why electric vehicles are better for the environment than gasoline-powered cars, especially as power generation becomes cleaner.
1. Electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions
According to OSTI, conventional internal combustion engine vehicles are responsible for around 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases. That’s a huge number, and it’s the exact area where electric vehicles can help reduce the emissions problems the planet is currently struggling with.
Not only that, but according to the EPA website, even taking into account the initial burden on the environment resulting from manufacturing, electric vehicles are still cleaner than ICE vehicles throughout their lifetime. in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with an electric vehicle over its lifetime are generally lower than those of an average gasoline-powered vehicle, even accounting for manufacturing.
The advantage of an electric vehicle is that it produces no tailpipe emissions. Thus, daily contamination by driving is almost non-existent.
The best case scenario with an electric vehicle would be to charge the vehicle with a clean, renewable electricity grid, such as Norway’s mostly hydropower energy infrastructure, which can generate up to 90% of the country’s electricity.
It really is the ideal scenario if you can plug your EV into a clean power grid. Some places even offer ways to charge your EV for free. According to the EPA’s website, electric vehicles generally have a lower carbon footprint than an average gas-powered car, even taking into account the electricity used to charge the vehicle.
Electric vehicles generally have a lower carbon footprint than gasoline-powered cars, even taking into account the electricity used for charging.
2. Internal combustion cars continuously pollute
Vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel will continuously pollute the environment throughout their useful life. It’s just the simple but unfortunate consequence of the way a gasoline-powered vehicle powers its propulsion, which is by burning the air/fuel mixture it uses.
However, this means that the exhaust pipe of an internal combustion engine will perpetually emit harmful emissions and contaminate the environment every time the vehicle is used.
This huge difference in the amount of pollution these vehicles contribute is what allows electric cars to be cleaner than their ICE counterparts over a long period of time, even when initially having a heavier impact on the environment due to the manufacturing process unique to electric vehicles.
Currently, according to this carbon-counting tool developed by MIT, a hybrid Toyota Prius would actually be slightly more efficient in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than a Chevrolet Volt EV if charged on a theoretically 100 % coal. But taking into account the average American mix, the Volt would emit less greenhouse gases. It highlights the problems a dirty power grid can create, and it uses an efficient Chevy Volt as a comparison instead of high-performance EVs.
3. Battery Tech will continue to get greener
Companies like Ford are actively seeking to make electric vehicle production greener, especially battery production, which currently exerts a heavy environmental burden. Ford has partnered with Redwood Materials to help create a closed-loop process where they can recycle battery waste.
According to Ford, Redwood Materials’ recycling technology can recover up to 95% of elements such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper, which will help Ford source battery materials locally and help reduce the demand for imported and mined materials. Additionally, as the grid becomes greener and battery recycling technology continues to improve, electric vehicles will continue to be the cleaner option.
Electric vehicles will drive an energy revolution
The United States is actively trying to clean up its energy grid, and according to the EIA, most new additions to the US energy grid in 2021 were considered renewable. In the United States, the grid is actively going green, making the most important emissions caveat associated with electric vehicles (batteries – once the environmental impact of initial production is considered) an area key to electric vehicle innovation.
In the near future, you will be able to charge your electric vehicle using a green energy network, and its batteries will most likely come from recycled materials, ensuring that the vehicle you are driving is really doing its part to clean up the environment. .
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