According to a recent reports by The Guardian, and MIT electric cars emit significantly fewer pollutants than conventional gasoline-powered cars. Contrary to popular belief, electric cars are not only better for the environment but also more efficient in terms of fuel consumption. While some critics argue that electric cars merely shift the emissions from the tailpipe to the power plant. Yet the studies show that even when charged with electricity generated from coal-fired power plants. Yet electric cars still emit fewer greenhouse gases. Where I live, I have solar and power walls at my house. After that, the rest is hydro and some natural gas for heat. So it’s especially greener than their gasoline counterparts.
Cost of Batteries over Lifetime then becomes energy storage
One of the main factors driving the shift towards electric cars and now trucks too is the decreasing cost of batteries. As the technology improves and economies of scale kick in, the price of electric car batteries has dropped by roughly 80%. For that’s over the past decade. This trend is expected to continue, making electric cars more affordable and accessible to consumers.
There are Emissions: Just Way Less
While electric cars reduce fossil fuel emissions once they are on the road, the production of the lithium-ion batteries that power them causes more displacement and CO2 emissions than the production of regular gas-powered cars. Disposal of the batteries at the end of their life cycle is also a growing concern.
“There are carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions that come with the process of extraction,” said Zeke Hausfather, a scientist at climate research nonprofit Berkeley Earth told Climate360. “[It’s] not like CO2 comes out of the lithium, but it does take energy to mine things. Yet today many of those systems involve emitting CO2.” So even say that lithium-ion battery mining and production were determined to be worse for the climate than the production of fossil fuel vehicle batteries in an article from The Wall Street Journal. Yes that’s correct. Yet it’s not looking at everything correctly at all. This is a skewed fossil fuel argument.
However, USA Today reported:
Cumulative energy demand (CED) measures how much energy is expended in the production of car batteries. According to scientists measure CED, production of the average lithium-ion battery uses three times more electrical energy compared to a generic battery.
Another benefit of electric cars is their quieter operation.
With no internal combustion engine, electric cars produce much less noise pollution than gasoline cars, which can be especially beneficial in urban areas.
While electric cars are still a relatively new technology, they have already made significant strides in reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency. As battery technology improves and renewable energy sources become more widespread, electric cars are poised to become an increasingly important part of the global transportation landscape.
As Yale reports:
Lithium is also much more efficient. Jim Krane, PhD, who teaches energy policy and geopolitics at Rice University, has crunched the numbers. “Over 20 years,” he said, “the same amount of mining would give you five times as much power if you did the mining for wind rather than coal.” Not to mention that using lithium to store renewable energy will slash or possibly eliminate the need to mine coal.
This video by independent videographer and Yale Climate Connections regular contributor Pete Sinclair explores how some lithium is already being obtained without any mining at all. At the Salton Sea in California, geothermal power plants tap the brine and produce lithium as a byproduct. Estimates show that the Salton Sea holds enough lithium to provide all projected future U.S. needs for the battery metal, and 40 percent of the world’s future needs, according to experts cited in the video.
Finally, as CNBC reports:
Are electric vehicles greener?
The short answer is yes — but their full green potential is still many years away.
Experts broadly agree that electric vehicles create a lower carbon footprint over the course of their lifetime. Especially more environmental and energy savings than do gas, diesel or hydrogen cars and trucks. Especially those that use traditional, internal combustion engines.
Last year, researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Exeter and Nijmegen in The Netherlands found that in 95% of the world, driving an electric car is better for the environment than driving a gasoline-powered car.
Electricity grids in most of the world are still powered by fossil fuels such as coal or oil. So EVs depend on that energy to get charged. Separately, EV battery production remains an energy-intensive process.