Electric cars have grown in recent years. More people are moving to reduce emissions and become greener. With electric vehicles becoming more widely available, even EV skeptics are becoming electric.
Governments around the world are encouraging drivers to make a difference. Government grants are available to install charging points for electric cars at home.
To understand the real impact of electric cars on the environment, we need to look at each stage of the life cycle of the electric vehicle.
Environmental impact of electric car production
Most of the environmental impact of an electric vehicle comes from its production. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) report, manufacturing emissions for electric cars are much higher than fuel-based vehicles. Another study found that emissions from the production of electric vehicles are about 60% higher than the production of traditional vehicles.
Much of this comes down to the fact that electric vehicles are still a growing market. Much of this has to do with the materials used in electric vehicles and the fact that they require more energy to produce. For example, EV batteries require raw materials such as lithium and cobalt, which must be extracted, which involves a lot of energy.
In addition to the supply of raw materials, the production of batteries itself is relatively complex and requires a lot of energy. Today, most electric vehicle batteries are manufactured in China, Japan, and South Korea, which predominantly use carbon to create electricity to run production plants.
Environmental impact of driving an electric car
Electric vehicles are often praised as having zero emissions. You’ve probably heard them described as such, but it’s essential to understand what the term means. When an electric car is on the road, it does not directly contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions from the exhaust.
But while there are no direct emissions from driving, electric cars need regular charging, which partially uses energy from fossil fuels. As a result, they have had an impact on the electricity industry. So while electric vehicles produce zero exhaust emissions, they are not completely zero-emission.
The good news is that electric cars can be emission-free. As the electricity industry gets cleaner and uses more renewable energy sources, eventually charging your electric vehicle will have a much lower environmental cost. With zero exhaust emissions, local media will enjoy cleaner and better air quality.
So are electric cars really better for the environment?
Yes, electric cars are definitely better for the environment. They do not produce direct emissions, which makes them much cleaner than traditional petrol or diesel cars. In addition, some of their electricity is generated from renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy.
But there is still room for improvement. As the electric vehicle market is relatively new, the infrastructure is still under development and currently requires quite a lot of resources. But as this improves and manufacturers focus on recycling, the process will become much more efficient.