Are Electric cars green

With a few exceptions, the majority of research studies conducted in various parts of the world find the answer to this question to be mostly affirmative.
Though electric automobiles appear to be uncharted ground for most people, it’s startling to learn that the first electric car was invented in 1828 by a Hungarian engineer named Anyos Jedlik. Even though there is no evidence to corroborate this, the majority of people believe Nikola Tesla was the one who invented modern electric cars.
Electric cars are partially or fully powered by electricity generated from the grids. The rechargeable batteries installed in these cars store this electricity, to power the electric motor which turns the wheels. even though the initial cost of an electric car is greater in comparison to its fueled counterpart
The situation seems more favorable for the electric owner in the long run. The fact that electrical cars have limited parts and so it doesn’t have a constant replacement, cannot be ignored. The electrical battery usually comes with an 8-10 year guarantee, and also the average operating cost of electric cars is lesser than fossil fuel-enabled automobiles. A study conducted in the US found that the average operating cost of an electric car is 485$ and that of a non-electric car is 1117$. If we look at this from an environmental perspective then one electric car can save up to 1.5 million grams of CO2.
A recent study by the Carbon Brief organization concluded that lifetime emissions of driving a Nissan Leaf EV were three times lower than that of average conventional cars. A recent study in Germany also concluded that emissions from EVs are up to 43 % lower than fueled vehicles.
Now as I mentioned earlier the most important component in the EV would be its batteries which are made up of some rare earth elements including Lithium, Cobalt, Neodymium and they can be extracted through mining in turn causing harm to the fragile ecosystems present in those areas, the Democratic Republic of Congo faced many toxic spills due to Lithium mining, Nickel mining caused heavy pollution in the Arctic. Lithium-ion batteries are expected to make up 90% of the battery market by 2025 this could result in more carbon emissions than fuel-powered cars. The bigger the electric car and its range, the more battery cells would be needed to power it, resulting in more carbon being produced. Though the EV has a higher carbon footprint at the start, it becomes lower once it comes to use.
Another disadvantage would be the fact that very few efforts are undertaken to recycle the used batteries by the countries which cause dumping of the same in landfills and they remain there for years to come. Although companies like Nisan and Volkswagen are upping their efforts to increase their recycling process, newer technologies are being experimented with to make it less tedious and more eco-friendly.
We also need to acknowledge the fact that if managed appropriately these waste batteries can be a secondary source of procuring critically endangered materials. Nevada-based Redwood materials aim to become the world’s top battery recycling company. Li-cycle also has a similar approach in recycling lithium batteries by recovering 95% of minerals found in them.
In a more path-breaking discovery companies like Toyota and Tesla have started using motors that do not require these rare earth metals.
Another major issue that needs to be addressed with EVs is regarding the source of the electricity used in them, this electricity could be generated through coal and other fossil fuel and those emissions could be worse than the non-electrical solution. For example, the majority of china electricity comes from coal, similarly, 60% of electricity in California has generated via fossil fuel also in Germany 40 percent of the energy mix is produced by coal and 30 percent by nonrenewable sources But this problem could be tackled by applying a heavily decarbonized system, adopted by countries like Sweden, France which use large amounts of renewable sources of energy for this purpose. As power generation processes around the world are becoming increasingly sustainable we can safely assume that the EVS market will continue to grow and the Forbes study’s prediction that more than half of the world’s cars could be electric by 2050 has all chances of coming true. Ev cars may not be the perfect flag bearer for the environment but it does surely have the catholicon for a greener pollution-free world. When the manufacturing systems of these cars become sustainable only then we would be able to unlock their true green potential.

Post a Comment