Environmentalists tout electric cars (EVs) as game changers in environmental conservation. This is mainly due to their eco-friendly designs that have potential environmental benefits. Indeed, most carmakers are familiar with the ecological shortcomings of internal combustion engine vehicles that dominate most roads and try to eliminate such limitations by designing electric powered vehicles. In fact, most carmakers claim that their electric models have a lower carbon footprint compared to gas-powered vehicles.
Other benefits of EVs that have a high impact on the environment include the following:
Benefits of Electric Cars to the Environment
According to carmakers, emission from EVs is 97% cleaner compared to gas-powered automobiles. An electric car only generates small amounts of exhaust gas containing minute traces of toxic particulate matter. In fact, owners do not have to take their EVs to local DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) offices for inspection.
Better Internal Parts
An electric car does not require radiation hoses, fuel pumps, filters, battery caps, and similar internal parts that are normally commonplace in vehicles that use internal combustion engines. Since the aforementioned spare parts typically have a short lifespan, most of them eventually find their way into city and town landfills. Oil and fuel leaks from these faulty parts can leak into the eco-system and ultimately pollute both soil and water sources.
Environmentalists often criticize carmakers for producing such low quality nonrecyclable spare parts, which have high potential of ruining the environment.
Lesser Noise Pollution
Roadway noise is the chief cause of noise pollution in the US. Engine noise, braking elements, and vehicle aerodynamics are the main sources of noise from normal vehicles. Noise pollution affects ones concentration, and is a major factor in accidents and increased stress levels among workers. Electric and hybrid vehicles are exceptionally silent. Sometimes, drivers must hoot to alert pedestrians of their approach.
Better Power Consumption
A gasoline-powered car consumes fuel and energy even when it is on idle mode. Electric cars, on the other hand, only consume power when they are moving. Nevertheless, electric powered cars do not necessary offer a complete solution to green house gas emissions from vehicles. What’s more, electric cars have a number of shortcomings that consumers must consider including the following:
Electric Car Limitations
Some critics of the cars often cite the production process for EVs as a major cause of environmental degradation. According to a 2012 report by the Journal of Industrial Ecology, almost half of the greenhouse emissions from electric vehicles come from their manufacturing process. For instance, the mining of Lithium for electric car batteries is a major source of carbon emission. The report explains that the manufacture of EVs produces approximately 30,000 pounds of carbon, while normal car production emits about 14,000 pounds of carbon per unit.
Electric cars normally require frequent charging of the battery for optimal performance. Most of this electric power comes from fossil fuels. In turn, fossil fuels contribute immensely to environmental pollution. Thus, an electric vehicle indirectly contributes to pollution, although slightly less than gas-powered vehicles.
Electric and hybrid cars are more costly to purchase than their gas-powered counterparts are.
While eager enthusiasts tout electric cars as the means of transport for the future, their actual contribution towards reducing global warming is currently almost negligible. This is due to a number of factors such as challenges faced by manufacturers and their relatively huge price tag. Nonetheless, green vehicles have a number of environmental benefits such as a lower carbon footprint.
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