Electric cars are generally considered a cleaner technology alternative to the already existing internal combustion engine-powered cars. However, is this really true? Or has it been proven by research?
The answer is yes, and there are a couple of reasons why the world is moving to electric cars, including fuel efficiency and overall fewer environmental damages.
What are electric vehicles, and how do they work?
Basically, electric vehicles operate differently from vehicles which make use of internal combustion engines. Conventional cars run on fossil fuels like diesel or gas. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, are run by electric motors which are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These are the kinds of batteries that power laptops and smartphones.
Also, just like smartphones, electric vehicles need to be charged frequently by plugging into an external power source. Some batteries can also be powered through electricity generated from the vehicle’s frictional energy. Electric cars do not contain several parts like conventional cars since they do not make use of fossil fuels.
Parts like fuel lines, tailpipes, fuel tanks that cause a hazard to the environment, are absent. Also, most electric cars do not emit carbon dioxide. This makes them generate fewer pollutants compared to the conventional internal combustion engine cars. Generally, the batteries in electric vehicles have a guaranteed life span of about 8 to 10 years.
The Environmental Impact of Electric Cars vs Combustion Engine Cars
There is a wide range of pollution caused by combustion engine vehicles. This goes beyond the gas released from their exhaust pipes, as the pollution starts before the car. Therefore, from the process of mining oil to refining it into fuel and distributing it to gas stations, there is a huge amount of pollution associated with running a combustion engine vehicle.
These emissions are generally classified as well to wheel or upstream emissions. Even gas stations themselves contribute a great deal of pollution. Although much has been done by combustion engine car manufacturers to lower emissions, the whole system still poses a great risk of an environmental hazard.
On the flip side, electric vehicles make use of a system that, although not completely free of pollution, boasts a better option than combustion engine vehicles. Basically, the process of production of electric vehicles is arguably more demanding on the environment than combustion engine vehicles. However, at the finished stage, the electric vehicle comes out top with far lower emissions and better overall sustainability regarding transportation. On average, electric vehicles produces about half the amount of carbon emissions seen in combustion engines over their lifespan.
Ways Electric vehicles are better for the environment
Some ways in which electric vehicles are better for the environment overall are:
- Zero combustion exhaust gases.
- Electric vehicles release far fewer emissions when using fossil fuels compared to combustion engines.
- The manufacturing of electric vehicles batteries boasts a great potential to become clean in the future.
- Compared to electric vehicles, combustion engine vehicles continuously pollute the environment throughout their lifespan.
- Most electric vehicle manufacturers make use of eco-friendly materials.
Overall, although they still produce a level of pollution, electric vehicles offer a far lesser amount of harmful emissions to the environment compared to combustion engine vehicles. This statement holds whether they make use of fossil fuels or lithium batteries.