Are Electric Cars More Environmentally Friendly?



There’s a lot that we can do to make our lives a little more environmentally friendly. Recycling, using less water, buying fewer single use plastics...the list goes on. But if you want to make a big impact, you’ve probably thought about switching to an electric car. These can be hybrids (using both gas and electricity) or full electric. So, if you make the switch, will you really be doing the Earth a favor? Here’s how electric cars impact the environment.



1. The issue with conventional cars is the greenhouse gases they emit.
The reason gas powered cars are frowned upon is because of their emissions. They produce CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Millions of cars are on the roads, leading to an average of 4.6 metric tons of CO2 emitted per passenger car per year.

2. Parts of the manufacturing process might be problematic.
We can’t ignore the manufacturing process of electric cars. While they don’t produce CO2 when you’re driving, there are emissions associated with manufacturing. While during the production process fewer greenhouse gases are emitted, there have been questions about battery manufacturing. Studies have found that emissions are just about equal between the battery manufacturing process and the production of gas powered engines.



3. Over their lifetime, electric cars prove their worth.
Let’s think about a car’s lifespan. Gas powered vehicles will not only produce emissions when they’re manufactured, they will also do so for the remainder of their life as long as they’re running. Electric cars, on the other hand, will only have the associated emissions during manufacturing and through whatever means they recharge. Cleaner power sources will mean cleaner electric vehicles, whereas there really isn’t a way to make gas powered vehicles cleaner other than improving efficiency. While there are plenty of myths out there, the consensus is that electric is more environmentally friendly, and will continue to get better as well.
 
Mar 4, 2020
336
44
730
Only if the charging power comes from non-grid sources. Imagine the amount of energy that is used with fossil cars. Now imagine putting that energy thru our present topped off grid. The grid would have to be upgraded and it would take a lot more fossil fuel to power it. We have trouble handling the summer AC load.

That means non grid wind or non grid solar. I believe that in the future, wind will do more damage than CO2 does. Wind mills WILL change climate patterns. We have heard of water wars and water suits....we will have wind wars and suits.......stealing wind. Wind rights.

And we still have the problem of acquiring lite weight high density charge device.

H2 power would be even worse, H2O causes much more warming than CO2.

If only cars could charge themselves thru their paint. We might even have drive thru chargers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lariliss
Feb 19, 2020
185
30
630


There’s a lot that we can do to make our lives a little more environmentally friendly. Recycling, using less water, buying fewer single use plastics...the list goes on. But if you want to make a big impact, you’ve probably thought about switching to an electric car. These can be hybrids (using both gas and electricity) or full electric. So, if you make the switch, will you really be doing the Earth a favor? Here’s how electric cars impact the environment.



1. The issue with conventional cars is the greenhouse gases they emit.
The reason gas powered cars are frowned upon is because of their emissions. They produce CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Millions of cars are on the roads, leading to an average of 4.6 metric tons of CO2 emitted per passenger car per year.

2. Parts of the manufacturing process might be problematic.
We can’t ignore the manufacturing process of electric cars. While they don’t produce CO2 when you’re driving, there are emissions associated with manufacturing. While during the production process fewer greenhouse gases are emitted, there have been questions about battery manufacturing. Studies have found that emissions are just about equal between the battery manufacturing process and the production of gas powered engines.



3. Over their lifetime, electric cars prove their worth.
Let’s think about a car’s lifespan. Gas powered vehicles will not only produce emissions when they’re manufactured, they will also do so for the remainder of their life as long as they’re running. Electric cars, on the other hand, will only have the associated emissions will arise during manufacturing and through whatever means they recharge. Cleaner power sources will mean cleaner electric vehicles, whereas there really isn’t a way to make gas powered vehicles cleaner other than improving efficiency. While there are plenty of myths out there, the consensus is that electric is more environmentally friendly, and will continue to get better as well.
The hidden problem is what to do with the millions of ICE vehicles that will be forced to sit somewhere when everyone is using a PV vehicle that replaced it. The same problem will arise when the storage batteries have to be replaced. And not to mention discarding old outmoded or broken solar panels and wind turbines. All these could be huge unintended consequences of worrying about CO2 and the models that predict catastrophes.

Solar panel waste and toxicity.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: petra4

Observer

BANNED
Aug 15, 2020
47
2
55
You can watch the Michael Moore docu about the real cost of green energy - critics say its out of date which may be true about some of whats included but its still useful to see the points made and what needs to get better

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE


Wind farms that generate green power that reduce the pollution footprint of electric cars appear to be the biggest killers of some endangered birds and bats and also a big killer of insects

 
Last edited:
Dec 12, 2019
20
10
35
While Electric cars can be more environmentally friendly, we need to remember that unless the electricity we put into them to make them go is either Solar or Hydraulic, we're just polluting someplace else rather than where we live...although in some cases using the local grid for "motor power" is actually more polluting than, say, Fuel Cell or Propane or even (gasp) a properly tuned petromobile.
Energy is not free. It has to be realized somehow, either by Solar, Hydro, fuel cell, whatever. Yes, locally an electric car can be a really good idea (and they're getting better all the time), BUT the pollution angle is local, I'm afraid, not global at the current time.
 
Aug 31, 2020
45
7
55
There can be no doubt that electric cars are much more efficient than cars using internal combustion engines. The efficiency of the present day internal combustion piston engine is appalling and is probably the worst relic we have left from the days of the first industrial revolution. The design of the engine has hardly changed over the past 150 years. Consider this. Take a piston diameter of 10 cms (4" dia approx) Consider that after the fuel air mixture is ignited in the combustion chamber there is a pressure of about 12Kg/cm^2 on the cylinder head. Then total pressure on cylinder head after combustion equals 25 x 3.14 x 12 = 942 Kgf acting on the piston head. Next remember Archimedes and his saying:

"Give me a place to stand and a lever that is long enough and I will move the world!"

That's the whole point; the lever that connects the connecting rod to the crankshaft is only about 5 cm (2") long. According to Archimedes the efficiency of a lever depends on its distance from the load. In the case of an internal combustion engine it works out to 0.05 x 942 = 47.1 kgf. So the initial force of nearly 942 kgf that was applied to the piston head has been reduced to 47.1 kgf. But wait, there is worse yet to come. For Archimedes lever to work, force had to be applied at an angle of 90 degrees to the lever. In the case of the IC engine, this never happens, the piston pushes down on the connecting rod with a varying angle that never reaches 90 degrees. This results in a loss of efficiency by a factor of 0.02. So the final force available to turn the crankshaft is only 0.02 x 47.1 = 0. 942 kgf which works out to 9.42 Nm of torque. Very, very inefficient. However, in spite of this appalling inefficiency of the IC Piston engine, it might still be a better alternative than electric cars, because as a few contributors have pointed out, electric cars will have to be charged from the grid. This will place a tremendous load on the grid. There is no doubt whatsoever that the power stations can make much, much more efficient use of fuel than do our present day cars but transmission losses and fuel depletion may result in worse degradations in the form of fracking and other destructive methods used to extract fuel. On the bright side, batteries may improve to such an extent that solar and wind power become really wonderful alternatives to fossil fuel.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bril2424
Aug 31, 2020
45
7
55
That's the whole point; the lever that connects the connecting rod to the crankshaft is only about 5 cm (2") long.
I should explain, in order to clarify this point, that it is the throw of the crankshaft that serves as the lever that translates the up and down linear motion of the connecting rod into the rotary motion of the crankshaft. The throw of the crankshaft is the lever!
 
Last edited:
Jun 30, 2021
2
0
10
I've heard the same thing about the impractical cost of maintaining green vehicles, but just as with everything else that eventually became mainstream, the affordability will go up and more people will consider them, but for now it's the cost that has people turning away.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 19, 2020
185
30
630
I've heard the same thing about the impractical cost of maintaining green vehicles, but just as with everything else that eventually became mainstream, the affordability will go up and more people will consider them, but for now it's the cost that has people turning away.
Not the cost. The reliability and the expectation that a recharge will be just down the road. And one that will not take much time to wait while doing nothing? Time will tell when resales and trade-ins begin to take place and expensive batteries need replacement. Who will buy a second-hand EV and expect to get much from their gas guzzler?
 
Jul 11, 2021
4
2
35
Depends obviously on the user. For an infrequent traveller that requires a car (my mother for example), it would be worse for her to own an EV let alone a hybrid as her 20 year old car is sufficient. Frequent travellers perhaps it would be better- but it also helps knowing how the EV is charged and the typical longevity of it all. EVs I would expect less maintenance but when things go wrong they will get expensive very fast as motor or battery components will exceed the price of the car and often people then junk or sell the car and buy another, just consuming more resources to save the environment.

Far better to have people use a bicycle where they can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lariliss
Feb 19, 2020
185
30
630
When (if) EVs become "mainstream" the disposal of all the ICE vehicles will become the problem. Where do they get put, and how will it be done? And if CO2 is the big climate problem and carbon energy is gone to zero there won't be anything to drive on. Asphalt and concrete will be gone. So will rubber for tires? Not a pleasant future in store for our children.
 
Jul 22, 2021
1
0
10
There is a lot of talk about battery wear and tear and green recycling. Now, a battery has several thousand dollars worth of metals in it. No one is going to throw it away. VW knows how to recycle batteries by 95% using green methods like hydrometalurgy.

So yes, if you just throw electric car batteries away, it's a big blow to the environment. But no one is going to throw them away.
 
Last edited:
Feb 19, 2020
185
30
630
With conventional cars, the purchase of a new battery is usually accompanied by a monetary reward if you give them the old battery to recycle. Recycling an entire car is problematic. This will become a real problem as EVs are sold. Who will take a ICE trade-in when carbon fuels are gone?
 
Mar 4, 2020
336
44
730
If you look at the overall situation, the only way we can convert to electric cars, is with hybrid cars. Small fossil engines to charge batteries. This doesn't require a new maga grid. It doesn't require a charger.....or charging time. Or rare earth batteries. One could build any number you want, and it would not hurt the economy.....or the environment.

Once consumers see and feel the control of electric drive, the demand for it will take over.

This allows for the whole economy to change over with minimal disruption.
 
Feb 19, 2020
185
30
630
That is a good idea and it makes sense, but there is still a need of fossil fuels. Biofuels? Humans seem to have an almost pathological obsession and desire to rid the entire world of carbon fuels...down to zero and even to net-zero. That is certain to hurt all economies as the pandemic travel lockdowns showed us clearly. Renewables don't move vehicles. And in the end the climate would not be seriously affected anyhow.
 
Mar 4, 2020
336
44
730
The reason I like electric is cost, efficiency, and precise, timely control. And nothing more. The dangers preached about climate change is a farce. Increased levels of CO2 is a blessing. I prefer coal as the main source of power. For the same reason, cost and efficiency. Coal is stored solar power. But much more dependable. 24 hour solar power.

Man's activity is probably saving a starving planet. From the lack of CO2. This planet hasn't had it's normal CO2 levels for the last 50 million years. And that has not happened before. Low CO2 levels are the real danger. This is what the geological record shows. Unless you are brainwashed. Or peer pressured to repeat a lie.

It's like seeing the orbit of Io thru a debris field. Just like a particle thru a cloud chamber. And shows clearly that gravity orbits are helical, not elliptical. But no one dares says this, because it disproves all their gravity theories.

But their biggest lie is the lie of light. Light is NOT a wave, and it does NOT have a constant velocity.
 
Jul 11, 2021
4
2
35
It's not that CO2 is an evil toxin: "it's plant food"...

But when there's more thermally insulative gas in the atmosphere the earth will get warmer which is amplified by high albedo materials melting, more thermally insulative gasses being liberated from the soil or ocean. We'd survive, but it'll be hotter with raised water levels.

When it comes to cars, we'll have more hybrids and EVs in western nations but developing nations will want a piece of the pie and hybrids and EVs are not affordable to those countries.

Argumentation about preservation of environment may not appeal to many I find, maybe shifting arguments revolving around money will help... Maintenance of cars, fuel, health cost, etc.
 
Jul 29, 2021
81
4
55
If one really need a car for every day travelling, there are a lot of pro's and con's above.
There is one thing to be included in CO2 calculations. Traffic jams. A car on the road is still a car taking it's place. So any petrol car still stays longer 'on'.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY