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
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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.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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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
 
Aug 15, 2020
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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

 
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Dec 12, 2019
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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
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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.
 
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