How Clean Are Electric Vehicles

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Vroom, Vroom! Goes the Ram 2500 as it races down I-75 to make it to the worksite on time. And there goes all the black sut onto your detailed car, as you head to your office job. Pollution, carbon footprint, R.I.P the ozone. How are we solving this problem? The almighty electric car. Or is the electric car resolving the problem? Are electric vehicles as clean as they are advertised by the big companies?

Electric cars are perceived by the public as clean, and amazing for the environment.

And they are perceived by the public because one reason being is that they advertise the car itself and what it does, but not the process that it takes to produce and transport and electric vehicle. Although there are lots of reasons as to why these cars are just as bad as the Ram 2500 who just rolled coal all over your car this morning. From the disposal to the production of the electric car battery, to the actual production of an electric car compared it was just as bad as an internal combustion engine.  According to the union of concerned scientists (UCS), “UCS says heavier electric vehicles, like one with a 265-mile range, will have 68 percent more manufacturing emissions than their ICE counterparts.”Also, have you heard the one about electric vehicles having ZERO emissions? Not true the car itself may produce zero emissions but the source of energy and production sure do produce emissions.

 According to the article, Electric Cars Are Necessarily Not Clean, Low emissions, much less zero emissions, are only true in certain places where most of the electricity comes from a mix of low-carbon sources such as the sun, wind or nuclear reactors.So their environmental benefit—dubious for now, until more power plants get off coal. The batteries which power the electric cars can produce up to 60% more co2 emissions than their internal combustion competitors. As stated in the article Are Electric Vehicles Better For The Environment.

 Electric cars are just as bad as an internal combustion engine. How are these electric vehicles transported? So you just ordered a brand new tesla model s straight from the plant in Fremont, California, But what sucks is that you live in Miami, Florida. It sucks to wait so you choose to get the car as soon as possible so you can flex to your friends that you own a tesla. You choose to transport the car by plane. So how does that apply to the effect electric vehicles have on the planet. How much emissions does a plane produce? For you to get your car from California to Florida, the plane that transports your electric vehicle produces a extravagant amount of pollution. According to the Center For biological diversity, “Aircraft emit staggering amounts of CO2, the most prevalent manmade greenhouse gas. In fact they currently account for some 11 percent of CO2 emissions from U.S. transportation sources and 3 percent of the United States' total CO2 emissions.” That number is outrageous and that is only in the United States.

 Now imagine a global number. Yes it would be very big. That is only one method of transportation out of the 4 main methods of car transportation. Plane, Ground (Either being train or truck) and ship. Now imagine all the people ordering cars online. Everyone getting hyped up over saving the planet by switching over to electric vehicles. Everyone buying Mach-e’s, the truck guys switching over to the cybertruck and all your other electric vehicles all over the world by plane ,by ship, train, or truck. These transportation services still produce emissions. Transportation plays a major role in emissions also because of all the online shopping ships traveling to deliver products at a dock, Planes delivering the birthday present you ordered online.

 Then shipping it to you in a cargo van. While you did save the emissions produced from going to the store to buy the present you created even more by ordering it online and having it shipped towards you from across the globe. All together these 4 methods of transportation produce about 1.9 billion tons of co2. Imagine if these went electric and all power plants also strayed away from coal. 1.9 more billion tons of cleaner air. Even if just one of the major 4 methods of transportation went electric it would make a huge difference. There have been rumors of some electric transportation trucks going into production.

While electric cars do not seem that great yet, Electric vehicles are a work in progress. There are the places that produce energy from green renewable resources such as wind and sun to charge up these electric vehicles eliminating the emissions produced by using coal powered power plants to produce energy for the electric vehicles. and in this case the electric vehicle only affects the environment by production emissions and battery production and disposal. 

The only resolution for this problem is finding an alternative to lithium battery production and disposal and energy production. Electric vehicles can only be as green as the power plants that produce them. So as soon as the power plants start straying away from coal the electric vehicles can finally become as clean as they are advertised. Transportation also needs to see some sort of improvement towards near zero emissions transportation. We did it with cars, how about with planes and trains and ships. It all comes down to perfecting the process down to the last detail for something to work let's hope we can eventually have completely green vehicles and methods of transportation.

Submitted by Kristina Emery Johnson on 02/09/2020

Submitted by Erik Cruz  on 09/03/2020

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