Why are Electric Cars Bad for the Environment

Well, the invention of cars has brought many advantages and disadvantages than any other thing invented in the history of transport. Automobile has greatly changed the lifestyle of people worldwide. It is the most accepted means of transport. Aspects of society such as economies, family life and the environment have been greatly affected since the invention of cars.

Cars make traveling faster and easier for people. Since the invention of cars, other means of transportation have been pushed aside. Horses which were popularly used before the invention of cars as a means of transport greatly suffered this. In the 1920s a great mass of cars were fabricated and made available for public consumption.

Cars produced back then depended on liquid fuel to operate. As technology is advancing, there has been development in the energy needed by automobile to run. Over the years, the number of cars produced greatly increased and this has greatly affected the environment as the waste from running engines tailpipe waste like volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, soot, carbon monoxide and lead have been a major concern in relation to the causes of global warming. So car manufacturers came up with different ways of producing energy efficient cars from the conventional cars, making them more environmental friendly. Pollution has been on the rise and is a serious threat to the earth’s climate system. Nowadays, Eco-friendly vehicles are made like solar powered cars, hybrids, ethanol and electric cars.  Let’s take a look at the electric cars

What are Electric Cars?

An electric car is an automobile powered by electric energy stored in rechargeable batteries.  With concerns about increasing oil prices and as a means of combating global warming by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the idea of manufacturing electric cars was borne. The first electric car was produced in 1884 by Thomas Parker in England using a high-capacity battery he designed. Since then, there has been an advancement in the production of electric cars as the demands have been increasing by the years. Unlike conventional cars that refill at gas stations, Electric cars refill at charging stations that are either installed at home or in public places. There are several companies manufacturing electric cars but two models are outstanding now, Tesla Model S, and the Nissan Leaf.  The productions of these care have brought to the lime light a serious of problems environmentally related.

Environmental Effects of Electric Cars

Electric cars as a better means of transportation have several benefits. They are quiet and easy to operate and are Eco-friendly. They have significantly reduced the amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, soot and more harmful tailpipe pollutants. Though electric cars are more environmentally friendly, they might just be as bad for the environment as the conventional cars.

What are the Bad Environmental Effects of Electric cars?

Factories releasing Fumes
Factories releasing Fumes

Electric cars running on electricity that has been produced by burning fossils fuel limits environmental benefits.

Since these cars run on complex and heavy batteries, disposing them off becomes a problem as they are made of hazardous chemicals that can causes environmental issues. An IVL Swedish Environmental Research institute report suggest that the process of producing the battery produces about half a hundred and fifty to two hundred kilos of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour. These are crazy amounts compared to the “environmental friendly” tag on electric cars. Power plants constructed to charge these batteries used by electric cars emit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is not good. If many of these cars are produced, they might cause far more problems than their benefits which ends only in the streets anyways.

Further read: Nickel mining: the hidden environmental cost of electric cars

According to studies made in Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, more than twice the amount of energy used to build a conventional car is used to produce an electric car due to its battery. One of the major challenges facing the production of electric cars is the bad environment effects. A lot of studies show that tons of carbon dioxide is emitted into the air in the process of battery production. These batteries need minerals like copper and cobalt. These minerals mined especially in Democratic Republic of Congo or  Australia as my studies show and processed in China, cause a vast ecological devastation, pollute rivers and contaminate the soil not limited to this, they cause serious deforestation in the process. A group of MIT researchers in a report published in 2012 calculated that the mining of neodymium and dysprosium, two rare minerals also used in electric car battery production would need to respectively increase by 700% and 2600% in the next two decades to keep in track with the various green technology, and that the materials used in manufacturing the batteries are not environmentally friendly like the aforementioned minerals, copper, lithium and nickel. Though limited in supply now due to increase in it demands and search for new deposit sites by mining companies.

Going back to the Mega question, “Why are Electric Cars Bad for the Environment?”, we will clearly state that the production of electric cars is causing a series of environmental problems due to the use of hazardous chemicals in the production of its components. The waste from production sites surely is siphoned into some close running water nearby, polluting the water and destabilizing the ecosystem. This directly affects the marine organisms there in destroying the most vulnerable.


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