There is a growing public concern about climate change, which has sparked a worldwide interest in reducing carbon emissions. This means electric cars are becoming ever more appealing. Electric cars, such as MG ZS EV, have gained a reputation for being a sustainable solution to current environmental issues. However, are electric cars better for the environment and do they deserve the ‘clean’ label attached to them?
How are electric cars better for the environment?
A major benefit of electric cars is that they produce close to zero running emissions at street level, as they do not have an exhaust pipe. This can reduce air pollution in towns and cities as electric cars produce approximately 17-30% less greenhouse gasses over their entire life cycle than petrol or diesel cars, according to reports by the European Environmental Agency. This is important to consider as reports show that the UK’s biggest source of air pollution comes from motor vehicles. The UK government has recognised the need for more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as electric cars, through the Air Quality Plan. This plan aims to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, proving that electric cars may be the future of motoring.
Electric cars are also more efficient than petrol or diesel powered cars. A study in the EU found that an electric car using electricity produced by an oil-fired station would use only two-thirds of the energy of a petrol car traveling the same distance. This means that electric cars produce less greenhouse gas emissions as they require less fuel to produce energy. This is how electric cars help the environment.
Generating greenhouse gasses will have the same negative effects on the environment, whether it be in the city from a car, or at a power plant. However, the direct impact on human health is considerably less when these gasses are generated outside of the city, away from the roadsides of homes, parks, schools and high streets.
Are electric car batteries bad for the environment?
One of the greatest benefits of owning an electric car is that they are cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel car, all thanks to being powered by a battery. You can read more about the cost of charging an electric car in this article, but have you ever wondered how bad these batteries are for the environment?
The manufacturing process of electric cars does produce more emissions than the production of conventional cars. According to a report by the Ricardo Consultancy, 46% of the emissions produced in the life cycle of an electric car are made in the manufacturing of the battery, before it has made a single mile. This is because there is a range of rare earth metals that are used in the construction of the battery. The extraction and manipulation of these rare earth metals contributes to their greenhouse emissions. So, with this in mind, are electric cars good the environment? The answer is a resounding yes, because as electric cars become more mainstream, technological advancements and efficiencies in the industry will see that greenhouse emissions created in the manufacturing process will reduce.
The electric vehicle battery recycling market is quickly growing and the industry is also predicted to benefit from this. There is an increased necessity for technological advances in manufacturing techniques and the process of recovering and reusing the valuable metals within batteries that have reached end of life. This helps to reduce the lifetime environmental impact of the manufacturing of batteries as there is a reduced reliance on mining and the production of new batteries.
How green is the electricity used to power an electric car?
Depending on how the electricity is generated, power plants that charge electric cars also produce a significant level of carbon emissions. However, as the share of renewable energy is consistently increasing in the UK, the impact of electric cars on the environment will decrease. In fact, by the end of 2019, the share of electricity produced by renewables (wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy) in the UK increased to record highs of 38.9%. Therefore, the electric car industry and the environment have much to benefit from the greater deployment of renewable energy.
How electric cars help the environment? They’re quieter.
Another environmentally beneficial aspect of electric cars is that they are much quieter than conventional cars. This helps with noise pollution in cities where driving speed tends to be low and that often incur stand still traffic.
Overall, are electric cars better for the environment?
Yes. Electric cars, such as MG ZS EV, have the edge over conventional petrol or diesel cars in terms of environmental impact. Electric cars produce fewer emissions through their lifecycle in comparison to conventional petrol or diesel cars. With renewable energy on the rise and continuous technological advancements in manufacturing, the production process will inevitably become more refined and sustainable. In addition to this, the market and the UK government are becoming increasingly accommodating for electric cars as they will undoubtedly play a big role in reducing transport emissions. With all this in mind, it is becoming clear that electric vehicles are the future of motoring.
To learn more about electric cars and for useful tips, check out our range of articles at Behind the Wheel.More Articles