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Thanks to the likes of pioneering manufacturers like Tesla, the number of electric vehicles on the road today is exponentially more than that of 5 years ago, in fact, there was an 81% increase in electric car sales year-over-year from 2018  with adoption rates showing little signs of abating.

While the overall number of EV on the road are still dwarfed by traditional gas-guzzlers,. there’s no question:  the appeal of electric cars is increasing because more and more people are concerned about pollution and carbon emission of their cars. Electric cars are better for the environment because they don’t emit as much greenhouse gasses as fossil fuel-powered cars.

With a growing interest in electric cars, there are also many questions in the mind of the public. Some wonder how green they really are. There are some who also want to look further into some manufacturing issues affecting the environment. Also, there are questions on the way electricity is generated and whether hybrid cars are also good for the environment. All that will be answered below.

Are Electic Cars Good For The Environment?

The short answer is yes. Using electric cars instead of diesel or fuel cars will greatly improve air quality in cities or towns. The pure electric cars do not produce any carbon dioxide emissions when they are driven. Simply using them will greatly reduce air pollution. The reduced air pollution makes the area a better place for pedestrians, cyclist and other people in their own vehicles.

Aside from air pollution, electric cars are also great for reducing noise pollution. The cars are quieter than conventional vehicles. This helps create a more peaceful environment not only for us but also for the animals around us. Some animals are greatly alarmed by the sound of cars and it can be stressful for them.

What Is The Effect Of Electric Car Production In The Environment?

Some people argue that greenhouse emissions are also produced in the production of electric vehicles. They say that the emission in the production negates the absence of the emission while the car is driven.

It is true that manufacturing electric cars take a lot of energy. There are also emissions produced while electric cars are manufactured and they can also be higher than when a conventional car is produced. This is because of the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. That is an essential part of an electric car. The CO2 emission related to the electric car is mostly from the manufacturing process.

However, as technology advances, this scenario also gets better. More efficient manufacturing techniques will soon be used. This will also greatly reduce the number of gas emissions produced.

Additionally, reusing and recycling batteries is also an alternative. The market for this is now growing and there are researches done to look for ways on how to reuse the batteries. When the day comes that the batteries are efficiently reused and recycled, we could greatly reduce the manufacture of them and their environmental impact.

Even if the manufacture of electric vehicles produces greenhouse gasses, it is still a greener option as compared to traditional cars. This is because the emission is greatly reduced over the lifetime of the car.

What Is The Impact Of The Electricity On The Environment?

Another concern is how electric cars get powered. We know that it has to be charged, but how green is the production of the power for the electric car?

In research done by the European Energy Agency, they found that electric cars produced fewer car emissions compared to traditional cars even when the procedure of producing electricity for electric cars was considered. The emissions are further lowered when low carbon electricity is used.

Are Hybrid Cars Good For The Environment?

Hybrid cars are equipped with an electric motor and a traditional fuel engine. That is why they still produce emissions while they are driven.

However, how green they are will depend on several factors. First is on how much of the journey is spent on electric miles vs the use of fuel. Another factor is how the cars are charged or where it gets the electricity to make it run.

A hybrid car will certainly be better for the environment if you do short frequent short trips and charge your car using 100% renewable electricity. However, if you tend to use your hybrid car’s combustion engine, then your car’s emission will be the same as that of a traditional vehicle. It wouldn’t be better than any other fossil-fuel vehicle.

When Is The Electric Motor In A Hybrid Car Used?

To produce lower emissions with your hybrid car, it is important to know when it uses the electric motor. Usually, the electric motor is used at slow speeds, which is observed in urban areas. However, electric motors aren’t only used in that scenario. They also give additional power to cars when going uphill, when accelerating and during traffic.  For more detailed information, you may also read our post on “How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

 

Cars powered by fossil fuel produce pollution that doesn’t only hurt the environment but is also a risk in the health of the people. Many countries and states in the US are trying their best to try and lessen the dreadful effects of such vehicles.

Although there are lots of sources of alternative fuel for cars, there are still lots of problems that come with them. For example, cars with hydrogen fuel cells are challenged because of the rarity of hydrogen stations. Similarly, electric cars also take very long to charge and they don’t cover much distance on a single charge.

Nevertheless, there is still something that the government can do to help the transition from fossil fuel cars to alternative fuel vehicles. Such ways include the following:

Research And Development

Cost and expenses are the most common hurdles new technology faces. At first, the costing will really be high but as it improves and manufacturers find a better and more economic manufacturing process, the price will eventually drop.

Here is where the government can help. They can fund research grants and build partnerships with people or organizations so they can research the new technology. When the researchers successfully do it, it is not only them who benefits but the whole industry.

As an example, due to research, there are now smaller and lighter batteries that still offer the same level of power as the previous models. Many are looking forward to further improving those in the coming years.

Infrastructure Network Construction

Researching better ways to improve the battery of electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells or other alternatives is just one part of the equation. Another bigger challenge when it comes to transitioning from fossil fuel cars to alternative fuel cars is the construction of an infrastructure network.

Unlike fossil fuel gas stations that you can find just about anywhere, there is still a limit in the alternative fuel infrastructure network. There is now a growing number of recharging stations for electric cars plus owners also have the option to charge at home. On the other hand, hydrogen fuel stations available for public use are only about 14 and they are mostly in California.

Whether it is for fuel cells or for electric charging stations, the network still isn’t comfortable enough for most of the public to change their minds and purchase alternative fuel vehicles. Many are still not confident about relying on electric vehicles to get them where they want or need to go due to the lack of public and accessible charging stations.

Also, the locations of such charging stations or refueling stations should be carefully thought of so that they get efficiently used. Building infrastructures that won’t get used are just a waste of money so they also have to make sure that it’s really going to be used.

Forming Partnerships

In order to determine where hydrogen fuel stations should be put up, the government can create partnerships with organizations of car manufacturers. The manufacturers can share their knowledge about the type of people they think are likely to purchase hydrogen fuel cars or electric cars.

With that identified, they can better determine where to place charging stations or refueling stations. For example, most observe that electric car buyers tend to stay within the city so they can design a network of charging stations that can cover the whole city to prevent limiting where the cars can go.

Offer Incentives

Today, a lot of people are still not convinced of buying alternative fuel vehicles. One way to encourage the public to make that decision is to offer incentives. Usually, these incentives come in the form of tax breaks. In some states, they even offer cash incentives. With such incentives, the price of alternative fuel vehicles cuts down to what more people can afford.

Depending on the state, there are different incentives they have to offer. You can read more about the best incentives by various states in our previous post. The incentives are currently available and they work in increasing the number of electric car sales.

With more electric vehicles, the need for fossil fuel also diminishes and the demand for electricity for charging increases. This helps the locality because instead of buying fuel from other countries, electricity is produced locally.