Saving the Environment with Electric Vehicles

Category: Ecology

Saving the Environment with Electric Vehicles: The Earth Saving Reality or Fiction

Currently, there is a hot debate over whether the electric vehicle is indeed more economical and better for the environment than the gas guzzler. Of course, some will move forward with the argument that gas guzzlers pose the risk to the atmosphere by gas emissions that hurry global warming along its way, but the argument cannot be that one-sided. There is another side of the story about the electric vehicles. The main opinion of this paper is that electric vehicles are not all cranked out as the saviors of gas emissions and global warming.

The conventional vehicles are currently produced for passenger comfort. This is why the green friendly solar car may be unpopular because of its compact nature, which is impractical for a consumer with the family to take care of. At the current rate of technology in the foreseeable future, it would seem unlikely for the compact car to become a commercial phenomenon with the modern status of design. Solar cars are basically electric vehicles that were created with recharging capacity. In this way, when you take engineering knowledge and pair it up with technology development, it may help to come up with battery electric powered vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles (Johnson, 2010).

The question still stands if battery powered vehicles become popular, will they still be worthwhile to fit with solar cells by allowing for further ranges and providing applications where they can recharge anywhere in the sun. As much as a solar powered vehicle would not give emissions and would be a great addition to the environment, making it become a vehicle of everyday use is probably not in the cards for the car type. The truth is that people are not ready to conform to that lifestyle just yet.

Now it is important to outline the faults that the green marketers of electric cars conveniently forgot to point out. It is certainly true that an electric car is a zero-emissions type of vehicle. However, being behind the wheel, one may still pose a threat to the environment. This menace is associated with coal situation. For example, almost half of America’s electricity comes from the burning of coal. At the same time, if one breaks down the numbers appropriately, electric vehicles will still come out at the forefront of cars that feature internal combustion engines, especially when it involves carbon dioxide emissions (Koerner, 2007).

For example, there should be a comparison between environmentally “friendly” electric vehicles and the internal combustion gas guzzlers. It can be observed through the example of Toyota Compact car and the upcoming battery electric vehicle, Tesla Roadster. The latter supposedly offers almost 300 miles of travel per charge. On the other hand, the fuel efficient for Compact gives about 30 miles for one gallon of gas. During the travel, the Toyota Compact uses roughly 3 gallons of gas over a stretch of a hundred miles (Koerner, 2007). Over the same distance, the Tesla gets charged before travel with about 30 kilowatt hours of electricity. As about 30 percent of the charge used is wasted due to inefficiencies in the machine, this ends up as emission in the form of CO2. Consequently, the average emission for 30 kilowatt hours would be 48 pounds, almost 3 times larger than the amount of emission from Compact.

This is not the only shortcoming from electric vehicles, though. There is the matter of energy required to manufacture batteries. There are critics of the electric vehicle movement that have claimed that if one was to factor the battery production of the cars output into the environment, then the cars would not be perceived any greener than a typical Corolla (Koerner, 2007).

EVs or electric vehicles do pose one of the world’s breakthroughs with significant benefit for the environment (Hickman, 2012). Choosing the mode of the electric vehicle would mean investing in the future research in the field. One of the biggest causes for concern is the methodology for disposal or recycle of the electric vehicle batteries. As such, some companies have pledged to increase the cost of each electric vehicle to incorporate the cost of recycling the car battery (Linde, 2010). This information itself has been minimized in the marketing scope and would probably feature like a disclaimer on a pack of cigarettes. These companies do want to create green and healthy image for the environment to reach the public because this image is everything. What would be the use of marketing the environmentally friendly angle if the product is not much practically different from the gas guzzlers?


The dirty little secret, however, is that car batteries unfortunately do not grow on trees, not least the electric vehicle variety. Similarly, they do not spontaneously recharge and require replacement every five years after usage (Kitney, 2012). There is also the fact that cars require electricity to charge their systems. They have to get their electricity from somewhere to fuel their cars, so to speak. By the same token, as coal is the main provider for electricity in the United States, one could say that electric vehicles can give a helping hand in contributing to global warming in different ways. First and last, we should not completely do away with the concept of the electric vehicle. However, large companies need to continue with massive research in the field. The truth is we need to wean off the fossil fuels at some time or other since the future lies in these greener options.

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