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Are Electric Cars Really Better For The Environment?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Are electric cars really green?

Even though we still burn coal for electricity in some places - electricity has a bright future

 

Whether or not you're a lover of electric cars, they're definitely here to stay, but are battery-powered cars really better for the environment? With the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf both available, and other manufacturers promising to follow suit, it looks like we're at a new peak in EV popularity.

Many skeptics proclaim that electric cars are actually worse for the environment than their gasoline and diesel-burning counterparts. They claim that EVs are just a way to transfer emissions from the tailpipe to a dirty coal-burning power plant.

How are electric cars better for the environment

    1.     An Electric Car Can Be Charged From Any Source

Chevy Volt

You are in control of where your energy comes from. You can plug in to the wall and use whatever power you have locally, be it coal based, natural gas based or hydroelectric. You can also buy solar panels or power-generating windmills for your property and produce your own electricity.

    2.     Most Electric Car Owners Charge During Off-Peak Hours

A power plant can not just be shut down at the push of a button. Due to lack of storage, much of the power produced at night is wasted, which is why many power companies offer reduced rates at night and during low-usage times. The average electric car owner will charge his/her car at night when power is abundant and less expensive.

   3.      Emissions From Power Plants Are Far More Highly Regulated Than Tailpipe Emissions

It is easier for a government to regulate emissions produced from one source than several million cars. Power plants are maintained to the most exacting standards by highly trained professionals. In contrast, a small mechanical issue with a car such as an improperly inflated tire or bad sensor can go unnoticed for a long time and have a massive negative impact on emissions.

   4.      Electric Cars Require Much Less Maintenance Than Gasoline Cars Do

An electric motor has one moving part, a rotor that spins around. There is no cooling system, no oil changes, no spark plugs, filters or complex emissions control systems to break down, and no tune-ups required. Electric cars also save the environmental impact of leaked fluids, as they don’t have oil or coolant.

I really don't understand why there are still people out there asking: "are electric cars really better for the environment?". They are much cleaner and in my opinion, electric cars make more sense in almost every way than gasoline cars.

Are electric cars really green?

They are a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles and have been around for more than 100 years!  EVs  actually predate gasoline and diesel cars. There are many common misconceptions about EVs. I’ve heard people say “you can only go 10 miles!” and “they’re way too slow!”, and those statements could not be further from the truth. Like any other vehicle, your budget is the primary performance limiting factor. Electric cars make great race or drag cars, or long-distance commuters. Unfortunately, high performance electric cars still come at a premium although costs are coming down every day. 

John Wayland proving that electric cars can be fast!

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Comments

Feb 26, 2013 4:30pm
Imprimatur
Interesting! I wish I had read this article a few months ago, when I changed my car. I was thinking of going for an electric model, as I like to minimise by carbon footprint as much as possible. However in the end I became confused with the whole issue. Perhaps I will just get a horse next time. Good article.
Feb 26, 2013 4:53pm
migreig
Even if you're not in the market for a car, I would recommend test driving a Nissan Leaf. It's just a really fun car to drive and it's a neat experience driving fully electric. The issue is still battery price. There's always that struggle between people who want change and the oil companies that fight it.
Fortunately for us, my wife has 2 horses!

Thanks for reading and commenting.
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Bibliography

  1. John Wayland "Living in the Past, Getting Beat by the Future!." Plasma Boy Racing. 26/02/2013 <Web >

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