Electric cars aren’t the environmental saviors people think they are


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While electric cars may appear to be a better choice compared to gas-powered vehicles, they still come with drawbacks.

The recent ban on the production of gas powered cars set to go into place in 2035, is simply pressure by the producers to benefit off of society’s glorified perspective of the green impact of electric cars. Through the scapegoat that they emit less carbon dioxide, many have begun to rely on the idea of electric cars to save the environment.

As many have pointed out, their lithium batteries are devastating to produce. Mining for rare Earth metals is more harmful than people think. In fact, it’s even more dangerous for the environment than drilling fossil fuels.

For every ton of lithium mined from the Earth, 15 tons of carbon dioxide is released into the environment. Now take into consideration how a single Tesla Model 3 lithium-ion battery displaces around 3-16 tons of carbon dioxide into the air during manufacturing.  

According to Zeke Hausfather, a climate research scientist at Berkeley, the production of lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars causes around 2.5 times more carbon dioxide displacement than gas-powered cars. During the process of drilling for gas around 1.65 billion tons of carbon is expelled into the air yearly, now imagine at least twice that.

“[It’s] not like carbon dioxide comes out of the lithium, but it does take energy to mine things — today many of those systems involve emitting carbon dioxide,” Hausfather said.

The production of a single electric car battery emits up to 74% more carbon dioxide than that of a conventional gas-powered car. 

Which ultimately only fastens the devastating impact carbon dioxide emissions have on global warming, the ozone layer, and rising sea levels.

Which ultimately only fastens the devastating impact carbon dioxide emissions have on global warming, the ozone layer, and rising sea levels.

Essentially, our electric cars can only truly be clean if they run on solar or wind energy. If you own an electric vehicle, but charge your car at night – which many do, as it’s convenient – your car no longer runs on clean energy. Wind energy is still an ignorable fraction of the power generated in our electricity grid and solar energy doesn’t generate at night.

But it is important to admit that once on the road, electric cars are much cleaner and more resilient than gas cars; considering there are no tailpipe emissions.

If you imagine a society entirely dependent on electric cars, the best thing one could say about it is at least carbon isn’t being directly spewed into the local environment through tailpipes. 

But looking solely from a financial point of view, what are the chances that some time in the near future a large enough number of people will be able to afford an electric car to even start to make an impact? It’s just not plausible to rely on a surplus of electric cars being used in the future to save the environment if people can’t even afford to buy them in the first place.

Let’s not forget how the average electric car in the U.S. costs around $55,000, which is around 42% higher than the overall market average.

The only true impact a surplus of electric cars make in reality is a saturated car market. Producers are relying on society’s twisted perception of electric cars to make bank. Corrupting and blinding people from seeing the truth by labeling electric cars as the future savior of the environment. Simply because of a lack of an exhaust pipe.