Are Electric Cars Really as Green as Advertised?


Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States (6 page pdf, Christopher W. Tessuma, Jason D. Hillb,1, and Julian D. Marshall, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), Dec. 30, 2014)

Also discusses here: Electric Vehicle Batteries: Clean and Green, or Something Less?(Al Bredenberg, Contributing Writer, Design News, Sep. 7, 2015)

Today we review research into the life cycle costs in terms of GHG emissions and ptrematurte deaths resulting from the use of electric vehicles (EV) compared to conventional vahicles using gas which is a factor not only of the tailpipe emissions on the road but also on the source of the electricity used to charge the batteries and what emissions come from them. Results indicate that EVs using electricity generated from coal (which is true for southeastern USA) produce more than three times the mortalities than from conventional vehicles burning gas – and over 90% of this comes from the battery production. On the other hand, EVs using electricity from wind/solar/water have almost insignificant damages compared to gasoline powered vehicles. EVs using electricity form biofuels such as corn ethanol have impacts about 50% higher than ordinary gasoline powered vehicles. All of this underlines the importance of considering the pollution costs of the manufacture of the Lithium batteries that power many EVs, in addition to the fuel economy on the road.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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