The global systems, governments, and automakers advocate for electric vehicles as the technology to combat dependency on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change. General Motors recently announced plans to halt the release of new gasoline-powered cars and fossil fuel trucks in the next fourteen years and develop their fully electric substitutes. On the other hand, Volvo stated that it would be accelerating with this trend to create a fully electric production line by the end of this decade. However, the switch to electric vehicles has always activated questions like whether these cars are as green as their developers claim. Although experts might argue that electric vehicles are more eco-friendly than conventional cars, they also have their contributions to the deterioration of the environment when it comes to their recharging and production. This piece seeks to address how these challenges might be mitigated.
First, these cars’ electricity must have zero associations with emissive agents before being considered clean energy. If the electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants, then electric cars contribute substantially to the environment. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyzed the variables related to the manufacture of electric cars, the quantity of gasoline consumed by the ICE cars, and the source of electricity to charge the electric vehicles. The assumption that electric vehicles receive their power from the standard power grids in the US would mean that these cars are cleaner than ICE cars. Electric cars are emissions-intensive because of their batteries, but their electric motors are more efficient than the internal combustion system in conventional cars.
Jeremy Michalek from Carnegie Mellon University stated that plugging in electric vehicles at night might make the coal-fired power plants burn more coal to sustain the cars, a process that is equally harmful to the environment. The advantage and resolution for this problem are that most countries strive to ensure that their electric grids are clean.
The other active factor in electric vehicle technology is the components of the batteries. Lithium, cobalt, and other rare earth elements have been the primary components of electric vehicle batteries. The extraction of these elements degrades the environment and has often brushed shoulders with human rights. The leaching of the exposed elements might affect the health of people around the areas where the elements are retrieved. Most of these elements are deep within the Democratic Republic of Congo. Scientists must find alternative components for electric batteries to save these areas from harmful activities. Moreover, they can recycle the components of the batteries that are still in good shape.