Will the shift to electric cars be better for the environment overall ?

Electric cars need to be recharged regularly so isn't that electricity that needs to be generated somehow ?

17 Answers

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  • 75% of that power comes from coal...

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  • 7 months ago

    Yes, I'm afraid the human race seems incapable of understanding what's really needed. The first thing is to reproduce less and the second is to give up all private ownership of vehicles. Eventually that's going to have to come to pass in an enforced way but I think the planet will be much further on its path to destruction before panic makes people act really responsibly.

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  • F
    Lv 6
    7 months ago

    Only if the electric is from renewables. Burning fossil fuels in a power staion is essentially the same chemical reaction as occurs in an ICE. Efficiency of old coal plants is well below the efficiencey of modern diesel cars. Add in transmission losses (5%) and electric cars using electric from coal are overall worse for the environment than ICE cars. Of course, city air quality will still improve.

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  • Fred
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Electric vehicles as they are at the moment need to be recharged from non polluting power stations to really be pollution free. Those being recharged from coal fired power stations apparently only move the pollution problem to the power station so the power station becomes the car's exhaust pipe.

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    You could always get a hairy cat as a generator. They are good for 15 years. Just got to figure out how to harness that power output.

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  • 7 months ago

    The short answer is no

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  • 7 months ago

    Power for charging the battery will come mostly from fossil fuel combustion based power plants. Capacity of these plants will need extension to meet the increased demand due to the new application of vehicle battery charging. Extension of power plant capacity implies more pollution due to power plants. Lithium mining & processing activity will rise as lithium battery usage in ev rises in addition to the battery used for charging phones, laptops & other existing application of lithium. This increases the risk to the health of people working in or environment near the lithium mining & processing facility. Currently lot of activites other than fuel exist which harm the environment such as bad quality roads, traffic jams, fuel wastage by person travelling alone in 4 seater car, parking or multiple lanes on narrow roads, too many vehicles , using car for small distance,etc

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  • Mr. P
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Not if they are burning coal somewhere else to supply the electric power. Plus in any transmission of power from generation to use there are losses. Power stations waste heat, turbines are less than 80% efficient using that steam, transformers step up and down the power along transmission lines - all have losses. What you get out is about half the energy that is going in. And now you want to charge batteries at the end of it? - More losses again, then using a motor to provide force - more loss.

    IF you are using all renewable sources of power - then you can basically have unlimited supply to compensate, but I think investing in a good public transport system like they had in the 30's would be a better final solution - just install electric trams in all cities and reduce waiting times between them. I would love that rather than trying to find - and pay for parking in the city.

    • it is i
      Lv 5
      7 months agoReport

      Steam turbines around 40% efficient, but gasoline engines are around 20% efficient. Refining heavy crude oil, which US refineries run on now, takes as much energy as is in a gallon of gasoline to refine that gallon of gasoline.

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  • 7 months ago

    It takes LESS energy to charge a vehicle to drive 200 miles then it does to refine gasoline to drive the same size vehicle 200 miles. ALL the pollution created by burning gasoline is above and beyond the pollution created by charging an electric vehicle.

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    • it is i
      Lv 5
      7 months agoReport

      True on gasoline refined in USA. If we import gasoline refined somewhere else from light crude oil it doesn't hold true.

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  • 7 months ago

    No. The metals needed to make the batteries will require expanding already large scale strip mining to an unprecedented level. No one knows for how long if ever, they can meet demand. Then, a few years down the road, they will have to find a place to put all the drained batteries. Also at a volume never before experienced. In the mid to long term, the environment will have to pay the bill for our feel good moment now.

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