Electric vehicles are emission-free, right? Kind of.
Here’s the headline: “Electric cars won’t save the planet without a clean energy overhaul – they could increase pollution.”
Some countries plan to eliminate cars running on petroleum. “The idea is to replace all conventional vehicles with electric vehicles. But this is unlikely to help the environment, as long as EVs are charged using electricity generated from the same old dirty fossil fuels.”
The concept is pollution displacement. Pollution is often made at a power plant, not in the EV engine. Unless that power is carbon-free, like nuclear, solar, or hydro, there are emissions of some kind associated with the car.
Pollution and waste can also created in the process of making the vehicles. Specialized materials and metals are used in their production, too. A carbon and materials footprint is created even before someone hits the start button on the car.
EVs are needed. Really needed. So is more analysis about the way we create a smart transportation system. “EVs have great potential to reduce pollution and give people a more sustainable way to get around – but electricity production must also be clean. It’s not wise to rely completely on scarce natural elements required for producing EVs and alternatives have to be explored. More recycling plants are needed to make the most out of rare elements and governments need to explore ways to ensure a smooth transition to cleaner transportation.” (Source)