Electric vehicles are environmentally sustainable but not entirely

Electric vehicles are environmentally sustainable but not entirely

Over the last decade, electric cars have received a lot of acclaims. Governments have been introducing new initiatives to allow people to move from the gasoline-powered cars to electric and hybrid vehicles. In the next 10 to 15 years, carmakers around the world aim to turn all of their vehicle’s hybrid. EVs are more environmentally friendly than cars with internal combustion engines. It is clear, however, that the former is not completely free of environmental contaminants. Experts also pointed out that, as environmentally friendly as battery-powered cars are, they also lead to climate change.

The production process and the energy source that fuels greener cars are also sources of pollution for the environment. While governments are working to develop renewable energy sources to drive EVs, electric grids are still largely powered by coal plants. Coal combustion releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As a result, the amount of coal that is burned to generate electricity has an effect on the long-term viability of electric vehicles.

“Coal appears to be the important component; if you have electric cars in Pittsburg that is charging in at night and forcing nearby coal power plants to use additional coal to be able to charge them, the climate advantages won’t be as big, and you may even get even more air pollution,” stated Jeremy Michalek, who works as an Engineering Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University. The only way to tackle this EV-related emission is to enable countries to turn to sustainable energy grids. Most state utilities in nations such as the United States have abandoned coal plants in favor of clean energy sources include natural gas, wind, as well as solar.

The raw materials used to make the batteries are another area where the battery-powered cars fall short of reducing emissions. Lithium-ion batteries make up the majority of EV batteries. Cobalt, lithium, as well as other rare earth materials, are used to make these batteries. The miners, as well as the world surrounding the ores, are also at risk as these raw materials are extracted. According to reports, cobalt remains are siphoned into the environment, impacting agriculture, health, as well as the well of communities near mines.

Similarly, smelting releases toxic gases like sulfur oxide when the pure metal is removed from the ore. Since mining firms have not been able to invest in good machinery, miners are forced to dig the ores with hand tools, putting them at risk. In the past, humanitarian organizations have spoken out about this health danger. Lithium is extracted by pumping out brines with a lot of water before processing the mixture to get pure lithium. The groundwater is averted by drawing this water, forcing farmers without water for their plants and livestock.


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