Electric cars are growing in popularity as gas prices soar, causing some people to forget that these vehicles were originally marketed as a way to reduce emissions and pollution.
With so many new vehicles on the market, are electric cars today still “clean” ?
Do Electric Cars Pollute The Air?
Electric cars do not release any type of air-polluting emissions into the atmosphere, but it is important to consider the charging source. Not all forms of electricity are clean, and under unusual and rare circumstances, these cars can pollute more than gasoline-powered vehicles.
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Do electric cars produce any type of air pollution?
On their own, an electric car or truck does not produce any type of emissions.
The vehicle works off the same general principles as your cell phone or any other battery-powered device, just on a much larger scale.
That means that the vehicles are not belching smog or other types of air pollution into the environment.
It is important to consider where an electric vehicle gets its power from, however.
An electric car can be charged from just about any plug, meaning that the true amount of pollution that the vehicle is creating is actually the amount of pollution that is created from the production of the electricity that the vehicle is using.
If the electricity is being produced by a “clean” source such as solar or wind power, then there is virtually no air pollution being caused by the car.
The electricity that comes from power grids that are reliant on bringing oil or coal, however, may actually be producing some air pollution.
Does producing electric or gas-driven cars pollute the air more?
When determining the amount of pollution caused by the manufacturing process, it’s important to look at every single step.
This includes the pollution created when mining raw materials, manufacturing each independent component, transporting all of the components to the central factory, assembling the vehicle, and transporting the vehicle to the dealership.
Some environmentalists also believe that secondary pollution, such as the waste created in office buildings for the engineers and the waste created through the manufacture of replacement parts should also be included.
Unfortunately, car manufacturers aren’t very forthcoming with these numbers.
This may be because they don’t want the public to know, but it may also be because they simply don’t know.
Raw material production often occurs in places with relatively little environmental regulation, and it’s rare that smaller producers will take on the burden of tracking this data if they don’t have to.
For this reason, this question can be extremely difficult to answer accurately.
Furthermore, there is a lot of variation between manufacturers of both electric and gasoline-powered vehicles, making it extremely difficult to get an accurate estimate.
That has led to a lot of people on both sides of the debate cherry-picking numbers in order to make their point.
Do electric cars emit ozone into the air?
Ozone is a gas that is produced when sunlight reacts with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Specifically, this reaction takes place when an electric vehicle is being charged.
This gas has been shown to be just as harmful as other greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles.
Fortunately, there are several ways to mitigate this.
According to researchers at MIT, charging the car at night will drastically reduce the amount of ozone created.
This is largely due to the fact that there is no sunlight to interact with the emissions from the battery, and the gasses that are created will have largely dissipated and bonded with other substances to create fairly inert substances by the time morning comes around.
In short, the MIT study found that as long as owners charge their cars at night or out of direct sunlight, ozone emissions are fairly negligible.
The good news is that nighttime is usually the most convenient time to charge a car.
Most people also choose to charge their vehicles inside of a garage or in the shade, allowing those gases the chance to mix with other surrounding gases before interacting with sunlight and becoming ozone.
Do electric cars emit more or less co2?
Electric cars do not emit any CO2 while they are being driven. There can be some emissions involved with their manufacturing, however.
The exact amount of these emissions is very difficult to pinpoint, however, and every model of electric cars will have a different carbon footprint.
Again, this lack of data means that there are people on both sides of the debate that are able to pull numbers that support their case.
Generally speaking, however, electric cars seem to have a lower overall carbon cost to manufacture.
The factories that build electric vehicles are generally newer, and they use more energy-efficient technology. Those savings in energy usually mean that the vehicles are made with a smaller carbon footprint.
Even if the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle is slightly higher, it will likely be offset by the years of clean transportation that it provides to its owner.
It’s worth mentioning, that SUVs tend to pollute more than cars.
To further decrease their carbon footprint, owners should explore ways to make their vehicles last longer, ensuring that more emissions are not released until another vehicle is absolutely needed.
There are also a number of different services that provide ecologically sensitive disposal of these vehicles.