June 27, 2022


Beyond Automotive

3 myths about electric cars

4 min read

Sceptics say that significantly from serving to help you save the world, electrical vehicles are a liberal pipe-aspiration whose environmental advantages are exaggerated.

But even if there is no this kind of matter as an all-environmentally friendly vehicle, experiments clearly show that battery-driven types lead to fewer harmful greenhouse fuel overall than their petrol-pushed ancestors.

AFP Fact Test examined 3 common promises about them.


“Coal Run Electric Autos…. Assisting liberals pretend they are solving a make-think disaster,” reads a textual content shared on Fb, with a image of cars and trucks plugged in at a charging station.

The humorous meme implies that electric powered vehicles do not enable reduced local climate-switching greenhouse gas emissions simply because coal is burned to feed the electrical energy grid.

The US Environmental Defense Company has a calculator tool on its site to examine a petrol car’s emissions with those of an electric a person based on wherever it is charged.

It calculates that an electric vehicle charged in St Louis, Missouri -– component of the subregion that depends the most on coal –- on typical will deliver 247 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, lower than the typical 381 grams of a gasoline car.

Authorities at Carbon Short concur an electrical car’s emissions count on what region or nation it is charged in.

They would be bigger in Poland or in an Asian state in which a lot more coal is burned than in France, wherever most electrical energy will come from nuclear electricity.

General, the Global Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) uncovered electric powered automobiles are decrease-emitting than their petrol-driven equivalents across their existence cycle, from mining factors to recycling.

An electric powered car or truck is also substantially extra effective in its use of energy than a petrol-run a single, according to the US Division of Vitality and other sources.

‘200 tonnes of earth’

Creating the vehicles’ batteries is an strength-intensive system that incorporates mining and trucking uncooked elements, assembly in factories, and shipping around the globe. Recycling them is costly.

Another viral text shared on Fb claimed that 500,000 kilos (227 metric tonnes) of earth are dug up to extract the metals for a person electric vehicle battery.

The estimate appeared to originate from a 2020 analysis by the Manhattan Institute, a climate-sceptic analysis group.

Many authorities consulted by AFP explained the figures ended up misleading. Peter Newman, professor of sustainability at Australia’s Curtin College, judged it a “gross exaggeration” and mentioned the quantity mined would vary relying on geography and the sort of battery.

Mining has other impacts not immediately similar to the global weather. About 70 percent of cobalt — a battery component — will come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where use of youngster labour in mines has been documented.

Entry to the ingredients also raises strategic offer fears, with lots of of the uncooked resources held by China, in accordance to the International Strength Agency.

Georg Bieker, a Berlin-centered researcher at the ICCT, reported the environmental damage from oil-drilling designed gasoline production no better.

The danger of devastation driven by greenhouse gasoline emissions, projected in the latest experiences by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Local climate Modify, would be even even worse.

“It is right to demand from customers advancements, e.g. as regarded by voluntary benchmarks in the market and by necessary owing diligence specifications that are foreseen in the impending EU battery regulation,” he reported.

“In any situation, it’s crystal clear that the social and environmental affect of international warming is catastrophic, at a various scale than the mining of battery uncooked products.”

‘Stuck in snow’

Just after a snowstorm stranded hundreds of motorists in Virginia in January, consumers on Facebook shared posts warning that electric powered motor vehicles would run out of ability and make the website traffic jam even worse.

“All those individuals would be caught in freezing temperatures devoid of a heated car or truck. And all the automobiles would be stuck not able to transfer for the reason that you can’t deliver a charging station to them,” go through the textual content.

“All all those electric vehicles would turn into roadblocks to the gasoline run automobiles.”

Numerous simple fact-checking organisations scrutinised the claim. They identified there was no evidence that electric powered vehicles would fare worse in a storm.

Experiments this kind of as just one printed in 2015 by the American Chemical Modern society have uncovered that electric powered vehicles do eat vitality considerably less effectively when driving in the cold.

However several specialists mentioned that if stuck in a storm, an electric car would eat much less power than a gasoline one, which would have to keep its motor functioning to ability the heating.

British customer affairs journal Which? examined an electric powered SUV by simulating a targeted visitors jam, with the car’s radio, air conditioning, seat-heating and headlights on, furthermore a pill machine plugged in participating in a movie.

That utilized up a negligible two p.c of the battery, or 8 miles’ really worth of vary, in an hour and a quarter – admittedly in summer season problems.


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