Are electric cars good for the environment?
The widespread perception that electric cars are good for the environment is true to a large extent. EVs are less dependent on fossil fuels than other road vehicles. Although you have to recharge their battery using electricity – which generally involves fossil fuels at present – electric cars are eco-friendlier as cars running on electric batteries give off zero tailpipe emissions.
As well as this, electric vehicles are more recyclable than their petrol and diesel predecessors. Certain models are made with reusable air ducts, fabrics and dashboards, further enhancing their green footprint.
In turn, there are some environmental disadvantages to electrically powered cars. They will typically be recharged from the national electricity grid, so they will contribute some toxic emissions while charging. This can mean increased air pollution, although the scale is not comparable to ICE-powered cars.
Electric cars are powered by lithium ion batteries which can have a shorter lifespan and less recyclable. Battery manufacturers such as Toyota are making moves to change this, however, producing smaller, lighter batteries with increased charge capacity and vehicle range.
In short, the environmental impact of electric cars is better than traditional petroleum-fuelled cars. But how do EVs compare when the environment impacts on their performance?