Is driving an electric car really better for the environment?

Is driving an electric car really better for the environment? An interesting article in the Sunday Times argues that when a full life cycle assessment is done, electric cars are not so green after all. I’ve sometimes wondered about this. I’ve also heard others saying that driving a small mass produced petrol car produces less emissions then an electric car (over say 10 years) when you do a full life cycle assessment. Though I’m also aware that the technology used for electric cars will continue to improve and this might not always be the case…

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One thought on “Is driving an electric car really better for the environment?

  1. iveschris

    An interesting post, Ascelin. One issue which has received very little consideration is the environmental and biodiversity impacts from the on-ground mining activities. The resources that are used to make cars come from different parts of the world. The lithium used to make electric car batteries is only found in sufficient concentrations for mining in a few select locations such the environmentally-sensitive Bolivian desert (see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1166387/In-search-Lithium-The-battle-3rd-element.html). We need to take this into consideration when weighing up the carbon saved by electric vehicles.

    Perhaps one solution would be to consider the overall sustainability of different products, in addition to their carbon footprint. Just as different fish species are more or less sensitive to commercial fishing, sustainability ratings could be calculated for various goods according to the different materials used in their production.

    Reply

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