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  • Writer's pictureShreyan Shrimali

Fuelling the Future with Electric Cars

Updated: Jan 23

Every time someone speaks about electric cars, there is a debate about whether electric vehicles are good for the environment or if they are more harmful compared to traditional cars. To end this debate once and for all, we need to first dig into the history of vehicles.

Today, we cannot live without cars, whether electric or gas cars. Cars brought change to humanity; they helped change how we do business or interact. It allowed people to reach places in a matter of time, which we could never have done. Very few people know that Karl Benz (Germany) invented the first ever ‘car’, followed by Henry Ford, who invented the assembly line and designed cars in such a way that we even see today.

Soon time came when millions of cars were sold in a year, if you click this link, it is amazing to know how many cars are being produced right now. This growth comes with its own cost, which is environmental pollution.

Cars can significantly impact the environment, including global warming, soil erosion, and air pollution. Delhi (the capital of India) was ranked one of the top positions in the most polluted city in the world, and one of the reasons was emissions from cars.

Around the 2010s, the need for environmentally friendly electricity was increasing daily. Despite the first electric car being sold in 1890, it needed to be better, but it helped spark interest in electric vehicles.

Then there was the entry of a very well-known brand now dominating the electric car market; the company became the top-selling car of the year in the USA, Tesla.

Tesla brought the technology needed in electric cars to make them up to the mark; the company also added many unique selling points which gained attention. Many policies also supported the progress of electric cars. For example, starting in 2035, all cars will be emission-free in Europe. There are many monetary benefits as well as road tax benefits in many countries. Following this, other companies didn't want to miss the market; hence, many different brands like Mercedes and BMW started rolling out their all-electric cars, even supercars, which are launched now in hybrid models. Which made people believe electric cars were the future. But the real question is, 'Are electric cars better than Gas cars?"

So, if we look at how these cars are produced, be it electric or gas cars, we can see that the initial footprint of electric cars is more harmful than traditional cars since electric vehicles require a battery to run, which is made of Lithium, which is mined. We all know that mining produces greenhouse gases, which are very harmful to the environment. As per the International Energy Agency, there will be 350 million vehicles sold around 2030.

If we look from another angle, it takes around 15-20 metric tons of CO2 to produce electric cars as compared to 5-10 metric tons to manufacture traditional cars, which indeed is a lot of difference.

Not only this, but there is another element, cobalt. Some cobalt mines use morally wrong child labour. In addition to this point, it is challenging even to recycle these batteries.

Not only in manufacturing but to charge these cars, we use home chargers or public charging stations, but the problem with so-called zero emission is that in countries like India, 55% of the energy comes from coal, and the same goes for the USA. So does that mean traditional cars are better? Let’s look into it.

In a year, the average car emits around 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per year, as per The United States Environmental Protection Agency. Like electric cars, traditional gas cars don’t run on batteries. They need petrol, which needs to come somewhere, starting from drilling into the earth; it damages the environment in every possible way it can.

Despite the fact it is more harmful to produce electric vehicles, it is even more harmful to drive traditional cars. Electric vehicle manufacturing is in the early stages, so once there is development in technology, it will become more efficient to produce, and it will be less harmful to the environment.

There is no noise pollution as well in electric cars, which increases the quality of life in urban areas. Electric cars make up for the environment by not emitting any emissions in the environment while driving. It is also pocket-friendly as the cost to charge electric cars is way less than that of filling gas in traditional vehicles.

In conclusion, it is very complex to understand the environmental impact of electric cars, but indeed, it is less harmful to drive electric vehicles. Furthermore, advancements in technology will help reduce harm to the environment during manufacturing.

While electric vehicles are environmentally friendly and promoted, they will surely maximise environmental benefits. It is not the ultimate solution, and we should keep investing to find more sustainable transportation methods.

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