Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Automakers are making significant changes to their production facilities, training their mechanics, and investing billions of dollars into the infrastructure needed to produce EVs for the automotive market.
We keep hearing that EVs are good for the environment, will save us money, and are the future of transportation, but we all know that if it's too good to be true, then it's likely not true.
Here are 4 issues with EV production that makes me wonder if EVs are as green as they seem.
Battery Production and Material Mining
You can lead with EVs having zero tailpipe emissions, and that's awesome, but we have to take a step further and ask how EVs are produced. Where do the batteries come from? Where and how are the materials mined and produced?
The truth is that EV batteries are not that environmentally safe to produce. The biggest issue is the production of lithium-ion batteries. Other materials like cobalt nickel are also essential for battery production, and extraction processes can lead to habitat destruction, soil and water pollution, and adverse effects on local communities.
According to EV Box, “Cobalt mines produce toxic residues that can leach into the environment, poisoning groundwater and harming nearby communities. Additionally, smelting cobalt ore produces fumes with a high concentration of sulfur oxide and other air pollutants.”
Battery Disposal and Recycling
Many environmental concerns around EVs have yet to be realized because they are so new to the market. We can't know the long-term effect that they will have on the environment until it's already happened. And by then, there may be irreversible damage.
What we do know is that while EV batteries are designed to last a long time, they will eventually die. And this presents an issue that we haven't entirely solved yet. EV batteries are complicated to dispose of, and inadequate recycling facilities cannot process these hazardous materials. Our best solution would be to find sustainable methods to recycle these batteries, but until that happens, they are a major concern.
Energy Intensive Manufacturing
EVs take a lot more energy to produce than traditional gas-powered cars take, and this is due to their specialized parts, specifically the battery. Some people are concerned that the increased energy consumption in the manufacturing stage should be a big factor that we take into consideration when deciding whether or not EVs are an environmentally friendly option.
Climate Portal says, “This intensive battery manufacturing means that building a new EV can produce around 80% more emissions than building a comparable gas-powered car.”
So are EVs really green? By the looks of these manufacturing habits, I'm going to say that we have a long way to go before we achieve environmentally friendly transportation.
Research journalist, Freelance writer, Managing Editor
- Expertise: automotive content, trending topics.
- Education: LeTourneau University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
- Over 400 articles and short news pieces published across the web.
Experience: Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion.
Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.