Electric vehicles have become the poster child for green transportation and automakers are making the jump to all electric production. But the truth is that EVs may not be as environmentally friendly as we want to think.
Here are four ways that EVs harm the environment that some people just aren’t ready to talk about yet.
Carbon Emissions Production
While an EV does not emit tailpipe emissions after production, emissions are emitted during production. And experts argue that these emissions can offset the environmental benefits of EVs.
What do those stats look like? Well, USA facts break it down for us. 18% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by EVs come from manufacturing their lithium-ion batteries. Other manufacturing processes make up another 17% of GHG emissions. In contrast, gas cars only have 9% of emissions originating from manufacturing and 17% from fuel production, with a substantial 74% coming from tailpipe emissions.
Do EVs produce less carbon emissions than gas-powered cars? Well, sure. But it's not that much less. They're still doing harm, too.
EV Tire Pollution Is 20% Higher Than Gas-Powered Cars.
Wild, but true. EVs are heavier than gas-powered cars, which means their tires wear out faster. When tires wear out, they put off bits of rubber, and that rubber contains toxic materials that are harmful to the environment. We don't yet know how harmful these materials are, but there have been reports in Washington that these toxins are already affecting wildlife, and this is just the beginning of the impact.
Infrastructure and Energy Grid Impact
I live in Texas, and our power grid gets finicky every summer. We have to reserve power, turn lights off between certain hours, and keep our AC temperature above certain temperatures. And sometimes, we even have rolling blackouts to help keep our power grid from crashing. Now, imagine if everyone drove EVs. Our power grid simply could not keep up. EVs are going to have a huge impact on our infrastructure and energy grid, and if we're pushing for all EVs by 2035, then we might want to put some money into improving our energy grid.
Corrupted Energy Sources
EVs are only as green as the electricity that powers them. How is your electricity sourced? If you have a home charger sourced from solar panels, congratulations! Your EV is powered by authentic renewable energy. If not, you're likely using electricity sourced from fossil fuels, and that's…not green at all. If EVs are going to be good for the environment, we're going to have to start with changing the way we source electricity.
USAfacts.org says, “For example, California relies more on natural gas and solar, so the average all-electric vehicle in California produces 2,261 pounds of emissions every year. In West Virginia, which relies heavily on coal for electricity production, the average all-electric vehicle produces 9,146 pounds of CO2 equivalent.”