Electric Cars:  Are They Really Green? 10 Environmental Impacts to Consider

 May 4th , 2024


Electric cars (EVs) are greener than gas vehicles but have their environmental footprint. Let's look at the not-so-green side.

Dirty Process: Mining lithium and other materials for batteries is energy-intensive and can cause pollution.

1: Battery Production

Power Matters: If your grid relies on coal, your EV's emissions aren't zero; they shift upstream.

2: Electricity Source

Still, Factories: Building EVs, like all cars, creates emissions. Gains are offset over their longer lifespan.

3: Manufacturing Emissions

Road Dust: EVs are often heavier, meaning potentially greater tire wear, which releases microparticles into the air.

4: Tire Wear

Copper & More: Increased EV demand means increased mining of various metals, impacting landscapes and water.

5: Mining: Beyond Batteries

Battery End-of-Life: Efficient recycling of large EV batteries is still developing, and waste is a future concern.

6: Long-Term Waste

Space & Roads: EVs still contribute to traffic and the need for road infrastructure, which has environmental costs.

7: Doesn't Solve Congestion

New Car = Impact: Even green ones. Upgrading your old car when it works fine has environmental costs.

8: Encouraging Overconsumption

Who Can Afford Them? Access to greener tech is unequal, raising questions of environmental justice.

9: Equity Concerns

Beyond Cars: True sustainability requires walkable cities and public transit, not just switching what powers our vehicles.

10: The Bigger Picture