The Impact Electric Vehicles Have On The Environment

The Impact Electric Vehicles Have On The Environment

As consumers worldwide become more environmentally conscious and governments focus on cutting carbon emissions, the electric vehicle market is growing at a rapid pace. A report by the Wall Street Journal reveals the global electric car sales reached 7.8 million units in 2022, marking a 68% increase from 2021, according to Business Insider.

But as we get closer to driving mainstream emission-free cars, there are concerns about electric cars and how they affect the environment. Consumers question whether or not EVs are more eco-friendly than gas-fueled vehicles.

The answer is actually pretty simple, yet we have to understand it pretty well to know whether or not electric vehicles can contribute to our environment. Therefore, keep reading to understand the impact electric vehicles have on the environment.

Improved Air Quality

electric vehicles

Driving EVs can improve air quality significantly because unlike internal combustion engine cars, they don’t burn fossil fuels. This means they release zero pollutants, including toxic gas in the air.

A study by Northwestern University also found that even when using electricity generated from combustible sources to charge EV batteries, electric cars still have a positive impact on air quality. Less pollution from vehicles translates to reduced health risks and climate change.

Supports Use of Renewable Energy

Electric Charging Lane (Highways England)
Electric Charging Lane (Highways England)

To reverse the effects of global warming on the environment, such as severe droughts, flooding, and heat waves, governments need to think beyond the things that can be done to satisfy demand for gas and petrol.

Transitioning to electric cars guarantees positive outcomes. That’s because, unlike conventional cars, EVs don’t use petrol or gas. Instead, consumers charge batteries using electric energy to power their vehicles.

It’s worth noting that there are different EV types and the charging infrastructure of each EV depends on clean energy sources. For example, chargers used to power plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicle batteries use electricity from solar, wind, and hydropower.

Not to mention, transport isn’t required to get renewable energy to EV charging stations, and charging cars doesn’t deplete natural resources.

Electric Vehicles Produce Low Carbon Emissions

charging cars electric vehicles

The most significant cause of climate change is the high levels of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. One way to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses is by driving electric cars.

That’s because the total emissions of electric cars per mile is lower than that of internal combustion engine vehicles. A study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that on average, electric cars emit only 200 grams of carbon dioxide, while gas-powered vehicles produce 350 grams of carbon over their lifetime.

While gas and petrol fueled cars are becoming more efficient, EVs are key to supporting a more sustainable future. This is because countries worldwide aim to leverage renewable energy as the primary power source for electric cars, thus decarbonizing transportation.

Reduces Noise Pollution

Beautiful sky in Milan but sadly it's caused by air pollution. Work by Irene Grassi Wikimedia Commons

According to Intechopen, vehicles account for 80% of noise pollution caused by the vibration of the car’s body and the sound of an operating engine. While noise pollution seems less harmful to the environment, it has serious implications on the quality of life of humans and animals.

When noise pollution exceeds the limit, it causes health issues like headaches and hearing loss, affects how animals communicate with each other, and drives wildlife away from their habitats. Given that electric cars have fewer moving parts and no engines, they are more silent than conventional vehicles.

By embracing electric cars, people can enjoy quiet and calmer environments in urban and rural areas.

Electric Vehicles Promote Sustainable Consumption

batteries in electric vehicle cars use neodymium.

The most significant impact on the environment is consumption, including high reliance on vehicles to commute from one place to another. To protect the environment from global warming, we need to identify more sustainable ways to commute.

For starters, consumers should make it a point to invest in durable vehicles. Nowadays, people keep cars for longer than they did in the past. However, seven years isn’t long enough, considering car owners switch to new models all the time.

To ensure cars are more sustainable, electric car manufacturers provide an 8-year warranty for the battery. It is worth noting that the battery warranty can translate to a 100,000 kilometer worth warranty.

Therefore, you can expect your electric car to last many years longer after the warranty has expired. Another way EVs help people lead a sustainable lifestyle is due to their low maintenance needs. With less than 20 moving parts, electric cars are less likely to break down, meaning you don’t need to obtain new spare parts or replace your car after a few years.

Electric Vehicles Manufacturers Use Recyclable Materials

charging tesla car electric

Developing lightweight and functional electric cars can help improve range and reduce carbon emissions. To achieve this goal, automakers are turning to organic and recyclable materials.

Examples of automakers using eco-friendly materials are Tesla, BMW, Volvo, and Mazda. Tesla, for example, uses vegan leather as an alternative for cow hides. Leather from cow hides has an aesthetic appeal, but it often leads to emissions that damage the environment.

Using synthetic leather made from mushrooms and fruits like mangoes and pineapples enables automakers to design appealing car interiors without causing carbon emissions. BMW also uses a ton of recycled materials in its i3 electric car model, while Mazda uses cork in the interior of its MX-30 EV.

In the quest to reverse the effects of global warming, the world is focusing on adapting electric vehicles. Driving a new electric car has positive impacts on the environment, such as reduced noise pollution and low tailpipe emissions, which translates to improved air quality.

Charging EVs also support the use of renewable energy sources, like solar, hydropower, and wind, thus eliminating the need for mining and burning fossil fuels.

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