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Are Electric Vehicles the Answer to Carbon Pollution? (Vol. 1)

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

analyticsbox | May 26, 2021

Electric Vehicle

Don’t believe the political B.S.!

We all care about our environment. If carbon emissions really impact climate change, what should we do about it?

Battery powered electric vehicles (EV’s) are one solution. Most people feel they greatly reduce CO2. But do they really? The answer is unclear and to understand why, we must look at the life cycle of each vehicle.

Did you know that it takes 500,000 pounds of mined material to produce one - 1,000-pound battery to power a full-size vehicle? The energy required to mine, refine and produce the battery, and the carbon emissions resulting from this, are significantly more than the production of a conventional gas-powered car. So, the actual carbon produced is front loaded and a lot more than we think.

It also takes a lot of energy to generate electricity to recharge these batteries, which are also producing carbon emissions. And these batteries must be replaced at some point and that means another cycle of heavy carbon output producing replacement batteries. (And this doesn’t even address the environmental damage done by disposing of 50-100,000,000 batteries every year!)

Yes, EV’s sound good and are all the rage, but we need to judge them on their results, not their intentions. By one estimate, autos create about 20% of all carbon pollution, and EV’s only save up to 25% of that, that’s a net improvement of 5% overall. When considering the replacement battery, one estimate is there is no CO2 savings at all. So, are they the answer?

There are many nuances to an all EV stock of vehicles, it is not clear if the benefits outweigh the costs. And unfortunately, with today’s technology, EV’s are not exactly the magical solution we may think they are.

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