The Surprising Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles

March 2022 has seen the highest capacity of electric vehicle (EV) registrations than any other month in history – in fact, more were registered in that single month than over the entirety of the year 2019. As interest in EVs continues to rise at a rapid pace, questions about the long-term environmental impact of electric vehicles are coming forward.

Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles

More Resources, Reduced Carbon Emissions

One of the most notable and attractive features of the modern EV is its “zero emission” component. But while these streamlined vehicles can significantly decrease the volume of carbon emissions released into the environment, the resources needed to build them present some complications.

EVs are powered by their high-powered batteries, which are made using precious, highly rarified chemical resources like lithium and uranium. Mining these resources requires a huge amount of energy, water, and air pollution, counteracting the eco-friendly features of an EV.

A Green Manufacturing Issue

While the process of driving an EV does release zero carbon emissions, the other stages of the car’s lifespan do not. The manufacturing of an EV is more carbon emissive than regular gas-powered cars, and the process of degradation at the end of its life also has an adverse environmental impact.

Gas-powered cars still contribute disproportionately more greenhouse gas than EVs, but the way in which they’re produced is much more environmentally compatible than EVs. EVs still have the potential to be as green as everyone wants them to be, but presently their environmental track record could certainly use some assessment.

electric car

Are E-bikes A Sound Alternative?

Until engineers can find a more eco-friendly way to manufacture and dispose of EVs, there are other options to look into. Electric bikes (and regular bikes) both offer comparatively carbon emissive methods of transport, and use up far fewer resources than cars do, whether powered by gas or electricity.

Also known as e-bikes, electric bikes are a more accessible, environmentally compatible, and much more affordable alternative to EVs. Information on electric bike tips and tricks has been searched for millions of times online over the past year, and the growing interest around them can be perceived through their incredible 100% revenue growth in 2021 compared to 2020.

Whether two-wheeled or four-wheeled, it seems that electric transport is going to form a big part of the planet’s future. Let’s hope that improved methods of production are in the works and that carbon emissions can be reduced at every point, from manufacturing to use and eventual scrapping.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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