Several researches have been carried out with findings that electric cars are better for the environment. This is because electric vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants than petrol and diesel cars.
A battery-powered vehicle does not pollute while driving, but the electricity consumed during its manufacture and related to the materials used can be sources of pollution. The good news is that the impact on the environment will decrease progressively. According to European legislation, by 2020 at least 40% of electricity production will come from renewable energy sources, as a result of which the indirect emissions of an electric car will be just over 3 kilograms of CO2 on average for every 100 kilometers.
Curbing climate change and ending tailpipe pollution is, of course, good news for everyone but especially for those in frontline communities, who are disproportionately affected. The litany of disruptive, dangerous, and costly climate impacts—from extreme storms to sea level rise—are already underway and threaten to get far worse. The EV revolution is fundamental to charting a different kind of climate future.
Many governments have announced climate change mitigation commitments that include national or regional commitments to reduce their carbon emissions in the 2025–2035 timeframe. These commitments tend not to have detailed sector-specific, technology-specific commitments. However, the underlying planning efforts and national actions do tend to be linked with a major transformation in the transport sector toward advanced efficiency technology with a shift to lower-carbon energy sources.
If the globe opts for electric vehicles, then the benefits will increase drastically from over 125 million tons of CO2 per year in 2030 to over 1.5 billion tons of CO2 per year in 2050. The carbon mitigation would result from more electric vehicles entering the fleet while lower-carbon energy sources become widely available. Electric vehicle technology allows the global fleet to achieve approximately 40% lower carbon emissions than a highly efficient conventional combustion fleet (and 70% lower carbon than a business-as-usual fleet) in 2050. Matching the earlier projected electric vehicle deployment, electric vehicle climate benefits will initially be highest in European nations and in select United States regions. Over the long term, potential electric vehicle climate benefits are greatest in China and other emerging automobile markets.
When we compare driving on electricity versus gasoline, we consider the global warming emissions that occur in producing and using those fuels. For a fully-electric EV, that means:
- Emissions that result from raw-material extraction, such as coal mining and natural gas drilling;
- Emissions from delivering these fuels to power plants;
- Emissions from burning those fuels in power plants to generate electricity;
- Electricity losses that occur during distribution from power plants to the point where the electric vehicle is plugged in; and
- The efficiency of the vehicle in using electricity.
Similarly, emissions from comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles address emissions that result from:
- Oil extraction at the well;
- Transporting crude oil to a refinery;
- Refining oil into gasoline;
- Delivering fuel to gas stations; and
- Combusting fuel in the vehicle’s engine.
i) Nic Lutsey (2015) GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION POTENTIAL FROM A TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES