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electric cars, climate change

How much impact do electric cars really have on tackling climate change?

Studies in regard to climate change have indicated that electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly. They produce less air pollution and greenhouse emissions than automobiles that run on petrol or diesel. Additionally, this accounts for the energy they produce to run, which is their output.

Using electric vehicles (EVs) is crucial to achieving the world’s climate change targets. They play a significant role in mitigation paths that keep warming far below 2C or 1.5C, in accordance with the objectives set forth in the Paris Agreement.

EVs don’t directly cause greenhouse gas emissions, but in many parts of the world, the power they consume to run is still mostly derived from fossil fuels. Additionally, energy is required for the vehicle’s manufacturing, namely for the battery.

Governments and automakers are promoting electric vehicles globally as a critical technology to reduce oil use and combat climate change. General Motors has stated that it plans to switch to battery-powered vehicles by 2035 and cease selling new gasoline-powered automobiles and light trucks. Volvo said this week that it will accelerate its pace and launch an all-electric portfolio by 2030.

Although most experts concur that plug-in cars are a greener alternative than conventional cars, their manufacturing and charging processes can still have an influence on the environment. This is a guide to some of the most common concerns and possible solutions.

There exist significant uncertainty regarding the emissions linked to the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles, as diverse research yield wildly disparate figures. The advantages of electric cars for the environment may be more significantly impacted by battery production emissions as vehicle manufacturers begin to include bigger batteries with longer driving ranges and as battery prices continue to decline.

The power utilised in the production of batteries accounts for around half of the emissions from battery production. Battery emissions may be significantly decreased by producing batteries in areas with electricity that is comparatively low-carbon or in facilities that are run on renewable energy, as will be the case with the batteries used in the wildly popular Tesla Model 3.

A lithium-ion battery pack, which accounts for about one-third of the vehicle’s weight, is dragged along by a standard 200-mile electric car. The battery pack’s case, structural components, and liquid electrolyte—which transports electrons to charge and discharge the battery—make up a large portion of its weight.

However, according to Transport and Environment, a voluntary organisation that promotes greener transportation, around 353 pounds include essential minerals or metals, such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, graphite, aluminium, and copper. According to MIT, an electric car needs six times more minerals than a conventional vehicle, excluding steel and aluminium.

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