Are electric vehicles really that green?

Basic facts about electric vehicles to answer questions often asked by people new to Battery Electric Vehicles
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Are electric vehicles really that green?

Postby timpootle » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:32 pm

As all things in life there is not a golden bullet for a problem. The key factor with how green an electric vehicle is depends on the source of the electricity that is used to charge the batteries.

If the electricity is obtained from a coal fired power station
then this will still produce greenhouse gases like CO2 and use precious natural resources. However, the power station and the distribution process is still more efficient than internal combustion engines (the normal working assumption is that electric vehicles
produces 30-50% of the CO2 the internal combustion engines does).

If the electricity is obtained from renewable resources (such as
wind, sun or wave) then the CO2 produced per mile is zero. (as a working assumption the energy used to produce the vehicle and batteries can be considered similar to a normal car).

One of the main advantages of electric vehicles is that renewable power stations can be built and taken advantage of relatively quickly (e.g. 5 years), rather than waiting for the production of a new efficient car and everyone to adopt it (e.g. 10-15 years)

The only real solution to green travel is to walk or cycle.
Tim Crumpton

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