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Electric Vehicles Impact on Environment

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's no doubt that the environmental issues are a big concern, but I see even more on the financial side. With the tax incentives depleted, and the resale low....and most owners who have one now will not buy a second one. (According a national report) I only see failure for the electric car industry.


We will need new forms of energy, electric, solar, wind, and wave are all good choices. Fossil fuel can't last forever... In the last 100 years or so the world has become dependent on oil, and I think these attempts with today's technology are just stepping stones to the future.


Until the day comes that the cost and maintenance on the electric vehicle becomes as common and cost effective as the combustion engine I really don't see anything else but failure for the electric car. Early attempts of electric vehicles never worked either... maybe we are just taking baby steps to the eventual transportation needs... but...a form of the electric vehicle probably IS still the eventual future of the transportation issues.


Now - not - later ... before we make a bigger mess out of world... I hope the engineers and environmentalist work on the production AND the recycling of the materials in these cars. Depleting and making a bigger mess out of the ONLY world we have is nothing I want to leave to the next generation to fix. It's something to think about before we rush out there with that "tree hugger" attitude.... just to save a buck at the pump.


Study Highlights Environmental Concerns for Electric Vehicles


According to a recent study, electric cars, which are often perceived to have much less of an environmental impact than conventional fossil fuel-powered cars, do in fact present some serious environmental concerns over their lifetime, especially due to the materials and methods used during their production. Compared to conventional vehicles, which normally experience 10 percent of their life-cycle global warming potential (GWP) during the production phase, electric vehicles experience nearly 50 percent of their lifetime GWP potential during that same phase. Manufacturing electric engines and batteries, which contain heavy metals that produce toxic byproducts, is far more environmentally exhaustive than producing conventional vehicle components. Clearly, the lower emissions produced by electric cars make up for the high level of global warming potential generated up front, but, according to the study, not enough to declare them significantly more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles. In fact, diesel-powered conventional vehicles were shown in some cases to actually have a lower lifetime environmental impact than electric cars.


The study discusses the concept of "problem-shifting," which it argues applies to electric vehicles because they reduce emissions on the road while failing to reduce levels at the factory stage, resulting in only a slight reduction in total emissions generated. In addition, the fact that electric engines and batteries contain higher levels of scarce metals means that the potential for widespread metal depletion is a legitimate concern as well.


The study, entitled, "Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles," was published on Oct. 4 in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.


Source: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association news

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