How green are electric cars?
One of the main advantages of electric cars is that they are better for the environment than fuel cars. However, this does not mean that they have no environmental impact at all. You need to take everything into consideration, from the manufacturing process, to the end of their life cycle, in order to determine how green electric cars really are.
How environmentally friendly are electric cars?
Electric cars produce zero emissions. They are powered by electricity which means they do not release harmful CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, unlike gas powered cars. This makes them much better for the environment than petrol and diesel cars, and can help significantly reduce the amount of pollution produced by vehicles on the road.
However, this does not take into consideration how electric cars are made. Although the car itself does not produce carbon emissions, the factories where they are manufactured do. This is an avoidable by-product of making new cars, which is why second hand vehicles are often considered more environmentally friendly.
You also need to think about the battery. This revolutionary technology is what makes electric vehicles more eco-friendly, but where is it manufactured? Often it's abroad in the likes of China and Japan, which means transporting electric car batteries to the likes of Europe will produce carbon emissions, versus making the batteries locally.>
Lastly, you need to think of where the electricity to charge electric cars is coming from. Typically, it's directly from the power grid which often relies on fossil fuels. In order to reduce the environmental impact of electric cars, this electricity will need to come from a cleaner energy source like solar power in the future.
However, these changes are possible. Electric cars are only going to grow in popularity, and with higher demand, comes more opportunity for innovation. It will only be a matter of time before more factories open locally to manufacture electric cars, and as a society, we’re always looking for more clean energy solutions.
Until then, there are a few things you can do as a consumer, to help minimise the environmental impact of electric cars.
How to reduce your electric car’s impact on the environment
If you’ve made the switch to an electric car then you may already be environmentally conscious. Therefore, you'll be happy to know that there are a few things you can do to help reduce the carbon footprint of an electric car:
- Buy a second hand electric car - If you buy a used electric car then you are removing the need for the manufacturing stage altogether, which means less CO2 emissions produced from factories. It’s also always better to shop sustainably and buy second hand as you are using materials already made, rather than contributing to over consumption. Just make sure to purchase from a trusted dealer by browsing our approved MG used cars for example.
- Recycle electric car batteries - Electric car batteries last between 10 - 20 years. You will not have to replace them often, but when the time does come, it’s imperative that you don’t throw them away and instead recycle them. From reusing the materials, to being used for power storage, there are a number of other ways electric car batteries can be used to prevent them from going to waste.
- Use sustainable energy to charge your electric car - Electric cars can be much better for the environment if you use a sustainable energy source like solar power, wind power, or hydro power to charge your car. However, if you rely on electricity produced from power plants then you are still contributing to air pollution, even though the car itself is not producing CO2 emissions. Therefore, it's best to know where your electricity is coming from, and how your electric vehicle is being charged, in order to know if it's truly eco-friendly.
- Use vehicle to load charging to power other home devices - If you don’t have access to sustainable energy sources then vehicle to load charging is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint. Using an adapter, you simply connect your electric car battery to a household device to power it. This is a great, clean energy source that doesn't rely on fossil fuels. It’s also a great way to save money as it's cheaper to use the electricity from your car, rather than the power grid.
- Maintain your electric car with spare parts, rather than buying new - We are often quick to discard old, run down things rather than giving them a little TLC. If your electric car is looking a little worse for wear then you should look to mend it with spare parts to make it look brand new again, rather than buying a new car. This not only promotes recycling, but helps to extend the lifespan of an electric car to reduce the amount of pollution produced by manufacturing.
So, how green are electric cars?
Electric cars are currently the most environmentally friendly option for drivers. They are a great solution to reducing the amount of CO2 emissions produced by cars. However, they are not 100% green due to the nature of manufacturing. But there are small things we can do like recycling, reusing and turning to sustainable energy sources to help make electric cars as green as possible.
Read our guide on how to switch to an electric car to start reducing your carbon footprint today!