Are Electric Cars Really Green?
First, there’s the energy needed to produce the car. More than a third of the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car comes from the energy used make the car itself, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is not a green activity. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it’s already been responsible for more than 25,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: just 16,000 pounds.
But that’s not the end of the CO2 emissions. Because while it’s true that electric cars don’t run on gasoline, they do run on electricity, which, in the U.S. is often produced by another fossil fuel – coal. As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, “Electric cars are coal-powered cars.”
While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, the reality is that the electric car cuts almost no CO2, costs taxpayers a fortune, and, surprisingly, generates more air pollution than traditional gasoline cars.