The recent advent in Electric Vehicles is one of the most revolutionising aspect that the Automobile Industry has ever seen. As Internal Combustion Engines changed the Automobile Industry for ever something similar is happening now. Automobile Industry will never be the same ever. The Future is Electrifying.
As all Automobile manufacturers are racing against each other to launch newer and better models of their latest electric cars. A question comes to our mind Are these Electric vehicles really good for the Environment. Green, Zero Emission, Environment Friendly these are some of the keywords that are used to promote and fuel the Marketing Strategies of Electric Vehicles.
All leading Automobile Manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon of Electric Vehicles. In this Article we will try to figure out how Green these Electric Vehicles really are.
There is no doubt in the fact that Electric Vehicles have the following advantages:
Do Not produce any Tail Pipe Emission,
Much quieter than Petrol or Diesel Engine vehicles
No Engine Oil is used in Electric Vehicles that needs to be changed periodically
If the EV is being charged at a Power Station that is being powered by a renewable resource of energy for e.g Hydro Electric Power Plant than it has minimal negative impact on the Environment.
On the other hand EV Production and Maintenance is not totally Green.
The problem arises when the EV is charged from a power station that is using electricity coming from a Non- Renewable Resource of Energy for e.g Thermal Power Plant where coal is burnt to produce electricity.
The Major Problem comes when elements like Nickel, Lithium, Cobalt which are the main ingredients for manufacturing a battery are extracted from mines. And Mining produces a lot of Green house Gases like CO2. The Environmental damage for Battery Production is worse as compared to Internal Combustion Engine. Therefore the Initial Carbon Footprints are more for EV as Compared to Gas Vehicles.
By 2030 over 125 Million Electric Vehicles will be produced, And the Battery plays the Major Role in the Production of EV. The bigger the battery more is the amount of Lithium that needs to be mined. For manufacturing an EV it produces Green House Gas CO2 in the range of 2 to 17 Metric Tons depending upon the size of the battery. On the other hand Manufacturing an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle produces 7 Metric Tons CO2.
In countries like Argentina where lithium is found in abundance the Mining of Lithium has led to the depletion of their water resources. To produce 1 Ton of Lithium 750 Tons of Brine is required to be extracted. Another issue in manufacturing of lithium – Ion batteries is more of ethical. Cobalt which is another element required for manufacturing batteries is extracted from some mines in Africa where Child Labour is very much prevalent.
Another Issue with Batteries is their Recycling: The scale at which the batteries now need to be recycled is huge and the Infrastructure is being scaled up. Storage and recycling of batteries have led to some freak Fire Accidents ranging from Minor to some Major Incidents.
To Conclude there are a few statements that need to be made. Firstly Modern EV Production is in its initial stages so it might need some time to make the processes better and efficient. Overall as of now production of EV is not that Environment Friendly (because of the batteries) as compared to ICE vehicles but in the long run EV is much more Environment Friendly.