Electric vehicles are the future of driving. The big names in car manufacturing are all determined to become Tesla’s tough competition, by offering better car financing terms – even to people with challenged credit situations. One of the newest to enter the market is the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV and it’s going to be released soon.
Porsche has been flexing its muscles for the new concept Mission E Cross Turismo which resembles a Panamera with some SUV details on it. GM and Ford for instance plan to release 34 fully electric car models in the next 5 years.
Adding to the hype are cities and countries who are thinking about banning cars that are powered by the normal internal combustion engines.
- Norway (2025)
- India (2030)
- UK and France (2040)
And the largest car market of the world, China, is also considering the idea. In the meantime, they put in place some stringent environmental standards which are seen as one of the most stringent in the planet.
These changes are all aimed at environmental protection. Pollutants that make urban areas unhealthy and gross mostly come from emissions that these cars leave in the air not to mention the carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change that is not being experienced on a global scale.
The target is to make people drive cars that are powered by electric motors, the type which doesn’t have any exhaust pipe and produce no emissions at all. But the electricity that’s needed to charge these cars needs to come from somewhere that’s green, a source that does not require burning coal to produce electricity.
A group called Union Concerned Scientists has conducted a survey to find out the latest numbers in the quest to find answers. The results they were able to obtain revealed that it depends on where you live and drive in the US but generally, the battery boosters were able to easily breathe.
Overall in the US, electric vehicles are way much cleaner than those that run on gasoline. Even when the emissions from natural coal and gas used to produce electricity are taken into account, the former is still the cleaner choice. As the electric grid moves away from dirty sources of fuel, the gap is not starting to widen. The study looked into emissions that are not related to driving and considered the entirety of the supply chain which is needed to make cars work.
For those who are using gas powered cars, the study included the emissions that were produced in the process of taking crude oil from different sources. For the electric guys, the Union of Concerned Scientists used data from EPA on emissions produced by power plants including the cost of mining coal and its impact on the environment. Since different parts of the country actually produce electricity in different ways, the results varied depending on the region.
To put things on a common scale, the researchers converted every calculation in the miles per gallon format which is the most familiar one. Electric cars in the state of California are doing the same damage to the environment as a gas-powered car that runs up to 109 miles per gallon and it would drop to 60 miles per gallon in Texas. In the country’s center like Missouri and Illinois, it’s only 39 miles per gallon. Under this system, electric cars around the country is going to produce the same amount of emission as gas-powered cars that can get to 80 miles per gallon and that makes them a lot cleaner than what average regular cars would emit hovering around 28 miles per gallon.
The Union of Concerned Scientists in 2009 has started running the figures and found that an electric car in California would run only 78 miles per gallon. In the states of Colorado and Kansas, they would run only 35 mpg – at present, these areas have reached a higher mark at 46 mpg and it’s credited to the country’s action of shifting away from coal which made half of the country’s electricity in the same year.
Nowadays, coal only contributes a third of and renewables are giving as much as 10 percent to the nation’s electric generation. Even those used EVs that are out there are becoming cleaner as time passes – something which is not possible with cars that run on gas.
The figures in the global picture are not so clear yet but the principles that apply to the EVs in the US will also apply in other countries. If the energy that is used is produced from coal which is true in countries like Russia, India, and China then driving an electric-powered car won’t bring that much benefits. Norway is on the other side of the picture with over 98% of their energy already generated by renewable sources.
If you live in a country that primarily uses coal but you want your habit of using electricity to make a bigger difference, you can consider installing a solar panel on your car’s rooftop. Solar roof tiles are available at Tesla along with solar home battery storage for renewable energy solutions. Clearly, America is moving towards cleaner driving habits starting from generation towards acceleration.