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Electric Cars: Are they Really Eco-Friendly?

Electric cars have long been feted as the answer to the world’s vehicular-related pollution problems. They don’t run on petrol, therefore they don’t produce as many harmful emissions, or contribute to the ongoing depletion of the world’s natural gas resources. Most of the people who drive electric cars believe that they are therefore contributing positively towards environmentalism. But how environmentally friendly are electric cars in reality?

Cause for Concern

There are actually two main causes for concern when it comes to electric cars, with regards to how eco-friendly they are. The first is how both the car and its battery are manufactured. The second is how the electricity on which they run is actually generated. Some scientists have actually uncovered evidence that would point towards electric cars not only being no better for the environment than petrol or diesel cars, but in some cases actually worse for the environment. The impact that electric cars have seems to rise significantly if their electrical power is produced using coal.

Energy Intensive Production

Nevertheless, it is possible to power an electric car using renewable energy. The really worrying aspect of electric cars seems to lie in their production. Electric cars are currently manufactured in what’s known as an energy intensive environment, due to the specifics and quantities of raw materials and power that are required. It is here that the greatest impact on the environment is felt, and it is also the hardest for consumers to recognise, which means that it potentially has the least impact upon consumer behaviour.

Financial Motivations

One thing that does have an impact upon consumer behaviour is money. Most car purchases are financially driven – people buy new cars because they want something that will last, or used cars because they’re looking for a quick deal. They go to companies like Axa in order to get the best insurance deals, and they also buy cars which are known to get good mileage. It is here, if anywhere, that electric cars have the potential to outstrip petrol cars in terms of sustainability. Right now, electric cars aren’t known for getting good mileage. But this will most likely change in the future, meaning that electric cars will be able to run for longer without consuming any additional power and will be able to make better use of renewable energy. When this happens, electric cars will truly be the sustainable vehicles we need them to be.

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