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Are Electric Cars Really Better For The Environment?

Auto Pollution

So gas-powered vehicles are still bad for the environment, and electric cars depend on equally dirty energy sources… so what’s an eco-minded commuter to do?

If you’ve been dreaming of an electric car, here are some reasons why they’re still better for the environment that conventional vehicles:

  1. Electric vehicles have no tailpipe, which means they produce less methane, nitrous oxide, and assorted other greenhouse gases than their gas-powered counterparts. The one exception: sulfur dioxide, which is produced by coal combustion and can lead to acid rain.
  2. In cities, exhaust from millions of combustion engines combine to produce local adverse effects on the health of car users and all innocent bystanders. Driving an electric car or even a plug-in hybrid can reduce this drastically.
  3. Buying an electric vehicle sends an important, monetary message to car manufacturers: we don’t want Hummers or SUVs, we want efficient cars that tread lightly on the planet.

If you want to take your activism a step further, use this nifty ZIP-code tool to determine how much of your electricity is coal or nuclear-generated. If you don’t like what you find out, take action to demand that your utility increase its use of renewable energy.

This is the second in a weekly series of Care2 posts about alternative fuels and vehicles in honor of Earth Day! Stay tuned for the next installment.

Also Check Out:
How Electric Vehicles Work
Car Rental Companies Will Offer Electric Vehicles In 2011
Washington Builds First Electric Vehicle-Friendly Highway
12 Myths About Electric Vehicles

Image Credit: Flickr – Simone Ramella

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Green, Life, Technology, Transportation, , , , , , , , ,

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


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5:38AM PDT on Jul 31, 2015

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12:33AM PDT on Jun 24, 2015

Firstly I looked at this blog I never even imagined that how much I will pay attention towards this writing, guys your writer is a great men!

2:29AM PST on Jan 21, 2015

Live long and prosper!

2:08AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

TY! I agreed I think the same!

9:09PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Truncated! . . .
Finally, I am betting that Faye S. has never driven an EV. It was 3F this morning and my EV ran perfectly. My friends with gas engines could not start their cars . . .

9:08PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

There are a lot of missed points and misleading info in this article. For example:
1) comparing a gas-miserly Corolla to a Tesla Roadster EV (a $100,000+ high performance sports car) is idiotic. Similarly, you would not compare a Porsche to a Leaf. If you compare a Corolla to a Leaf, you would find that - even with coal-produced electricity - the efficiency of an EV (mine gets 119 MPGe) and the fact that central production of power is more efficient than millions of small gas engines makes the EV comparable to a gas engine at worst, and potentially far better.
3) Any electric item, be it a home, car, or lawnmower, offers the FLEXIBILITY to clean up the energy source in the future. A gas-powered engine allows NO flexibility. For example, if your local coal plants are phased out for natural gas (which is occurring across the country), if you install solar panels, or if you decide to purchase power from a supplier that provides electricity from wind/solar/hydro sources, your EV becomes MUCH cleaner. Your gas guzzler does not.
3) Environmental considerations aside, EVs are awesome machines that accelerate and handle beautifully, are quiet, and are simply fun to drive! They also require almost no maintenance (brake pads and rotating tires). They are worth getting for these aspects, alone. Its also fun to thumb your nose at the gas stations as you drive by.
Finally, I am betting that Faye S. has never driven an EV. It was 3F this morning and my EV ran perfectly. My friends w

3:08PM PST on Dec 24, 2012

Thanks Beth!

6:45PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Find car care solutions that will help keep your vehicle in great shape for a long time. Find car service solutions offered by a reliable company that offers convenient service schedule options that will be convenient for you. These car maintenance options cover cleaning services, as well as repair services for various parts of your vehicle's engine.

7:10AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

I like to think that I research issues thoroughly so I am embarassed to admit I never thought to consider the connection of increased electric car use to an increase in coal use! We just can't let go of our beloved fossil fuels, can we?!

5:56PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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