New ideas tend to make people nervous at first. With electric cars being a fairly new idea, many people are still skeptical of them. If electric cars became mainstream, this would be a huge loss of business for fossil fuel companies and traditional auto-makers. Many of these companies spread misinformation to keep people from making the switch to electric cars.
Many of these myths contain a grain of truth to make them believable. We will look at the most common myths and try to determine what is true and what isn’t.
1. More CO2 is emitted during the production of electric cars than regular cars.
This is true: Studies have shown that electric car manufacturing does use significantly more energy than manufacturing a traditional car. Most of this difference lies in manufacturing the batteries. So yes it’s true that an electric car has higher emissions when it reaches the dealerships lot. But after that, your gas-powered vehicle will quickly catch up and ultimately pass the electric car in total emission.
2. Electric car batteries are a ticking environmental bomb.
This is false: Batteries for electric cars are mostly recyclable. Plus there is little chance that they will simply be thrown into landfills. It’s not like burning fossil fuels didn’t produce huge environmental consequences over the last 150 years.
3. Electric cars increase the total number of cars on the road.
This is false: Most people who purchase electric cars do so replace their gas-powered car. According to statistical data, around one third of electric car owners say their electric car is the sole means of transportation. There are probably rare cases when a family puchases an electric car as an additional vehicle, but most of the time, the total number of vehicles in a household remains unchanged.
4. Making electric car batteries harms the environment.
This is partly true and partly false: Production of lithium ion batteries does require the mining of raw materials. And any type of mining is usually not friendly to the environment. But let’s not forget that internal combustion engines need fossil fuels to operate. Oil extraction results in huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
5. Electric car batteries have a short life span and are expensive to replace.
This is false: One of Nissan lease deals, the Nissan LEAF, have 75% of their battery capacity after driving 120,00 miles. Data for Tesla’s show a 5% capacity loss during the initial 50,000 miles but only a 5% additional loss over the next 150,000 miles.
When it comes to battery replacement, you can replace jus the needed portions without changing the whole battery pack. Regular engines also don’t last forever and they also aren’t cheap to replace.
6. Electric Cars Will Put Excessive Strain On The Electrical Grid
This is false: Most people charge their electric cars at home using 3.2 kW of power. This equals to around 16 amps, which is less than your stove or electric dryer. Norway did a study which estimated it would have around 1.5 million electric cars by 2030 and the needed electricity to charge them will increase electricity demand by just 3%.
7. Electric cars don’t lower pollution, they move it from one place to another.
This is partly true and partly false: The biggest hit against electric cars is that they consume electricity that was generated by burning coal. In other words, they are simply moving the polution from cities to suburbs where electricity generating stations are located.
But such critics neglect to mention that renewable energy is quickly making coal-fired plants obsolete since they are too expensive to maintain and operate. They also forget to mention that electric cars are a lot more efficient than a gas-powered car which results in less total carbon emission regarless of where the electric plants are located.
So while electric cars do shift emissions around, usually from a jammed city with a smog issue to a place outside the city. Electric car emissions in total are between 25% and 65% lower when compared to a conventional car.
Hopefully this is everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask regarding electric cars. Of course electric cars do their part in contributing to the global carbon emission. Practically every human activity does. But as energy production gets more efficient and battery recycling gets more developed, the impact from electric cars will be greatly reduced.