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Cars and Global Warming: Are Electric Cars Actually Worse for the Environment?

Image: Cars and Global Warming: Are Electric Cars Actually Worse for the Environment?
Under the hood of an electric car. (Alisonh29/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 09:24 AM

Electric cars aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when it comes to green technology. Global warming and environmental activists still hope that improvements will be made in the future so the cars can provide clean energy.

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Currently, many electric cars get their electricity from coal-burning power plants. When this happens, the cars produce more pollution from the source that can lead to 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, according to a study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study also found that electric cars worsen global warming effects because they cause more releases of carbon dioxide than other cars.

The main problem is caused by coal-fired power plants. Coal is responsible for producing 39 percent of the nation’s electricity, according to the Department of Energy. Electric vehicles cause 86 percent more deaths from air pollution than gas-powered vehicles, the study also revealed.

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However, electric cars produce half as much pollutants into the air as gas-powered vehicles if the power source comes from natural gas. Power from wind, water or wave energy sources would cause about a quarter of air pollution deaths as gas-powered cars.

A study at North Carolina University found that electric vehicles wouldn’t significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions even from a sharp increase in their use by 2050. These gas emissions are a main cause of global warming. The study concluded that increase in the use of electric vehicles in America “is not an effective way to produce large emissions reductions.”

The process used in building the cars emits larger amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants than does the process in producing traditional cars, according to the study. Collecting and shipping raw materials for the batteries to production locations can also cause environmental damage.

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A Norwegian study found that the process in manufacturing electric cars might cause twice as much harmful greenhouse gas emissions as production for conventional cars.

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Electric cars aren't all they're cracked up to be when it comes to green technology. Global warming and environmental activists still hope that improvements will be made in the future so the cars can provide clean energy.
cars, global warming, electric cars
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2015-24-22
Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 09:24 AM
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