Electric vehicles are not as eco-friendly as they seem
All that glitter is not gold when it comes to electric vehicles.

For years—from middle school to high school—I had my mind set on buying a Honda Civic. I didn’t crave a Ferrari, or Lamborghini, or Bugatti (I would’ve been happy with a Porsche though). I knew a small, slim car that would fit my needs was enough. And then I learned that insurance existed, and that there were increased rates for males, especially those who owned a Civic. Naturally, I concluded the obvious: “Yeah, I’ll pass on the Civic.” Then the Tesla arrived, the same slim look with a slicker logo. From H to T, from basic to luxury, from gasoline to electric. Plus, the Tesla brought with it a clean aesthetic, comfort, a noble, eco-friendly goal, and CEO who now owns Twitter—Elon Musk. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) work through a rechargeable electric battery. The battery supplies the energy needed to spin the motors attached to the wheels. A 15-minute charge drives a Tesla 320 kilometers. In their 2021 Impact Report, Tesla claimed to have saved 8.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Their goal is to remove fossil fuels from the car market and create a sustainable, renewable, and luxury car service. In the same report, Tesla reported that as of the end of 2021, they have generated over 25 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy through solar panels for its cars and have used less than an eighth of it. 

Another competing company, General Motors (GM), wants to completely rid their products of fossil fuel emissions. Their goal’s model revolves around the Ultium Platform, a sturdy, four-wheel undercarriage that functions as the battery. Their car creation process works with other renewable and environmentally friendly companies. Renewable energy, locally sourced minerals, and efficient and trustworthy battery producers are all in GM’s plans for their new products. We have more than enough renewable energy to spare as these companies attempt to reduce costs even further to battle fossil-fueled vehicles. 

According to Climate Scorecard, of the 250 million sports utility vehicles, cars, and light-duty trucks on the road in the United States, just one per cent of them are EV. If car producers shift to EVs, analysts project that by 2035, a quarter of new sales will be EV, making 13 per cent of all vehicles on the road electric. 

However, new technology and advances in engineering are working against the eco-friendly movement. Analysts predict that by 2050, 60 per cent of new sales will be electric but without policy changes, the roads will still be filled with gasoline cars. To achieve a zero-emission world, the sale of gasoline-run cars must end by 2035. 

There’s always the opposition. People believe that the creation of the lithium battery, a powerful and rechargeable battery found in EV cars, produces 74 per cent more carbon dioxide emissions than a gasoline car. I will not denounce the claim that the creation of EV batteries requires a lot of energy and carbon dioxide emissions. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the creation of one lithium battery equates to a gasoline car travelling about 4,000 kilometres. The mix and melts of metals required for the battery craves a heat over 800 degrees Celsius—a process primarily achieved through burning fossil fuels. The production of cars is neglected within advertisements that focus on eco-friendly products, but an EV car in the long run expresses a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel cars. 


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