Are electric cars really helping to save the planet? Three arguments validated!

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It is important to distinguish the impact on climate from other aspects such as mining pollution. AFP confirmed three claims circulating on social media about electric vehicles.

Coal carts?

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An often-debated argument is that these electric cars will emit as much greenhouse gases as thermal cars, because the electricity they use is itself produced by power plants that use fossil fuels such as coal.

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But one of the states most dependent on coal for electricity, St. Louis, Missouri, a charged electric car produces an average of 247 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile (that is, about 154 grams). compared to 381 grams for a thermal tool.

The carbon footprint of an electric car depends on the region or country in which it is charged: it is higher in countries like Poland or Asian countries that generate most of their electricity from coal than in France, which is heavily dependent on nuclear. strength.

And when we take into account the entire life cycle for batteries, from raw material production to end-of-life recycling, internal combustion cars still emit far more CO2 than electric cars, a specialist organization International Council for Clean Transport (ICCT) has in a thick study.

dirty mining extraction

Battery manufacturing is an energy-intensive process because some components are extracted and raw materials must be transported around the world for assembly and sale. Recycling them is expensive.

According to a post shared on Facebook, 227 tons of soil will be excavated to extract the metals needed for a single electric car battery.

This estimate appears to come from an analysis published in 2020 by the Manhattan Institute, a climate skeptical research group.

But these numbers are misleading, according to several experts consulted by AFP. “This is a huge exaggeration,” said Peter Newman, professor of sustainability at Curtin University in Australia. According to him, it all depends on the reconnaissance zone and the type of battery.

Beyond the climate, mining has other negative effects: 70% of cobalt, one of the components of batteries, comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where, for example, children are exploited in mines.

Access to components also creates strategic supply issues, most of which come from China, according to the International Energy Agency.

However, oil drilling with significant environmental impact is not the better solution, according to ICCT researcher Georg Bieker.

UN climate experts (IPCC) recently concluded that the risk of global warming caused by greenhouse gases is much greater for humanity.

“In any event, it is clear that the social and environmental impact of global warming is catastrophic and far greater than battery mining,” says Bieker.

Risk of being stuck in the snow

After a blizzard in the US state of Virginia in January, people took to Facebook claiming that electric cars are at risk of malfunctioning in traffic, leaving passengers stranded inside without overheating and making car queues longer again.

Several fact-checking organizations tried to verify this claim and found no evidence for these claims.

The question of over-consumption of electric cars when cold is debated among experts, and some argue that internal combustion cars ultimately consume more because they need to keep the engine running to start the heating.

British magazine Which? tested the battery of an electric SUV by simulating a traffic jam situation in the summer with air conditioning, radio and light, as well as a connected tablet.

In these summer conditions (and certainly not winter), the testers only consumed 2% of the battery in a quarter of an hour, or the equivalent of 13km of autonomy.

Source From: Google News

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