Are Electric Vehicles green actually?

Michikazu Kitaoka, Japan

Now, we are facing global warming. Many countries, especially developed countries, are trying to reduce CO2 emissions. At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. To achieve lowering 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, they are taking actions in some way. It is said switching gasoline-driven cars to electric vehicles is one of the most efficient actions. They do not need gasoline to drive, so some researchers predict it is going to save amount of emissions. Some countries have already released banning sales of gasoline cars actually. Norway is going to prohibit them by 2025, India 2030, the UK and France 2040.

Electric vehicles have some advantages. As I mentioned before, there is no CO2 emissions to drive. In United States, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas.

On the other hand, some people say they have bad effects for environment. Electric vehicles use electricity for driving, and we emit CO2 to generate it. How they are generated is really important. For example, in China, the biggest energy of generation is coal which emits lots of CO2 emissions. According to researchers, for environment, electric vehicles are less effective than gasoline cars in China. In addition to resource of generation, electric vehicles emit more than gasoline cars in manufacturing process. According to a research, manufacturing a mid-sized EV results in about 15% more emissions than manufacturing an equivalent gasoline vehicle. For larger, the manufacturing emissions can be as much as 68% higher.

Electric vehicles could be ‘earth savior’ in a way of emissions reduction. They have some proved advantages and people seem to be excited to this solution. However, I feel people are in blind to disadvantages of electric vehicles. There is possibility make the situation worse because of the electric vehicles. It depends on the resource of generation or manufacturing process. Now it is time to think about how they are green actually.

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