Now there’s something you would have never thought about: electric cars polluting more than regular gasoline ones (?!). This is not good news, at least not after all this talk about going green and saving the environment with cars running on batteries.
A new study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville demonstrates how electric cars in China actually damage more by taking their electricity from the grid, electricity that uses 85% fossil fuels to produce (aham… where does the U.S. take 46% of the energy from?).
You’ve got to admit that it makes sense, it’s just that very few people have thought about it: you need to come up with electricity from renewable sources as well if you want to stay “green” all the way. If not, you get what 34 major Chinese cities got when using 5 different vehicle technologies: air and land pollution (with acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles).
So, if anywhere on the planet the situation is similar to China – 85% of the fossil fuel energy coming from coal – then you’ve got a problem. Fine particles (particulate emissions) will be generated at a much higher rate than gasoline cars do (how about diesels?). The good part is that, at least, the power plants are usually located outside of cities and the population is somewhat protected, although not entirely. Still, the pollution doesn’t go away by itself!
Of course, you have to consider the fact that the study is focused on the situation in China and doesn’t reflect the EVs’ impact all around the world. However, it does make a good point. The solution is to fuel cars with electricity from renewable resources (and this is no big news to anyone), like the sun and the wind.
On the other hand, China is making huge progresses in this area by investing in solar power, wind and hydro, so the news might not be news anymore a few years from now. After all, they’re producing electric cars not to increase pollution, but to decrease it, and I’m sure they considered the aspect of the source of their energy, too.