The Environment

Why are Electric Cars Good for the Environment?

What gives?

Every one is getting excited about electric cars nowadays, but why are they they better for the environment than any normal car, the obvious answer would be it is because the run on electricity which is nice and clean, but it is not as simple as that.

Where does the electricity to charge eclectic cars come from?

Plug you electric car in to the mains and charge it up, soooooo much cleaner than using petrol or diesel. But wait, how do you make electricity?

green tariff The pie chart to the left shows how the grid is "filled" in the UK,  71% comes from fossil fuels, and a further  26% from nuclear, so when you charge your car up from the mains you are using 97% non-renewable resources to power it, not much better than a normal car, although 3% better is still 3%.

An option here is to use a green tariff for your electricity supply which will lower the carbon intensity of your electricity supply. Then you can really feel smug driving your electric car.

Building a Battery

Electric cars as with hybrid cars have whacking great battery in them, which is made of metals such as zinc or perhaps even lithium. These metals may come from recycled batteries from other cars, or perhaps forklifts, or wheel chairs, but any growth in the eclectric vehicle market will have to be met from virgin materials.

So when you buy an electric cars some where a mine and a smelting facility are working 24-7 to make new materials for your battery. These batteries end up have a huge carbon foot print, but hopefully in use the electric car will make up for this, being powered by clean green renewable electricity.

So should I buy an Electric Car?

Electric cars are still unsuitable for long journeys, if you travel more than 150 miles a day it will not be a good idea for you. In London an electric car can be a real bonus as they are exempt from paying the congestion charge. They are also free from road tax.

The real bonus is cost per mile, with 45 miles costing you around £10 in a relatively fuel efficient petrol / diesel car, and overnight charge for a car such as a gee whiz, will cost a fraction of this, saving you mega bucks over the course of a year.

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