Electric Car Environmental Issue
2011 CHEVY VOLT FUEL ECONOMY
The 2011 Chevy VOLT fuel economy is officially released. A full charge will last 4 hours on only electric, and is equivalent to 93 MPG. This is calculated by how far the vehicle can go on the electrical energy equivalent to a gallon of gasoline. Using gas only though, the VOLT gets about 37 MPG. Combining both he MPGe and MPG this vehicle will get approximately 60 MPG a grade above anything else on the market.
I am Joseph Greca. Team Mongoose.
Are EVs really any better for the environment than gas-guzzling cars?
49.7% of the United States electricity is produced by burning coal. When you do the math, in some places such as Wyoming, North Dakota, and West Virginia, you find that to generate the amount of electricity needed to travel 100 miles in a tesla roadster one emits only a few pounds less of carbon dioxide than if they were riding in a 2006 Toyota Corolla. However in places in the country where power is generated by hydro or nuclear power the carbon dioxide emissions of an EV are much less than a car powered by gas. EVs do produce much less methane, nitrous oxide, and assorted other greenhouse gases than a regular gas powered car. However since some of their power is coming from coal, the sulfure dioxide, which helps produce acid rain, produced by coal plants must be factored into their environmental effects. Cars running on gas do not produce sulfur dioxide. There is also some question as to how environmentally friendly the large batteries are, and how best to recycle them. In the end, depending on what type of power plant produces your power, it may be more environmentally friendly to purchase a more fuel efficient gas powered car than an EV
By: David Patzer
Team Zlaka: Electric cars have a greater environmental impact beyond their emissions. Since, electric cars use half of the components as a regular gasoline powered vehicle. This will greatly reduce the number of parts that end up in a landfill. Also, an electric vehicle will not need any engine oil like a typical gasoline powered vehicle, which means that there is a less chance for oil to leak into a water source. To read more check out the following link: http://library.thinkquest.org/ 20463/environment.html
While electric cars emit less pollution, they are also more efficient. While normal Internal Combustion Engines use about 20% of the possible energy from gasoline, Electric Motors are able to use 75% of the chemical energy from the batteries and convert it into energy to power the car. However, the battery can take up to 20 hours to fully charge, and the distance you can travel on a full charge varies greatly. For instance, Nissan's Leaf is said to have a range 100 miles, but EPA testing lasted only 73 miles. However, the Tesla Roadster claims it can go 256 mile on a full charge.
Environmental Impacts on Air Pollution
Based on a study done in China, it was found that the electric vehicle is actually more harmful to the environment than a regular combustion engine. This is because the electricity is produced by a power plant, which produces more emissions than a combustion engine. "They found that the electricity generated to power electric cars caused more particulate matter pollution than that caused by an equivalent number of petrol driven vehicles." Particulate Matter is bad for human health because it reduces lung capacity, and causes damage to the lungs by getting caught in the mucus lining. It causes diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and black lung.
Benefits of Electric Cars by Region
A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists states that the environmental impact of electric vehicles varies widely depending on where the vehicles are deployed. This is due to the fact that different regions of the United States employ different methods of generating electricity.
For example, charging an EV in California, New York, and parts of the north west will yield global warming emissions that are equivalent to 70 mpg. On the other hand, an EV charged in Florida or Texas will yield global warming emissions equivalent to 46 mpg, which is around the same mileage that many hybrids get. Thus, charging an EV in those states would be as environmentally friendly as getting a hybrid.
Submitted by Chuck Rosales of Team Totes
Environmental Issues of Electric Car Batteries
No one can doubt the environmental benefits of driving an electric car, but one issue that has started to concern environmentalists is the proper disposal and management of the electric car batteries at the end of their lifespan. Some people believe the best way of handling the batteries is recycling them, but others feel that repurposing the batteries is a better approach.
When recycling the batteries, a method called urban mining is used. This process extracts the valuable metals from the depleted battery packs. The remainder of the battery is then recycled. With stricter laws now in effect, battery pack management is legally enforceable against the carmaker, regardless of who manufactures the battery packs. These laws include a whole host of penalties, fines, and legal action should these batteries end up in landfills.
However, because of cost and profit factors, the urgency of recycling has been held back. There are also complications in managing these depleted batteries as they are much larger compared to current batteries. Additionally, even depleted battery packs carry electrical charge and when mishandled, can cause fire or shock to individuals. It is now up to the carmakers and governments to provide an infrastructrue for the proper waste management of these batteries.
By: Daniel Guy
Think About This:
For many years, we have been debating whether or not electric cars are really cleaner than ones that run on fossil fuels. We already know that electricity is only as clean as its source and how we need an environmentally-friendly method of dealing with depleted car batteries. However, there is one more critical angle we must address here: the manufacturing of these new electric cars. The website "carbusters.org" asserts that "a car causes more pollution before it's ever driven than in it's entire lifetime of use". This may be the case for all cars from gas-guzzling SUVs to the greenest of EVs. First of all, the production of the steel, copper, and aluminum components releases large amounts of suflur dioxide and other acidic gases into our air. Meanwhile, the production of the car's electrical circuits creates a good bit of mercury. Even the mining of the zinc, lithium, lead, and cadmuim for the batteries creates problems, since hazardous amounts of these metals leak into our soil and drinking water. This last problem applies to the electric vehicles more so than the internal combustion vehicles. Before we make the switch to electric cars, we need to revise the way in which we produce these new vehicles for the sake of our environment.
Adam Sidehamer/ahs5129/Team Hammer
By 2050, a new study says, broad acceptance of PHEVs could cut up to 6.12 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year—approximately 2.5 times the amount currently emitted by power plants. Although the market share of electric cars is expected to stay under 50% for a while, it should still have a significant impact on reducing the carbon foot print that we leave behind. Switching over to electric is a step in the right direction for the environment, but it is still not the final piece of the puzzle.
Even though there will be an increase in our usage of plug in electricity, the increase in that will better replace the billions of barrels of gasoline that we are using yearly. Emissions from places such as power plants are much less than the amount of emissions that a gasoline powered car will release into the air. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/4219512