Monday, 3 October 2011

Why electric cars aren't the answer

An often-touted solution to the pollution of cars is electric cars. However, these may not be as good for the environment as they are thought to be.
While electric cars definitely have less pollution, most of our power sources are still fossil-fuel based. Power plants are more efficient than individual engines, but it isn't enough.
Also, cars contain large amounts of steel, and their manufacture can produce pollution. The batteries also require lithium, most if which is in China and restricted, and rare earth materials like neodymium, terbium and dysprosium, and cab cause environmental damage on disposal.
Electric cars still cause congestion, and pollution from road-building. They also require a large network of charging stations to be practical, but most proposed charging stations would be located in inner-city areas, where driving distances are short and there are plenty of alternatives.
On the other hand, there are some people who will drive no matter what, so by all means, get an electric car, but don't ask for government subsidies and charging stations.

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