Car’s, love them or loath them, as I write over 13 000 000 cars have been produced this year alone (2020), check out World o Meters Cars  it’s staggering. With consumer interest growing for more eco-friendly methods of transport, it’s a good time to look at environmental credentials of electric cars.

There are three areas we will be focusing on- Construction, Fuel and Recycling.

Construction

The Union of Concerned Scientists has calculated that:

Manufacturing a mid-sized EV with an 84-mile range results in about 15 percent more emissions than manufacturing an equivalent gasoline vehicle. For larger, longer-range EVs that travel more than 250 miles per charge, the manufacturing emissions can be as much as 68 percent higher.

Source: The Green Age

While electric vehicles do have some impact on the environment, they are still a great option for reducing your carbon footprint, compared to standard petrol or diesel engines.

Fuel

Electric cars are only as green as the energy you charge them with. If you have solar panels, you are driving emissions free.

If your electricity comes from a fossil fuel power plant that’s definitely not emissions free. Shopping around for an energy company that invests in or derives power from alternative energies (wind, solar, hydro) is a good step to a cleaner drive.

Not everyone has “solar access”, meaning your roof does not receive enough sunlight (shaded by trees, overshadowing by buildings), or for anyone that is renting, convincing your landlord to install solar panels maybe your challenge for 2020!

While the green credentials of electric cars vary depending on how the electricity used to power it is sourced yet, they still have lower CO2 emissions overall. Source: Science Focus

Recycling & Battery Recycling

Like most vehicles the car body and components can be recycled, with electric cars relying on lithium batteries to power them, the next question is can we recycle lithium batteries? The answer is yes

Battery recycling

Electric cars have huge chemical batteries, known as lithium-ion. Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) data shows that globally, the number of retired EV batteries is forecast to exceed 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared to around 55,000 in 2018. Source: Energy Council

Recycling is long-winded and inefficient, with electric car batteries considered redundant once it only retains 70-80% of its original capacity, many of them function after removal from vehicles and can therefore be converted for use with solar PV (photovoltaic) systems. Source: The Green Age

The good news Australia has its first onshore lithium, nickel metal and alkaline battery processor. Envirostream ready to help deal with one of the biggest emerging challenges for the Australian waste industry. To find out where you can recycle your batteries, simply search: where to recycle lithium car batteries.

Before plunging in and investing in any new or used vehicle, research can save time, money and headaches. For anyone doing long country miles it is important to consider where you can recharge the batteries. Nothing worse than  discovering you cannot make your destination due to lack of recharge points.