Why are electric cars better for the environment? How do they work?



Why are electric cars better for the environment? How do they work?

In: Engineering

Zero or close to zero emissions, as opposed to mostly everything else that runs on fossil fuels. There is some speculation at how much better they will be in the long run though.

From a carbon emissions perspective, internal combustion engines are very inefficient at converting fuel into energy. It is much more efficient to generate power at a large central power plant, and distribute the power via the electrical grid system than it is for each vehicle to generate their own power by burning fuel. This is true even if the power is being generated by a dirty source such as coal. Also, electric cars get better and better carbon footprints as energy generation switches over to renewables, and to cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas.

Also, carbon emissions aren’t the only environmental concern. Air quality is also a really big deal. Air quality is degraded significantly by internal combustion engines. Air quality reduction has a statistically noticeable increase in the number of deaths that occur. Electric vehicles don’t have emissions, so they don’t reduce air quality where the vehicle is. They do reduce air quality at the point of power generation if the source is dirty, but cars tend to be concentrated near population centers, whereas power generation stations tend to be far away. This means that number of people negatively impacted by bad air quality drops.

So in summary, even electric cars that source their power from dirty coal have a net positive environmental impact, and they have the potential to become greener as our power grids increase the amount of clean energy sources.

>Why are electric cars better for the environment?

The short answer: Because they are more efficient than gas cars.

The long answer: Because the large majority of any car’s environmental impact is incurred in operations rather than manufacturing, and EVs have much higher operational efficiency than gas cars – so much so, in fact, that they more than offset any increase in manufacturing impact incurred by the batteries.

Electric cars can use energy from any kind of source, renewable or not. Internal Combustion Engine cars can *only* use energy from non-renewable fossil fuels. That alone makes electric cars more environmentally-friendly.

Electric cars are more energy efficient because an electric motor only has one moving part, whereas a normal car engine has hundreds, and even more if you include the gearbox.

The friction of all these moving parts wasted a huge amount of energy. And then combustion engines also suffer the problem that they’re significantly less efficient when running at un optimal speeds.

Like said, electric motors don’t have this issue because they only have one moving part. They also don’t need clothes and gearboxes because they can easily stop and work at a wide enough range of speeds. Then they also have the benefit of not needing to dump any waste gasses from combustion into the atmosphere, which contain harmful substances.

Electric cars simply work by connecting an electric motor pretty much directly to the wheels, and having a computer control it’s speed by energizing magnets inside the motor to make it spin at the correct sequence to give you the amount of power appropriate for how much you depressed the accelerator pedal.