- LESSER, J., Hopkinson, J., Allen, A., Diamond, D., Samuelsohn, D., Grunwald, M., Cassella, M., Demko, P., LeVine, M., Scola, N., Pradhan, R., Snider, A., Temple, P., Boudreau, C., & Schreckinger, B. (2018, May 15). Are electric cars worse for the environment? Politico. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/05/15/are-electric-cars-worse-for-the-environment-000660/
Background: Electric vehicles that run on a battery are more likely to increase air pollution than the new internal combustion vehicles. The new gas-powered cars of today are a lot cleaner than ever before. New gas engines only release about 1% of the pollution they have in the past. Electric vehicles have to charge their battery, but the question is where that energy comes from. The main way we produce power is through burning fossil fuels, and coal is still the primary source of electricity.
How I used it: The information about the new gas-powered cars and how they are cleaner compared to the old model of gas-powered cars was used in my paper to get my reader to understand that EVs are not the only eco-friendly cars on the market.
- Manzetti, S. (2015, November). Electric vehicle battery technologies: From present state to future systems. ScienceDirect. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032115006577
Background: In countries like Malaysia, the idea of eliminating internal combustion engines from the roads, even though they are responsible for the same number of emissions as electric cars, is being proposed. Since their primary method of energy production is through fossil fuels, the emissions wouldn’t be erased like they think they would be. The energy needed to power the EVs would come from fossil fuels, which ultimately makes no difference from keeping all internal combustion cars. There would be a tradeoff between tailpipe emissions and energy-producing emissions.
How I used it: Countries are trying to make it seem like EVs are the future and are the obvious solution for climate change, but they need to realize that if the country’s main energy source is fossil fuels, likely no improvement will be made.
- Where does our electricity come from? (n.d.). World Nuclear Association. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://world-nuclear.org/nuclear-essentials/where-does-our-electricity-come-from.aspx
Background: This article explains how fossil fuels get converted into energy. It says how these materials are cheap to mine and burn, making them the most popular choice for energy production. They are also the most harmful materials to the environment. The plants that use these materials are also very reliable and last for a long time, adding to their popularity. It mentions different types of energy sources and how they affect the environment.
How I used it: Since fossil fuels are cheap to extract and readily available, they are the most common energy source. These resources are the leading cause of pollution and CO2 emissions.
- Crawford, I. (2022, March 1). How much CO2 is emitted by manufacturing batteries? | MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://meche.mit.edu/news-media/how-much-co2-emitted-manufacturing-batteries
Background: The demand for lithium-ion batteries is significantly increasing due to the popularity of electric vehicles. The materials needed to make these batteries are difficult and expensive to extract and can lead to water contamination. To get the materials, fossil fuels need to be burned in the form of heat. This process is one of the main reasons electric vehicle production adds to the overall carbon footprint of cars. The materials used can also determine how much CO2 is released, as many different combinations of minerals can be used to make a battery, some of which require more energy.
How I used it: When lithium-ion batteries are produced, the steps involved in every part of the process have some effect on the environment. The minerals used to make the batteries can also be very toxic to the surrounding environment.
- 5 places running on 100% renewable energy. (2020, November 5). World Smart Cities Forum. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://worldsmartcities.org/5-places-running-on-100-renewable-energy/
Background: Many countries run 100% on renewable energy sources like water, wind, or solar. Iceland is the top country, with it being utterly dependent on hydroelectric and geothermal energy. They are able to take advantage of their volcanic activity and harness energy from the extreme heat generated. The other countries and places mentioned, like Costa Rica, are almost at the goal of 100% renewable energy but still need to make some changes to reach it.
How I used it: Iceland is a country that all countries should aspire to be. They use renewable energy sources, making them the prime candidates for EVs as there would be zero emissions in the EV process.
- Ngo, V. (2021, March 22). Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment? The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.wsj.com/graphics/are-electric-cars-really-better-for-the-environment/
Background: This is probably the best article I found. It gave a detailed comparison between the lifespans of gas-powered and electric cars. In the beginning, due to the production process, the EV takes the lead with the number of emissions. After the initial production, the cars tend to even out in the middle. The gas car eventually takes the lead and shows how much it produces. The article ends with whether this will remain the same after a few decades. It asks what happens during recycling and whether gas cars will get more advanced.
How I used it: The lifespan aspect of the website let me see firsthand how much emissions each type of car released compared to each other.
- Wade, L. (2016, March 31). Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think. WIRED. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.wired.com/2016/03/teslas-electric-cars-might-not-green-think/
Background: Compared to standard thinking, Tesla cars are not as good for the environment as they claim to be. The energy production needed to power the battery comes from dirty sources that make them contribute to environmental pollution. EV drivers almost always overlook this part as they are told the vehicles are clean and do not want to assume otherwise. Tesla also fails to mention this process to their consumers, making the information hard to find.
How I used it: EV car companies often fail to tell their customers that while their EVs have no tailpipe, they are still responsible for CO2 emissions.
- Alternative Fuels Data Center: Emissions from Electric Vehicles. (n.d.). Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.html
Background: Electric vehicles have no tailpipe to release emissions and are still responsible for air pollution. Electric cars are cleaner and better for the environment in areas that use low-polluting energy sources. The article provides a chart that shows the different energy sources and the percentages used per state. It gives a clear representation of which states are cleaner.
How I used it: This article let me see which states should be using EVs and which really should not. If the state relies on fossil fuels as its primary energy source, EVs are no cleaner than standard gas-powered vehicles.
- Are electric cars better? (n.d.). Kia. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.kia.com/dm/discover-kia/ask/are-electric-cars-better.html
Background: This is from a section on the KIA website designed to sway people to switch over to an EV. It says how clean their cars are and how they are easily rechargeable as the driver does not need to stop at a gas station. But they need to mention where the energy comes from that goes into the cars. The website also says how the cars do not release emission, then also say on the same page how EVs release fewer emissions than gas cars. This is entirely contradictory.
How I used it: This article gave me an opposing view on my argument and let me see exactly how car companies are not telling the truth to their customers.
- Electricity Generation by State | November 2022. (n.d.). Choose Energy. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-center/electricity-sources-by-state/
Background: This website compares states by what types of energy they rely on. It breaks down the percentages per state and allows us to look at all the states side by side and see how they compare. It then lists the states that are the cleanest and the dirtiest.
How I used it: The percentage of emissions each fossil fuel is responsible for was unknown to me before reading this article. I have learned which energy sources are better than others.
- Lesser, J. A. (2018, May 15). The High Cost of Electric Vehicle Subsidies | Zero-Emissions Vehicles. Manhattan Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/short-circuit-high-cost-electric-vehicle-subsidies-11241.html
Background: Even though electric cars run on electricity, they will still end up releasing pollutants. Zero-emissions vehicles, ZEVs, will reduce CO2 emissions more than gas cars, but they will only reduce it by 1% of the total U.S. energy-related forecast by 2050. Billions of dollars are being spent on reducing the number of internal combustion cars on the road. However, this is a waste of money as ZEVs do not offer the benefit we initially thought. Internal combustion cars will continue to advance and get their emission rates even lower.
How I used it: The newer internal combustion engines have become more environmentally friendly. This makes them competitors in the eco-friendly car race.
- Perkins, C. (2018, January 29). Mazda Says Its Next-Generation Gasoline Engine Will Run Cleaner Than an Electric Car. Road & Track. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a15912314/mazda-skyactiv-3-gas-clean-as-ev/
Background: Car companies are trying to sell ZEVs and convince consumers that they are the best and only environmentally friendly cars on the market. Mazda has been trying to create a new type of internal combustion engine cleaner than an electric car based on the latest technology. Their Skyactiv-3 will turn its fuel energy into power instead of it going to waste due to heat loss. Since the energy in electric cars comes from burning fossil fuels, this new car will produce fewer emissions as the power will be recycled.
How I used it: EVs are no longer the best car on the market for reducing emissions. The newly made gas-powered vehicles will be just as good as EVs in a few years.