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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Are Electric Cars as Good as People Say?

Updated: Sep 11, 2022



Introduction

In a recent announcement PM Trudeau, suggested: “This year, we’ve announced several historic manufacturing deals for electric vehicles, batteries, and hybrids (which will) help keep our air clean, ...”


Is that correct? Who to believe? What to Believe?


Pulling us in Many Directions

There are people trying to pull us in many directions.


Just the other day, the Union of Concerned Scientists came out with a report, Driving Cleaner Electric Cars and Pickups Beat Gasoline on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions[1] which suggests EV’s have a 52% advantage over gasoline cars.


On the other side of the equation, we have those that suggest the above numbers are not correct and that an EV has to be driven up to 130,000 Kms before it becomes better for the environment.


Which is correct?



I am Not Against EV’s

Please do not get me wrong: I am not against EV’s. They are wonderful vehicles. But I believe we all deserve accurate information.


Are we getting that? I question much of what I read and hear, which takes me to the point of our website at Sustainable Circular Economy, where our Mission is to “assist people and businesses think about their choices to address global warming, and helping to do the world a world of good, by offering a pathway through the circular economy which is principled upon people, the planet and sustainability.”


Why Is This Important?

This is important as we need to make the correct choices. So far, we have not hit a target for GHG emissions, and over the next 8 years, we have to remove 161 MT of GHG emissions from our atmosphere (In Canada, we are at 672 MT of GHG emissions (2020) and a 45% reduction from the Paris Accord means we have to hit 511 MT by 2030)


We cannot achieve that if we do not have the correct information to assist us to make our own personal choices, such as considering the purchase of an EV.


Some of the Issues


Some of the issues that come into the equation needed to assess the total GHG emissions produced are:


1. All the activities from exploration, to removal and transport of the earth’s resources that go

into making the vehicles.


2. Manufacturing of the vehicles, including adjustments for where the electricity comes from.


3. GHG emissions from electricity for charging the EV’s and in the manufacture and

distribution of gasoline.


4. GHG emissions from operating the vehicles.


5. GHG emissions of battery replacement and/or reusing, repurposing.


6. Environmental cost of land conversion to solar and wind farms, impacts on birds, bats and

loss of animal habitat.


7. Ensuring that all comparisons are “apples-to-apples.” I reviewed one assessment that

compared an EV going 350 Kms and a gasoline vehicle going 700 kms. This was done for

a reason, and hidden by virtue of not mentioning it. This kind of twisting does not help

any of us.


Conclusion

We have a long way to go. Having correct information will help us get to where we need to go, to Net-Zero.


In our daily lives and our businesses, there is much that we can do, to do the world a world of good. At Sustainable Circular Economy, we want to help you by offering a pathway through the circular economy which is principled upon people, the planet and sustainability.

The transition toward sustainability will not happen overnight. Change is usually difficult, however, there are things that we can do to make the transition toward sustainability easier and more beneficial.


At Sustainable Circular Economy, we can help you assess how far you've come, which direction you should take and what your next steps should be. For a free sustainability check of your business and to find out how Sustainable Circular Economy can support your organization, please Contact Us.


Best wishes for a sustainable planet...

[1] Union of Concerned Scientists (July, 2022). www.ucsusa.org/resources/driving-cleaner

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