Designated parking for Electric Vehicle Charging Station, Singer Island, Florida. (Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Tech - News
How Many Miles Before An Electric Car Is Greener Than A Gas Car
Electric vehicles are often hailed as the industry's future, with some major automotive manufacturers aiming to produce nothing but EVs by the end of the decade. While electric cars are the most practical carbon-neutral personal transportation method, EV production contributes more to climate change than gas-powered vehicles, so reaching a carbon deficiency may take some time.
The EV batteries require mining lithium and cobalt, and the process of creating them can have devastating environmental impacts from pollution and could be linked to droughts. After extracting the materials, they are shipped overseas to highly energy-consuming manufacturing plants in China for production, before finished products are transported to the global market.
The energy source for your EV affects the length of time it will take for the car to offset the carbon from its production and become greener than traditional gas vehicles. Charging your vehicle in places like Iceland, which primarily uses renewable energy from geothermal power, will quickly become carbon-neutral, whereas the United States will take longer, as the country relies on fossil fuels to generate 60% of its energy.
In the best-case scenario, it will take 19,000 miles of driving your EV in places where most of the energy comes from low-carbon sources before it becomes more climate-friendly than gas vehicles, and it will have produced 41% fewer emissions after 200,000 miles. As battery production develops greener methods, and more countries invest in renewable energy, EVs will become more eco-friendly.