How to Make Sure Electric Cars Are Greener
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of the automotive industry because they are better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles, cutting down on the need for fossil fuels. Just switching from gas to electric, though, might not be enough to cut down on your carbon footprint and help the environment while driving.
Manufacturing electric cars is far from a carbon-neutral process, and if you truly want to reduce your impact on the environment, you have to make sure your fuel savings offset the "embedded carbon" that is produced during the manufacturing of your EV. The best way to do that is to keep your EV for a long time, and not get a new one after owning it for just a couple of years. Jerry can help you figure out what kind of an impact that can have on your car insurance.
Offsetting 'embedded carbon' in electric vehicle manufacturing
CNBC reports on how to offset the "embedded carbon" that is produced in manufacturing electric vehicles. Investment banking firm Jeffries warns consumers about the issue that not everyone knows about.
According to the firm, a "huge amount" of carbon is emitted during the production of materials like glass, steel, and aluminum, as well as when they are put together in the manufacturing of the vehicles.
The federal government is pushing EVs to achieve an "environmental dividend," according to Jeffries executive Simon Powell. To gain that result with electric vehicles, Powell warns, "users are going to have to keep them longer, drive them further than they may have done with a conventional internal combustion energy vehicle."
That's because EVs are typically heavier than their gas-powered counterparts, which means more carbon is emitted when they are manufactured.
Making the steel industry greener is important
"Embedded carbon" is just a temporary problem, according to Powell's projections. He predicts that it will come down to comparable levels with conventional vehicles–and "green steel" will be the key to that happening.
"The way this whole thing gets solved is greener steel," he says, adding that the steel industry should also look into using hydrogen in the manufacturing of the alloy.
Powell admits, however, that decarbonizing the steel industry globally will be "very challenging" because he doesn't think many people are thinking about making the steel industry more eco-friendly.
The tech for EVs needs improvement
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As the electric car industry is still relatively young compared to the auto industry as a whole, it's not surprising that there is still room for improvement.
While EVs do help in limiting carbon emissions, the vehicles still have a way to go to reach the full potential of cars that don't use internal combustion energy. One of the biggest gaps, according to Powell, is the charging infrastructure.
As electric vehicles are not yet highly adopted globally, especially in less developed countries, the charging infrastructure for electric cars isn't nearly as well-developed as the gas-powered vehicles that have been around for decades.
You can find a gas station on nearly every street corner, but electric charging stations are much more difficult to find. And if you want to buy an EV charging station to use at your home, you're likely looking at a cost of at least $1,000.
Range is another problem that drivers of EVs face. You can typically only travel a couple hundred miles on a charge, so a long-distance road trip would require a lot of stops at charging stations.
Not to mention, it takes longer to charge an electric vehicle than it does to fill up a gas tank, so having to stop frequently to charge up can add a significant amount of time to your trip.
However, these problems have been on the radar of electric car producers for years. With the amount of money and time being devoted to these problems, they could wind up being small bumps on the road to an all-electric future for cars.