Electric cars are currently touted to save the mother Earth from the issue of global warming but are they really capable of doing that? After all, electricity is generated from coal and coal, just like petrol, is a non-renewable source of energy. Are we better off with the electric cars or do we just need to make the fuel based cars more energy efficient? Electric car certainly save on energy, no doubt about that but they are not zero emission automobiles. Driving it still involves a lot of money and you’d be surprised to know that 49.7 percent of US electricity is generated from coal. However, these cars are certainly much lower in carbon dioxide emissions as compared to the fuel based ones. Toyota recently came out with the Tesla Roadster which gives you 245 milers of travel on a single charge. There is also the 2006 Corolla which is excellent in fuel efficiency give an average of 31 miles on a single gas galleon provided it has manual transmission. After a hundred miles, the Corolla will produce 63.11 pounds of carbon dioxide through 3.23 gallons of gas. Energy Information Administration says that one gallon of gas emits 19.564 pounds of carbon dioxide. This figure again doesn’t include the energy which is spent on taking the oil out of the ground.
Looking at the Roadster, you will find that this electric car give you 100 miles of travel on a single charge. Out of this, only 70 percent is used in the vehicle movement and the rest is lost due to the inefficiency in charging processor.
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One kilowatt of electricity generation produces about 1.55 pounds of carbon dioxide and this means the Tesla, in 100 miles, produces 48.05 pounds of carbon dioxide. You can check for yourself and the results will wary a bit, depending upon your state. States like West Virginia, North Dakota and Wyoming use a lot of coal and hence the CO2 production is higher. Roadster will end up with a lower carbon dioxide production at the end of the day. On the flip side, if you are a motorist from the Pacific Northwest, I would recommend an EV since this region uses hydroelectric pumps. You can check on the Internet regarding how much electricity does your state make from coal.
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Lower emission of carbon dioxide is not the only reason to purchase electric cars. You won’t see a single electric car having a tail pipe on the back which means these automobiles will not put a thick pile of smoke when they are running. The electric cars produce less nitrous oxide, methane and other green house gases as compared to the gas counterparts. The only exception to this is sulfur dioxide which is produced a lot by coal combustion and can result in acid rain.
The biggest drawback with the electric cars is that they need huge batteries and they are a bit difficult to manufacture. Some people say that if you take in to account the process that is needed for making these batteries, it makes the electric cars less greener.