- 1 What is bad about making electric cars?
- 2 How bad is lithium mining?
- 3 Which is worse lithium or oil?
- 4 Do electric cars last longer than regular?
- 5 Do electric cars lose range over time?
What is bad about making electric cars?
Page 2 – Their batteries need rare metals The batteries for electric cars use a lot of lithium, the lightest metal and the lightest solid element under normal conditions. Chile produces the largest amount of lithium (8,800 tonnes per year), with other big producers including Argentina and China, while Bolivia has the world’s largest known reserves.
Other metals used in electric cars include copper, cobalt, aluminium, nickel and sometimes manganese, along with conductive non-metal graphite. There are rich cobalt deposits in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it lies on the surface and is picked up by miners who include women and children.
Cobalt is toxic to humans and most of these miners work with little or no protective equipment. It has been suggested that we will struggle to create large numbers of electric cars in Europe in the near term, simply because we don’t have sufficient access to sources of lithium to make the batteries and we don’t have the factories to make them in either.
- Photo (right) of lepidolite, a lithium-bearing mineral.
- Making electric cars creates more emissions To get a real idea of how much greenhouse gas is emitted during the manufacture of an electric car, you have to look at how its components are sourced and made.
- The raw materials for making the car have to be mined, and the process of mining creates a lot of greenhouse gases.
Then the raw materials have to be refined before they can be used, which again emits more greenhouse gas. Then more greenhouse gas is emitted in the manufacturing process. Of course the above is also true when manufacturing a petrol or diesel car. In fact, taking into account the whole production process, making a petrol or diesel car releases about 7 to 10 tonnes of CO2.
Making an electric car releases roughly the same amount of CO2, but then you have to add in the production of the battery. Estimates suggest that 150kg of CO2 are released for every 1 kiloWatt hour (kWh) of battery capacity. For an electric car to have a decent range (say 300 miles) between charges, it needs a battery that’s at least 60kWh in capacity.
This means that a further 9 tonnes of CO2 will be emitted during the making of an electric car, giving a total of 16-19 tonnes of CO2 emitted. So at this point, an electric car seems worse for the environment than a fossil fuel one. They are only as green as their power sources The environmental impact of an electric car can increase or decrease considerably depending on how the electricity that charges its battery is made.
- A coal-fired power station emits 800-850 grams of CO2 per kWh (recent estimates suggest this may be lower, at 650g per kWh), whilst a cleaner, gas-fired power station emits 350-400g CO2 per kWh.
- Using renewable energy, like solar panels or wind turbines, around 36g CO2 is emitted per kWh, taking into account the emissions created during their manufacturing process.
So if a car is recharged using renewable energy, its negative impact on the environment is far lower than if it’s charged using electricity from a coal-fired power station. Electric cars can be expensive to buy The purchase price of electric cars does tend to be higher than a petrol or diesel-engined version of the same car.
But this is where the increased costs end. A 30 minute fast recharge from a dedicated charging point at a service station costs around £6 – not much more than it costs for a gallon of diesel or petrol and in some cases it’s actually free. An overnight charge from a dedicated charging point installed at someone’s home can provide around 100 miles of driving for about £2.
Servicing of electric cars tends to be cheaper, as there are very few moving parts and no filters or oil to change. The most expensive part of an electric car – its battery – tends now to be highly reliable, and is covered by a long warranty or can be leased from the manufacturer.
So looking at longer term ownership rather than initial purchase price, electric cars can actually be cheaper than their petrol or diesel counterparts. You can’t drive as far in an electric car Although battery technology is improving all the time, this is a fact at the moment. The best electric cars now have ranges of well over 300 miles between charges.
But many have a range of just 150 miles or less between charges, which means they are much more suited for use in cities and on short, local journeys, rather than for long-distance travel. And to recharge them, they need at least half an hour of charging at a dedicated, high voltage charging point – the kind you see at motorway services. There aren’t enough charging points At the end of August 2022, there were 33996 electric vehicle charging stations across 20534 locations. By 2025, the number of sockets is set to increase to 80,000. This compares reasonably well with the 8,378 petrol stations currently open across the UK.
- But as noted above, filling a car with diesel or petrol takes a couple of minutes, not 30 minutes or more and many petrol stations have 4 to 6 pumps or more.
- Many people get round this by having their own charging point installed at home.
- But that’s not really an option for people living in streets of terraced housing where on-street parking means they often have to park their cars some distance from their house.
So as we shift to using more and more electric vehicles, we’ll have to think about how we keep them charged up. The electric vehicle may become the new smartphone, the next device that’s essential for getting us through our day that we have to keep charged up and ready for action.
How bad is lithium mining?
The Social and Environmental Impacts of Lithium Mining Lithium is a crucial component in the production of lithium-ion batteries, which power many modern devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy systems. As the demand for these products grows, so does the need for lithium mining.
- While lithium mining has the potential to contribute to the development of renewable energy technology, there are concerns about its environmental and social impact.
- One of the concerns with lithium mining is its environmental impact.
- The process of extracting lithium consumes significant amounts of water and energy, and lithium mining can pollute the air and water with chemicals and heavy metals.
In addition, mining lithium can disrupt wildlife habitats and cause soil erosion, leading to long-term ecological damage. Efforts are being made to develop more sustainable mining practices, such as using renewable energy sources and minimizing the use of water and chemicals.
In addition to its environmental impact, lithium mining can have social implications. In some cases, mining can displace local communities or harm their health and well-being. Many of the world’s lithium reserves are in developing countries, where labor standards and environmental regulations are often weak.
This can lead to human rights violations, including forced labor, child labor, and environmental destruction. To address these issues, companies that mine lithium need to prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, including fair labor standards and community engagement. In conclusion, while lithium mining has some environmental and social impacts it is critical for the development of clean energy and a more sustainable society. Mining lithium must be approached with care and consideration for the environment and local communities.
Efforts should be made to develop more sustainable and responsible mining practices and to address the concerns of affected communities. By doing so, we can ensure that the benefits of lithium mining are maximized while minimizing its negative impacts. is driven to help homeowners with cottages, rural dwellings, and tiny homes to create a greener footprint.
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: The Social and Environmental Impacts of Lithium Mining
Which is worse lithium or oil?
Lithium mining does have an environmental impact, but it is no worse than oil drilling. This is especially true when you consider the carbon emissions produced from petroleum products during their usage, as compared to lithium-ion batteries that have little to no GHG emissions during their use.
How toxic is lithium battery?
There are few good end-of-life options – According to US federal regulations, depleted lithium-ion batteries are classified as hazardous due to their lead content (average 6.29 mg/L; σ = 11.1; limit 5). In some batteries, the leached concentrations of chromium, lead, and thallium have been known to exceed California regulation limits.
The environmental impact associated with resource depletion and toxicity is mainly associated with cobalt, copper, nickel, thallium, and silver. The growth of e-waste streams brought on by accelerated consumption trends and shortened device lifespans is poised to become a global-scale environmental issue in the short-term.
As the main source of electricity for a broad range of devices, batteries are a significant contributor to total generated e-waste, containing considerable quantities of heavy metals like lead and cadmium, as well as lithium and other contaminants widely regarded as ecotoxic.
Disposal, which generally means sending batteries to landfills, is the least preferred option as it leads to material loss, increased environmental risk and health hazards, and waste of economic opportunity. Moreover, stockpiling (and/or landfilling) and shipping end-of-life batteries abroad as a part of end-of-life vehicle wholesale are less preferable options. Reuse of EV batteries encompasses remanufacturing and repurposing. Remanufacturing is an opportunity to refurbish retired batteries and use them again in automotive applications after replacing faulty or degraded cells. The main impetus for recycling is to divert materials from landfills, reducing the costs of lithium battery lifecycle, and return strategic and critical materials into the market. The challenges begin with removing batteries from the cars. Handling retired EVs and removing their batteries requires specific knowledge, trained personnel, and specialized tools. Recycling processes for lithium batteries are not completely pollution-free activities and introduce risks that adversely affect human health and ecosystem quality. Thus, recycling processes must be thoroughly assessed. Currently, most of the research is focused on GHG emissions, neglecting other emissions and impact categories.
Will we run out of lithium?
While the question of the supply of lithium for EV batteries is a valid one to raise, the abundant supply of lithium means it is unlikely that the world will ever run out of this vital resource.
What will replace electric cars?
How do hydrogen cars work? – One of the arguments that’s sometimes made against hydrogen vehicles is that they’re less efficient than EVs. Because hydrogen doesn’t occur naturally, it has to be extracted, then compressed in fuel tanks. It then has to mix with oxygen in a fuel cell stack to create electricity to power the car’s motors.
Cynics point to the efficiency loss in this process when compared with an electric car in which the electricity comes straight from a battery pack charged from the mains. That’s true to an extent, but hydrogen-powered cars are not really expected to replace EVs. Instead, hydrogen is intended to complement pure electric power, and there’s a good reason for this: it is the cleanest fuel possible.
Lithium-ion battery production for electric cars is very energy-intensive, with Lithium mining alone emitting tonnes of CO2. If you take this into account along with charging the battery from anything other than a zero-emission source throughout its lifetime, an electric car still contributes towards a certain amount of CO2 emissions – even if this does not originate from an exhaust.
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- Of course, if an EV battery is produced using responsibly sourced materials and renewable energy, this helps to lower these overall emissions further.
- In comparison, today’s hydrogen cars have life-cycle emissions that are at least as low as that of EVs.
They don’t need large batteries as the fuel cell works to turn hydrogen into electricity to drive the motors. A recent study found a hydrogen car emits around 120g/km of CO2 over its lifetime, but this can be brought down significantly to around 60g/km when hydrogen is produced using renewable energy.
Why aren t we using hydrogen cars?
Imagine an electric car which has a range of 400 miles, can be refuelled almost as fast as a petrol or diesel car yet emits only water. Those are the upsides of a hydrogen fuel cell car (known as a fuel cell electric vehicle, or FCEV). So why aren’t they everywhere? There is a dedicated core of FCEV supporters who insist that hydrogen-powered EVs are better than battery-powered EVs, and that the world is crazy for ignoring them.
Do hydrogen cars exist?
Automobiles – As of 2021, there are two hydrogen cars publicly available in select markets: the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai Nexo, The Honda Clarity was produced from 2016 to 2021. Hydrogen combustion cars are not commercially available. In the light road vehicle segment, by the end of 2022, 70,200 fuel cell electric vehicles had been sold worldwide, compared with 26 million plug-in electric vehicles.
- With the rapid rise of electric vehicles and associated battery technology and infrastructure, the global scope for hydrogen’s role in cars is shrinking relative to earlier expectations.
- The first road vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell was the Chevrolet Electrovan, introduced by General Motors in 1966.
The Toyota FCHV and Honda FCX, which began leasing on December 2, 2002, became the world’s first government-certified commercial hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and the Honda FCX Clarity, which began leasing in 2008, was the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle designed for mass production rather than adapting an existing model. The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell-powered crossover SUV The 2013 Hyundai Tucson FCEV, a modified Tucson, was introduced to the market as a lease-only vehicle, and Hyundai Motors claimed it was the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
- However, due to high prices and a lack of charging infrastructure, sales fell far short of initial plans, with only 273 units sold by the end of May 2015.
- Hyundai Nexo, which succeeded the Tucson in 2018, was selected as the “safest SUV” by the Euro NCAP in 2018.
- Toyota launched the world’s first dedicated mass-produced fuel cell vehicle (FCV), the Mirai, in Japan at the end of 2014 and began sales in California, mainly the Los Angeles area and also in selected markets in Europe, the UK, Germany and Denmark later in 2015.
The car has a range of 312 mi (502 km) and takes about five minutes to refill its hydrogen tank. The initial sale price in Japan was about 7 million yen ($69,000). Former European Parliament President Pat Cox estimated that Toyota would initially lose about $100,000 on each Mirai sold.
At the end of 2019, Toyota had sold over 10,000 Mirais. Many automobile companies have introduced demonstration models in limited numbers (see List of fuel cell vehicles and List of hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles ). In 2013 BMW leased hydrogen technology from Toyota, and a group formed by Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG, and Nissan announced a collaboration on hydrogen technology development.
In 2015, Toyota announced that it would offer all 5,680 patents related to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell charging station technology, which it has been researching for over 20 years, to its competitors free of charge in order to stimulate the market for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Do electric cars overheat?
As temperatures soar, hot weather can have a significant impact on electric cars — affecting both their range and battery health. We explain why and what you can do about it. – Electric vehicles (EVs) are more prone to overheating than conventional cars for two main reasons.
One is that batteries in electric vehicles underperform in hot weather because higher temperatures cause electrons in the battery to move slower, reducing the amount of power available. The second is that EVs don’t rely on a combustion engine to disperse heat. And that lack of an internal combustion engine means there’s no efficient way for the battery to cool down, which can cause it to overheat and reduce its range.
Lithium-ion and lithium-iron batteries perform best at certain temperatures, ideally between 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. HERE estimates that EV range can drop by 15% when temperatures start to go above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. So avoid traveling long distances during very high temperatures and always try to park your vehicle in the shade. Another way to combat overheating is by monitoring your level of charge before you set out. When batteries are too low, they can heat up quickly and be more prone to overheating or discharging rapidly. That’s why it’s important to make sure an electric vehicle has been charged adequately before driving in hot weather — a fully-charged battery will retain its cool temperature for longer and enable your electric car to hold its range better.
- And it’s not just running a vehicle that can cause temperatures to rise.
- The process of charging itself can also cause batteries to overheat.
- Many electric vehicles have built-in systems that monitor the temperature of the EV battery.
- If the system detects that the battery is getting too hot while charging, it will automatically slow down the rate at which the car charges — this is also known as “thermal throttling”.
By reducing the charging speed, the system reduces the amount of heat generated, helping to keep the battery at a safe temperature. So try charging your vehicle during cooler temperatures and not during the hottest part of the day. A short spell in the sun shouldn’t impact your car too much but prolonged exposure can mean that the battery won’t last as long as it should.
Do electric cars make noise?
EVs use quiet battery-powered electric motors that don’t have the exhaust sounds produced by revving gasoline engines. Even with rapid acceleration on par with or faster than traditional muscle cars, EVs are nearly silent without fake engine noise.
Do electric cars last longer than regular?
How many miles can an EV last? – Tesla EVs parked at a dealership in Miami, Florida, in January 2019 | Joe Raedle/Getty Images As is the case with any vehicle, a car’s lifespan depends on how well you take care of it throughout the years. Gas cars and EVs should have regular tire rotations, brake fluid refills, new windshield wipers, car washes, and so on.
However, according to Autotrader, an EV doesn’t have nearly as many expensive parts to replace. A gas car’s engine and transmission are arguably its most important components. Though it’s not too difficult to make both last a long time, they can deteriorate faster owing to several factors. Regularly driving too fast can strain the engine, as can not supplying it with enough oil or coolant.
Both the engine and transmission are also made up of smaller components, such as camshafts and head gaskets, which can fail prematurely. If you need a completely new engine, you’re looking at least $3,000 for the average four-cylinder. Add a new transmission, and you might be better off purchasing a used car.
Do electric cars lose range over time?
Battery Thermal Management Systems – An active thermal management system is key to keeping an electric car’s lithium-ion battery pack at peak performance. Lithium-ion batteries have an optimum operating range of between 50–86 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature range that most modern EVs attempt to maintain their battery packs at by way of a cooling/heating circuit.
Much like heating and cooling the interior of a car, heating and cooling an EV’s battery pack burns energy. As such, expect the overall driving range to suffer somewhat when driving in extreme temperatures. At least with these systems in place, EV battery packs are less likely to degrade at a notably greater rate than they would in less extreme temperatures.
The truth is that today’s EV batteries will inevitably need replacing in the future. Fortunately, modern EV battery packs should prove problem-free for nearly the first decade of use—possibly even longer. By the time today’s EVs will need a replacement battery pack it’s likely the manufacturing and material costs will be far less than they are today.