Environmental Cost Of Electric Cars


Incentives For Public Charging Stationsfind Out More

The Hidden Environmental Costs of Electric Cars

Public charging stations may qualify for EWEB rebates as well as state and federal incentives.

Electric vehicle home charging rebate

A critical component of owning an EV is charging it. While you can charge your vehicle with a standard 120-volt outlet, a 240-volt Level 2 home Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment , commonly called “charging station” allows you to charge in less than a third of the time. This faster rate of charging allows for flexibility to charge your EV during off-peak times. EWEB recommends installing a 30 amp or higher EVSE to allow for faster charging speeds.

We want to make it easy, fast, and convenient to charge your EV at home using the cleanest, off-peak energy. EWEB’s $500 Smart Charge Rebate can help you pay for the purchase and installation of a qualified level 2 home charging station.

Funding for this program is in part made possible by the Oregon Clean Fuels Program administered by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality .


Required documents

  • Provide copies of the invoice for the level 2 charging equipment and applicable electrician installation work or permit information for do-it-yourself installations.
  • For level 2 charging equipment that comes with the purchase of an electric vehicle, provide copies of the invoice for the 240V receptacle/outlet or hardwired electrical work. Provide permit information for do-it-yourself installations.

Get started

  • Email the application and supporting documentation to .
  • EWEB Customer Solutions

    Is Electric Cars Manufacturing Ecological

    Another critical factor in electric car sustainability is their manufacturing practices. As with all vehicles, producing new electric vehicles requires raw materials. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, manufacturing for electric cars emits more carbon emissions.

    Unlike gas-powered vehicles which use common metals and materials in their engines, most electric vehicles use rare earth elements such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite. Mining these elements requires carbon-intensive practices.

    Another concern is that mining these REE materials comes with environmental trade-offs. About 60% of the reserves of cobalt are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo , where rainforests with rich biodiversity grow. Mining in these areas could threaten biodiversity.

    Beyond mining, half of the environmental impact of electric vehicles comes from producing their batteries. However, this manufacturing process could shift to depend on more renewable energy sources in the future.

    Given that all raw materials extraction presents difficult trade-offs, itâs also important to consider the alternative: many remaining oil reserves also exist in protected areas.

    For a direct comparison, however, the environmental impact of EVs improves over the lifetime of the vehicle compared to a conventional car. The break even point is roughly 6 to 16 months in the US, and 2 years in the EU.

    However, the end of life of batteries presents another ecological challenge.

    What Is Smart Charging

    Smart charging involves charging infrastructure and electricity tariffs that allow EV owners to benefit from lower costs if they charge at times when there is surplus electricity available.

    Unlike Economy 7 and similar tariffs which for many years have offered customers cheaper electricity during certain fixed night-time hours, smart charging involves real-time price information, based on supply and demand within the network, and this determines whether or charging begins.

    For example, a user that has opted for a smart tariff might return home at 6pm and plug his or her EV in, but it might not start charging until later that evening when demand for electricity has fallen and the electricity supplier has reduced its prices accordingly.

    Smart charging benefits EV operators as they pay less for their electricity but also benefits electricity suppliers because reducing peak electricity demand could reduce the required investment in new generating capacity and network reinforcement.

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    Recycling And Decarbonizing The Grid

    Today, very few of the spent battery cells are recycled.

    Experts said that can change over time as raw materials needed for battery production are in limited supply, leaving firms with no choice but to recycle.

    McKinsey’s Hannon outlined other reasons for companies to step by their recycling efforts. They include a regulatory environment where producers, by law, would have to deal with spent batteries and disposing them could be more expensive.

    “People who point to a lack of a recycling infrastructure as a problem aren’t recognizing that we don’t need extensive recycling infrastructure yet because the cars are so new, we’re not needing many back,” he said.

    Most auto companies are already working to ensure they have significant recycling capacity in place before EVs start reaching the end of life over the next decade, he added.

    It’s not silver bullet for climate change mitigation. Ideally, you also try to reduce the number of cars massively, and try to push things such as public transportFlorian KnoblochCambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

    Knobloch from Cambridge University said a lot of research is going into improving battery technology, to make them more environmentally sustainable and less reliant on scarce raw materials. More efforts are also needed in , he added.

    “It’s very important that more renewable electricity generation capacity is added to the grid each year, than coal generation capacity,” Knobloch said.

    Life Cycle Assessment Of Electric Cars

    Electric cars will not be cheaper than conventional models until 2030 ...

    The environmental impact of electric cars powered by conventional electricity sources has been a subject of considerable debate in recent years.

    Opponents of electric cars argue that the energy needs to manufacture cars, as well as the energy required to build and maintain the electric power grid, make electric cars no greener than cars powered by traditional fuels.

    Proponents of electric cars, in contrast, argue that when the entire life cycle of a car is considered, including its creation, maintenance and ultimate disposal, electric cars are cleaner than conventional cars.

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    Are Electric Greener Than Fossil Fuel Powered Cars

    The fundamental difference between conventional, thermal cars and electric cars has to do with the process of transforming the potential energy into kinetic energy. In thermal cars, this energy is stored in a chemical form and is released through a chemical reaction inside the engine.

    On the other hand, despite also having chemically stored energy, electric cars release it electrochemically without any kind of combustion, thanks to lithium-ion batteries. This means that there is no fuel being burned and therefore no air pollution through CO2 happening while driving. They are also more efficient than fossil cars. So is this a clear win for the electric movement? Are electric cars and vehicles greener?

    Not necessarily. Or better said, not always. If the source of energy to power these cars doesnt come from solar panels, wind turbines or even nuclear or hydroelectric, their CO2 emissions will be much higher. For instance, if the electricity used to charge cars comes from the burning of fossil fuels, it doesnt matter if the EC are not polluting while being driven, as this pollution was already released in some distant power plant.

    This means that if youre driving an electric car in the US, where fossil fuels accounted 62,7% of the countrys energy production in 2017, youll probably release more CO2 into the atmosphere than if youre driving it in Iceland, that runs almost entirely on hydro, geothermal and solar energy.

    The Disadvantages Of Electric Vehicles

    It is time to start thinking about the drawbacks of electric automobiles now that you are familiar with their advantages. The following is a list of the most prevalent drawbacks associated with electric automobiles.

    The cost of electric vehicles might be high.

    Although driving an electric car can save you money on petrol, the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is unquestionably more than that of a conventional vehicle. In certain circumstances, the difference might be several thousand dollars.

    However, it was recently uncovered by Business Insider that there is a new category of electric vehicles that are priced at $35,000. In addition, Axios said that the upfront cost of purchasing an electric car is higher, but the cost of ownership is lower. Its possible that everything will level out thanks to the reduced cost of maintenance. However, you should be aware that the actual amount you pay can be more than the one shown.

    The process of charging might be time-consuming.

    You wont be able to go as far or for as long as gas-powered vehicles.

    Also Check: 10 New Electric Cars With The Best Range

    It may be difficult to locate a station.

    Prices for auto insurance may go up.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the cons of electric cars on the environment?

    The cons of electric vehicles on the environment are:

    What are the positives and negatives of electric cars?

    The advantages and disadvantages of an electric car are:


    What are 3 disadvantages to an electric car?

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    Paying Back The Carbon Debt

    The analysis in the figures above compares EVs and conventional vehicles over their entire lifetime, based on a total of 150,000km of driving.

    However, its also possible to compare the vehicles over time, to see how long it would take to repay the initial carbon debt incurred by the production of a carbon-intensive battery pack for EVs.

    For example, as already noted above, a new Nissan Leaf EV bought in the UK in 2019 would have lifetime emissions some three times lower than the average new conventional car.

    Looking at this over time, in the figure below, shows that while the battery causes higher emissions during vehicle manufacture in year zero, this excess carbon debt would be paid back after less than two years of driving.

    Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions for an average new conventional car versus a new Nissan Leaf. Figures are in lifetime tonnes of CO2-equivalent, assuming 150,000 kilometres driven over a 12-year lifetime. EV fuel cycle emissions based on the UK electricity carbon intensity in 2019 for year one and gradual improvement towards a 2030 target of 100gCO2/kWh and beyond. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.& amp lt br /& amp gt

    The chart above shows that the difference in use-phase emissions is relatively large, with the EV saving some two to three tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year in the UK. .

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    Are Electric Cars Worse For The Environment? Myth Busted

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    Around the world, governments and automakers are promoting electric vehicles as a key technology to curb oil use and fight climate change. General Motors has said it aims to stop selling new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035 and will pivot to battery-powered models. This week, Volvo said it would move even faster and introduce an all-electric lineup by 2030.

    But as electric cars and trucks go mainstream, they have faced a persistent question: Are they really as green as advertised?

    While experts broadly agree that plug-in vehicles are a more climate-friendly option than traditional vehicles, they can still have their own environmental impacts, depending on how theyre charged up and manufactured. Heres a guide to some of the biggest worries and how they might be addressed.

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    Tips For Efficiently Disposing Of Electric Vehicle Batteries After Use

    When it comes to electric car batteries, there are a few things you need to know to dispose of them properly. Here are some steps you need to follow:

    1. Find out if there are any recycling programs in your area that accept electric car batteries. If there are, take advantage of them! This is the best way to ensure that your battery is properly disposed of.

    2. If there are no recycling programs in your area, then youll need to find a reputable company that specializes in disposing of electric car batteries. Make sure to do your research and choose a company that has a good reputation.

    3. Once youve found a company that youre comfortable with, schedule a time for them to pick up your battery. Be sure to have all the necessary paperwork ready so that the process goes smoothly.

    4. When the company arrives, they will typically give you instructions on how to properly package the battery for shipping. Follow their instructions carefully so that the battery is protected during transit.

    5. Once the battery has been shipped, its important to keep track of its progress. This way, you can be sure that it has arrived at its destination and been properly disposed of.

    Emissions Reduction Potential Of Evs

    The best comparison is based on a life cycle analysis which tries to consider all the emissions of carbon dioxide during vehicle manufacturing, use and recycling. Life cycle estimates are never entirely comprehensive, and emission estimates vary by country, as circumstances differ.

    In New Zealand, 82% of energy for electricity generation came from renewable sources in 2017. With these high renewable electricity levels for electric car recharging, compared with say Australia or China, EVs are better suited to New Zealand. But this is only one part of the story. One should not assume that, overall, electric cars in New Zealand have a close-to-zero carbon footprint or are wholly sustainable.

    A life cycle analysis of emissions considers three phases: the manufacturing phase , the use phase and the recycling phase .

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    Is There Enough Lithium And Other Rare Metals To Meet Demand For Battery Production

    It is widely reported that the global supply of lithium ion batteries is struggling to keep up with the increased demand from EV manufacturers.

    However this is generally seen as a short-term problem perhaps reflecting an industry caught off-guard by the rapid increase in demand for EVs and batteries.

    Globally, both battery production and the production of lithium and other precious metals is being ramped up rapidly.

    In 2018 lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel prices, all of which are used in EV production, all fell back significantly after price spikes in 2016 and 20175, indicating that the markets are confident in the long term supply of these metals.

    Heres What It Costs To Run An Electric Car And Its True Environmental Impact In Five Us Cities

    Chart of the Day: Lifecycle CO2 Emissions for Electric, Small, and ...


    While its indeed true that it costs less and is better for the environment to drive a zero-emissions electric car than a comparable combustion engine model, exactly how cheap and how clean it will wind up can vary significantly from one part of the country to another.

    For starters, what you will actually pay to drive a given number of miles per year depends on how much your local energy provider charges per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Likewise, an electric cars bottom-line environmental effect depends largely upon how a utility generates power. Electric cars tend to be more environmentally friendly when driven in California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest, where renewable energy resources are prevalent, and less so in central U.S. states like Colorado, Kansas and Missouri where fossil-fueled electric plants are most common.

    You can download the ACEEEs Electric Vehicle Calculator to see how various EVs stack up where you live here.

    In the meantime, were featuring the annual cost to run five different electric vehicles and their Green Scores for the largest cities in five states that represent some of the largest EV markets in the U.S. They are California Maine Maryland New York and Oregon . The Green Scores and local electricity costs come from the ACEEEs calculator .

    112 MPGe 150 miles total range

    Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

    Tesla Model 3

    141 MPGe 250 miles total range

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    Introduction Batteries And Carbon Cost

    Electric cars are becoming more popular, but there is one big downside to their increasing popularity: electric car battery pollution. Electric car batteries are one of the most important components of an electric car. They provide the power that is necessary to operate the car. However, they also have the potential to pollute the environment. By pollution, were fairly specific to say that it includes both carbon emissions and inadvertent release of waste toxins.

    Countries Around The World Are Betting On Electric Cars

    For the UK, they have announced a ban on new petrol and diesel cars from sale after 2030 in a bid to reach zero-emissions by 2050. To fuel the transition, the government will invest nearly £12 billion , which will be used to accelerate the roll-out of charging points across the country, boost mass production of EV batteries as well as support consumers purchases with grants that will allow them to save up to 42%. Similarly, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the need to boost electric vehicles as part of the citys 2050 carbon neutrality plan. It is estimated that if every vehicle were electric, Hong Kongs total carbon footprint would drop to 1.4 million tons from the current 7.4 million tons.

    Among the most successful countries in the EV transition is Norway. In 2021, the European nation experienced a mind-blowing boom in sales, where EVs made up nearly 80% of new car sales. The country is also seeking to be the first in the world to end the sale of combustion engines by 2025. While Norway is leading the way, other European countries are catching up. If the market in Europe grows according to market predictions a staggering 1,697% by 2030 a recent study by Uswitch that analysed data from the International Energy Agency estimates that the continent could save emissions equivalent to planting one billion trees as well as reduce sea level by 2.19 millimetres.

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    How Long Will The Battery Last

    A well-maintained, modern electric car should be able to achieve 150,000 miles and beyond before the battery begins to lose capacity, although this figure will reduce if a rapid-charger has been the predominant method of charging.

    Find out everything you need to know about electric car charging here.

    At some point, owners will be faced with recycling or replacing the battery likely to then cost far more than the value of the vehicle.

    Currently there is no standardised process for recycling batteries, but the benefits make a considerable difference to electric vehicles green credentials.

    Reports6 suggest that material recovery can lead to a reduction in energy of 6-56% and a 23% reduction of greenhouse gases, compared with virgin material production.

    Car manufacturers have started to act. Volkswagen introduced a scheme in 2019 which it believes will see 97% of all the raw materials used in new EV batteries reused by 20407.

    A standardised recycling technique and testing of second-use applications for these batteries has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of their production.

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