Why Electric Vehicles Won’t Save Us

May 18, 2016
Dilyana Dobrinova

Tesla Motors is without a doubt the most ambitious automaker today. We’ve seen it rise from nothing and become one of the most discussed companies in the past decade. With its mission to bring electric cars to the mass market, the company is hoping to ensure the success of sustainable transport on a global scale. But will such ambition be enough to bring even the slightest change to the environment?

The main idea behind the usage of electric vehicles is to find an alternative to the high levels of vehicle carbon emissions. It is true that electric vehicles offer a real advantage in reducing the dangerous nitrogen oxide and particulate matter in urban areas. But does that make EVs the greener option?

The way we produce energy matters more than the way we consume it.

Are electric vehicles truly environmentally friendly?

Some experts consider electric vehicles to be a hoax because automakers in the field neglect the high levels of energy and electricity used in upstream activities. The manufacturing processes behind each vehicle require even more energy than the production of conventional vehicles. The production of batteries, no matter the cost is said to have a high impact on the atmosphere. Higher than the already established processes behind vehicles with combustion engines. Hence, one would say that the wasted resources in the production compensate for the saved exhaustion during driving.

It seems like EVs do not lead to greener choices. Instead, they simply move the fossil-fuel combustion to other, less obvious to the final consumer processes.

These facts do not remain hidden to people who have familiarized themselves with the entire process behind EV production and distribution.

How reliable are electric vehicles for long drives?

Another problem usually associated with car usage is the prolonged inactivity of vehicles.
Studies show that a car that is used for 50 minutes a day remains unused for over 95% of the time. More people keep buying more cars, especially in areas where distances are long and public transport is not well developed.

So far the mass usage of electric vehicles does not solve this problem. Thus, the resources used for the creation of the 350,000 units of Tesla’s Model 3 only add up to the damages we do to the environment without an equivalent benefit. The longest distance an EV can drive with a single charge up to now is 335 miles. The idea is to prolong this distance, in order to use the economies of scale and reduce electricity use.

Why did Toyota decide to go down the hydrogen route?

Despite the recent decrease in the production cost of EV batteries, the overall price for battery cars will remain pricey at least for the next decades. Moreover, electric vehicles require a hugely expensive network of charging stations in order to make longer trips even remotely feasible. The investments that need to be made seem to be rather irrational once you consider the enormous amounts of energy and electricity that the infrastructure requires.

Apparently, Toyota joining forces with Tesla has found the solution to these issues.

According to Japanese engineers, the future of sustainability is in hydrogen cars, not in electric ones. They believe that owners of electric cars are doomed to long overnight charges and short trips during the day. Yoshikazu Tanaka, one of Toyota’s engineers, is strictly against the rapid charge option too. He states that the rapid charge is a complete misuse of energy – a 12-minute rapid charge uses enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.

So not only does the electric car come as a burden and not as a convenience, but it also doesn’t protect the environment. On the contrary, it is yet another creation that wastes nature’s resources.

What is Tesla’s position in the EV ‘battles?’

Undoubtedly, Tesla Motors is the leader in the race for EV production. The company has had huge success in popularizing the idea of sustainable transport and the concept of electric vehicles. A sign of success is the price of stocks – Tesla’s stock price keeps increasing each quarter. But does this increase have anything to do with the company’s mission for sustainability?

Numerous experts claim that Tesla’s results so far were nowhere near successful. Tesla’s success was due to the high performance of the car rather than to its electric power, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said.

According to him, Tesla’s Model S became an attraction not because of its contribution to sustainable transport, but because of its appealing features and design. That’s why experts often consider the company a failure. Nevertheless, as Tesla now is heading towards cobalt-free batteries, there is still hope for their sustainability mission.

Do you already own a Tesla? It is true that it can drive considerable distances, yet, if you need to move it across the country, shipping your Tesla will be the best option, as you will need to charge it less and it will be more convenient for you. Drop us a line at Corsia Logistics, if you will need such service.  We will be happy to give you a free quote.

What is the future of sustainable electric vehicles?

If we can’t rely on the future success of the current leader in the market for electric vehicles, could we say that sustainable transport is a lost cause?

The opinions among experts will continue to vary just like it has always been with any innovation. What is important to keep in mind is that it is the final consumer that decides whether to accept the innovation.

The goal is to have more people get closer to the experiences associated with owning and driving an electric vehicle. It’s hard to explain the benefits if they haven’t experienced and understood the process. This way they will be able to decide for themselves whether the benefits are truly worth it.

It is crucial to remember that we shouldn’t turn EVs into a panacea for sustainable transport. This is only one possible path. Even if we choose to follow it, however, the impact of electric vehicles on the planet will remain a duty in the hands of each consumer much longer after the purchase of the car. The choices we make about how often we drive our EVs, on what mode we charge them, and how many people we share a ride with, will lead to the ultimate impact on our lives and the environment.

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