The Future of Green Vehicles: How Sustainable Are Electric Cars?

Jun 13, 2024 - 4 minute read

How Sustainable Are Electric Cars

Are Electric Cars the Future of Driving?

Drivers are making the change every day to drive electric vehicles, empowered by the confidence of green decision-making for the planet's well-being. The technology behind electric cars promises a better future with reduced emissions, less energy consumption, and improved air quality for generations to come. However, just how sustainable are electric cars? At Aschenbach Automotive Group, we’re committed to helping our customers and the general public develop a better understanding of making the decision to drive electric. Visit one of our dealerships to learn more about electric cars from our automotive experts today!

How Reliable Are Electric Vehicles?

Electric vehicles continue to mystify, as introducing fully-electric car models to the automotive market presents opportunities for plenty of questions and confusion around the technology and overall reliability. Many don’t quite understand just how eco-friendly EV technology is and are left questioning whether electric vehicles are sustainable for the future. How sustainable are electric cars, and are they indeed our future? Let’s explore some of the frequently asked questions many drivers often ask about electric vehicles.

Question #1: Are electric vehicles eco-friendly? How do they compare to gas vehicles?

Answer: Electric cars have better lifetime emissions than their gas-powered counterparts, though they still generate emissions at some point in their useful life. Over their entire lifetime, electric cars put out 54% less in emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. While they do not emit tailpipe emissions, how sustainable electric cars are to charge may be affected by variable sources for charging.  Some charging sources are not generated by sustainable means, potentially creating carbon emissions. How the electricity is sourced ultimately determines the vehicle's overall emissions; if the power is generated locally by coal or natural gas, it will create more carbon. However, if the electricity is sustainably sourced from renewable sources like wind or solar, they will not produce carbon dioxide. 

When it comes to electric cars, renewable energy is the key to keeping greenhouse gas emissions low throughout the entire life cycle of owning your vehicle. By sourcing your home’s power from sustainable sources such as solar panels on the roof, from a local solar farm, or transported from local turbines, the overall environmental effects of your electric car over its lifetime will stay on the lower end. Opt for charging stations that reliably source from regenerative power whenever possible when driving.

Question #2: How sustainable are electric car batteries?

Answer: Like the response to the question above, the overall emissions of an electric car over the course of its life are less than those of gas-based vehicles, and this includes the manufacturing process. Due to the energy cost of manufacturing a battery and the detriment of mining, many have been led to believe that this creates more ecological damage than a gasoline car. However, things are changing regarding sourcing lithium from recycled batteries, with programs such as ReCell from the U.S. Department of Energy being established to create the first advanced battery recycling R&D center.

How sustainable electric cars are will advance as time goes on and the technology improves. Recent developments have manifested concerning the use of hydrometallurgy in extracting lithium and other precious materials from used and expended EV batteries, using aqueous solutions to extract for reuse. The more progress can be made in figuring out how to recycle batteries sustainably, the less public concern there should be about the eco-friendliness of electric vehicles.

Question #3: Does the current infrastructure support electric vehicles?

Answer: Currently, there are over 73,000 charging stations and counting across the United States and they are fully available for public use. In recognizing how sustainable electric cars are, vehicle manufacturers, power companies, and the government are strategically and steadily increasing the presence of chargers throughout the country to make it easier and more accessible for electric vehicle drivers to access power. Drivers can also source sufficient electricity through 240-volt charging stations installed at home or a standard 120-volt outlet. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, over $25 billion will be spent on creating an improved national network of chargers to support highway transportation for travelers and truck drivers, as well as in neighborhoods and smaller communities. 

The Electric Future of Driving

Electric cars are undoubtedly driving the future of transportation, providing a solution for drivers of all backgrounds to make sustainable decisions concerning their daily commute. How sustainable electric cars are will only continue to improve as time passes, promising a greener future of reliable, eco-friendly transportation accessible to all. At Aschenbach Automotive Group, we’ll continue investigating the current landscape of electric vehicle advancements and how these questions will only fade with time and be replaced with collective wisdom as the regenerative revolution progresses. Visit any of our dealerships to learn more about the electric vehicles available in our lineups and join the movement today!

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