Have Green Cars Had The Desired Effect On The Planet?

Electric cars and vehicles are designed to be an eco-friendly alternative to cars that run on gasoline. This has led global leaders and automakers to embrace electric vehicles as part of their carbon emissions reduction strategies.

General Motors has gone so far as pledge to sell only electric cars and light trucks by 2035, and completely transform its automaking to battery-powered designs. Volvo is another car manufacturer with plans to pivot to electric-only new car sales by 2030.

Yet, no industry comes without an environmental footprint. Some people have raised legitimate concerns that mining rare earth minerals for electric car batteries could put biodiverse regions at risk. Others have noted that we don’t have a cost-effective means to recycle electric car batteries.

Does this mean that electric cars are worse than regular cars? Experts say no, but they do have some important environmental pitfalls to address. Read on to learn more.

What are electric cars?

Plugging in your transportation is a new concept to most people who are used to pumping gas to get from point A to point B. With a dashboard that looks like a giant smartphone, EVs can look like they’ve come from the future. Yet, their technology is not new. Electric cars have existed just as long as cars powered by gasoline.

Just like your average automatic transmission car, an electric vehicle powers on with an ignition, accelerates with the gas pedal and stops with the brakes. The main difference from a gas-fueled car is the design of its motor.


Electric vehicles are powered by batteries which must be periodically re-charged using a charging station connected to an electricity power source. This is familiar to most people because it’s the same way we charge our phones, computers, and other electric devices and appliances.

Most electric vehicles use a lithium-ion battery with a relatively simple design. In fact, there are only 20 moving parts in an EV motor versus almost 2,000 in the engine of a comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

How do they work?

A fully electric car requires no petrol or diesel and no gears to drive higher or lower speeds. Instead, pressing the accelerator powers the motor from an electric battery. The motor turns the wheels from the drive shafts. When you press the brakes, the energy generated in the motor can deliver power back to the battery, helping it retain an electric charge longer.

There are a few key differences between electric cars and gas-fueled vehicles:

  • They’re quieter.
  • They accelerate faster without gears to shift through.
  • A non-reactive driving style (no harsh braking) and medium driving speeds maintains the charge longer over time.
  • Extremely hot or cold weather can deplete the charge faster than temperate weather.

What about hybrid cars?

Hybrid vehicles are an attractive option for people who want to lower their gas costs and environmental footprint in areas without a lot of charging stations.

Hybrid cars use both petroleum and electric motors. Some will use the electric motor at lower speeds and switch to the gas-fueled motor at high speeds. Others merely use the electric motor as a support to the main gas engine. Depending on the level of power the electric motor supplies, hybrids are classified as strong or mild. The key point is they emit less CO2 and they require less fuel so they can save their owners money.

Are electric cars greener than fossil fuel powered ones?

We know that electric cars don’t emit CO2 emissions from their tailpipe, because no fuel is burned. That said, they still require electricity. For now, most electricity (about 60%) still comes from fossil fuel sources in the US.

To understand the full picture, you’d have to compare how fossil fuels are burned while charging your electric vehicle versus the amount burned to drive an ICE car. This varies a lot depending on the region.


This varies country to country as well as state to state. Driving an electric car in Iceland, for instance, would emit almost no emissions from its operation or charging, because the energy sources there are predominantly renewable: wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro.

In the US, Maine sourced just 79% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources in 2020, while Texas relied on wind, solar, and nuclear for only 32% of its electricity. On the other hand, Texas is installing more solar power than any other state, so the mix will likely improve over time.

These issues make it necessary to compare the environmental footprint of electric vehicles today as well as within future projections.

So what’s the final verdict? According to the US EPA, even when you account for GHG emissions from electricity generation for charging, electric cars still have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars.

Sustainable Transportation: Everything You Need To Know

Are you concerned about the depletion of the ozone layer? Do you want to play a role in preventing this major global environmental problem that leads to an increase in skin cancer or immune system damage? As we celebrate the International Day for the Prevention of the Ozone Layer tomorrow, it is the ideal time to learn more about sustainable transport.

What is Sustainable Transport?

The term sustainable transportation refers to any means of transport that causes the least damage to the environment. Also known as “Green Transport”, it consists of relying on renewable or regenerated energy for transportation instead of depending on fossil fuels, which have limited life expectancy. 

Since this type of transportation, including walking, cycling and even public transportation, uses either sustainable energy sources or depends less on natural resources, it has minimum negative effects on the environment compared to standard vehicles.

Sustainable Transportation Examples

Many countries have encouraged people to use public transport instead of private cars to become more sustainable. Cycling is also becoming increasingly popular because it is seen as a cheap transportation method and is also beneficial for maintaining physical fitness.

A series of measures have also been taken to develop cleaner and more energy-efficient modes of city transportation. Experiments have been conducted with several types of fuel to introduce “green vehicles”. For example, hybrid cars are promoted as an alternative to conventional vehicles and have likewise become more widespread. While standard cars usually run on natural gas or electricity, these hybrid transports operate with a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.

Why Choose Sustainable Transportation?

  1. Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduced
    Various forms of transports consume between 20% to 25% of the earth’s energy, contributing to the significant high level of greenhouse gases (GHG) produce. In fact, 15% of GHG produced worldwide come from regular transportation.  While on the other hand, driving eco-friendly vehicles help in the reduction of these emissions and in keeping our air cleaner. These transports are also more energy-efficient, hence sustainable.
  2. A Money Saver
    These days, in many countries, we’ve seen the rise in fuel prices, and sustainable transport is an effective way of saving on these costs. It is indeed cheaper to walk, cycle, take public transportation, or drive energy-efficient vehicles. Plus, Eco-driving will not only help you to save on fuel expenses but also on maintenance as car parts will wear and tear less. These modern transports also have the perks of improving road safety as they are less prone to accidents.
  3. More Rapidity And Flexibility Obtained
    If you need to travel somewhere close by, sustainable transports like walking or cycling will allow you to reach the destination faster while avoiding traffic jams. This is also an ideal way of saving you the hassle of finding a suitable parking space for your car. However, if you have to carry heavy bags, public transport can also be an alternative.
  4. Healthier Lifestyle
    We all know the importance of keeping active, but we cannot always spend extra time on physical activities with our daily packed schedule. Yet, walking and cycling to work, for instance, is an effective way of killing two birds with one stone as it will not only allow you to save the world but will also keep you healthy. On the other hand, public transport produced less air pollution than private standard cars leading to lower carbon emission. Consequently, this keeps our air cleaner and our lungs healthier!
  5. A Great Way To Have Fun
    Cycling is often considered as a leisure activity. And this sustainable means of transport can be a great way of enjoying this activity during your trip to work.

As you’ve learned more on the concept of sustainable transportation, you can now make a difference and help in the prevention of the Ozone depletion! Don’t forget to leave a comment once you’ve adopted this environmental-friendly method of transport.