There are a lot of varying opinions about electric vehicles, and sometimes, we need the cold, hard facts about something to know what’s true. Without the sway of politics or emotions, what, exactly, is the truth about electric cars?
Here are a few myths being spread, plus the research and data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that expose the truth.
EV Power Plant Emissions Are Worse Than Gasoline Car Emissions?
Some believe that power plant emissions produced by electric cars make EVs worse for the environment than gas-powered cars. However, while it’s true these plants and even charging EVs produce carbon, it’s not at the same rate as standard vehicles. In fact, if the local electricity powering an EV plant is sourced from a renewable resource, the footprint is even smaller. Using the EPA’s Power Profiler, you can see how your local electricity is generated to gauge the potential carbon output of local EV plants.
The truth is that while EVs do emit emissions through production means, they produce no tailpipe emissions. And when you do the calculations, the pollution that is produced by EV manufacturing is less than the pollution that is produced by gas-powered cars.
Are EVs perfectly green? No, but they are better than their gas alternatives.
EV Battery Manufacturing Is Worse Than Gas Car Emissions?
The truth is that over the lifetime of a vehicle—including manufacturing all aspects, charging, and driving an EV—the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are lower than that of a gas-powered car. Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory did the math for a 300-mile range EV and a gas-powered car and found that while GHG emissions from producing the EV were higher than the GHG from having the gas car, the overall emissions over the lifespan of both vehicles showed that the EV was more environmentally friendly.
EVs Are Less Safe?
Electric cars have to meet the same safety standards as regular gas cars, so this is a bold myth. Not only do EVs have the same safety standards, but they also often include additional safety features. Plus, EV batteries have their own set of safety standards and have to meet guidelines and undergo testing processes.
One area where EVs tend to fare better is vehicle fires. Sure, an EV can catch fire, but gas-powered cars are more prone to it due to the flammability of their propulsion agent and the fact that they end up having more moving parts generating heat. EVs may catch fire if a battery is damaged but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2014 to 2016, of 150,000 vehicle fires, less than 5 percent were EVs.