March 21, 2012 by peterpak
This Time Magazine Article written by Alice Park looks at the impact of electric cars on the environment compared to internal combustion (fossil fuel) vehicles. The article looks at a study conducted by Christopher Cherry, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee, and his colleagues. The results of the study indicate that electric vehicles are in fact worse for China’s environment. Electric vehicles emit significantly more pollutants because of the electric plants that power them compared to the internal combustion engines emit pollutants from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.
On average, the fine particulate emissions per passenger-km are 3.6 times greater for electric cars than for gasoline cars.
The study explains that electric vehicles appear to pollute less, because they do not emit the fumes from the vehicle; unlike their gas powered counterparts. However, an inspection of the emissions of power plants in China revealed that far greater amounts of harmful pollutants are released to power electric cars. This problem is most important in China, because government pushes of the more “eco-friendly” electric vehicles have resulted in rapidly growing sales. Fortunately, electric bikes are the most popular seller while also being less harmful to the environment. In fact, there are now 100 million of these low emission vehicles on China’s roads.