Disadvantages of electric cars on environment

Disadvantages of Electric Cars on the Environment

Overview

The world is progressing day by day, this is a good thing, many new inventions have come on the world which is beneficial for the humans. Many new industries come on the earth daily which makes the humans more fascinated but last few years as the world has grown the environment is badly affected. Businessmen are developing day by day the environment of the world is also down with the same speed and no one is trying to focus to make the environment good. As the environment is badly affected human health is also affected as well as the animal and marine life this is a big question for the survival of the world?

You’re probably aware that not driving or owning a car is the most environmentally friendly option. However, not having a car is not always a viable option, such as if your job requires it or if you or close relatives/friends do not have access to public transportation.

Researches On Automobiles

With nearly 1.4 billion cars on the road today, one thing that has been overlooked is the fact that carbon emissions and pollution, whether low or high, have been continuously added to the environment and have now become a major environmental concern. Automobiles contribute a significant portion of pollution and environmental degradation.

In order to combat this problem, more stringent emission standards and norms have been developed. We’ve come so far in this direction that we’ve almost perfected the ICE segment, extracting the maximum power and mileage from every drop of fuel we use, experimenting with alternative fuels, and using hybrid technology.

Nickel Graphite
credit: image owner

Inadvertently, the advancement of the portable electronic industry paved the way for the return of electric vehicles. CARB started a race for more fuel-efficient and zero-emission vehicles in the early 1990s. In the short term, many mainstream automakers responded with a few models.

Tesla’s Roadster with lithium-ion battery cell, introduced in 2008, demonstrated what an electric vehicle can do, and automakers have been racing to develop better electric vehicles for all segments since then.

Why Electric Cars Are Promoting In The World?

With so many advantages over internal combustion engines, electric vehicles have already surpassed them in a number of ways and are still improving at a rapid rate as you read this article. They’re becoming increasingly efficient, with lower and almost zero emissions, lower costs, better battery management, higher power and torque figures, internet connectivity, artificial intelligence, safety, comfort, and other features.

Is it true that an electric car is a good solution? Learn more about how an electric car affects the environment.

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There are a variety of programs in place to encourage the use of electric vehicles, and the commercial sector is no exception. This is due to two factors: … Lithium-ion batteries were chosen because they are very energy efficient, but their production is not very environmentally friendly.

 

2022 Huawei aitom5 SUV

Unfortunately, there are still some drawbacks to driving and buying an electric vehicle. The report by the US Congressional Research Service, which was released on June 16, 2020, is one of them. It claims that while the production of electric vehicles is 1.3-2 times more harmful in terms of greenhouse gases, their operation is more environmentally friendly, resulting in greenhouse emissions from fewer electric vehicles over their entire life cycle.

Disadvantages of Electric Cars on the Environment

The manufacturing of batteries for your electric car is not as environmentally friendly as you might think. The energy source for electric cars is a large lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries were chosen because they are very energy efficient, but their production is not very environmentally friendly. Indigenous communities in Chile and Argentina living near lithium mines are not properly informed about mining projects on their lands. They are given insufficient information about the potential effects on their water supplies, as lithium mining is a water-intensive process. Although the Andes mountains are a very dry land area, the lithium extraction process necessitates 500,000 gallons of water per tonne of lithium.

Minerals used in electric cars compared to gasoline cars
credit: image owner

In some other parts of Chile, lithium production consumes 65 percent of the available water. The lithium brine must then evaporate for 12 to 18 months. Chemicals could contaminate any water returned to farmers (who use the water for the country’s food production). The lithium brine evaporation process can be sped up by heating the water, which causes faster evaporation. This process, however, necessitates the use of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, as demand for lithium grows, the desire for faster and cheaper production may outweigh the environmental consequences.

According to statistics, there were approximately 3 million electric vehicles on the road in 2018, which increased to nearly 10 million in 2020, and is expected to reach 200 million by 2030. This is easily correlated with the amount of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite mined solely for electric vehicles.

According to one estimate, lithium consumption has increased by 150 percent since 2013 and is expected to quadruple by 2025. Not to mention the fact that by 2025, electric vehicles are expected to account for 90% of the lithium-ion battery market. The lithium triangle, located in the Andes mountains between Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, is the primary source of lithium carbonate (the form in which it is mined). USA, Australia, and China have significant reserves, but these countries intend to keep them to themselves.

Which Type Of Land Require For Lithium Mining?

Salts plain land required for lithium mining. The earth’s crust is drilled to get to the lithium-rich brine beneath the surface in the arid salt plains of the Atacama desert, in the Andes mountains, which leaches massive amounts of groundwater from the surrounding area, resulting in decreased water supply and lower accessibility of water for agricultural practices.

Mining companies in Salar-de-Atacama, Chile, have depleted 65 percent of the available water supplies for this single purpose. According to estimates, 1890 tonnes of water are used to produce 1 tonne of lithium from salt brine, which is only 6% of what is required to make a lithium-ion battery.

lithium production
credit: image owner

Another source of concern will be the enormous wealth that lithium represents for smaller, poorer countries as demand rises. The lithium brine evaporation period is 12–18 months, which would have to be sped up by heating the water, which would necessitate the use of fossil fuels, defeating the entire purpose of reducing greenhouse emissions in the first place. However, if prices rise and there is a supply-demand gap, the need for quick and cheap production will jeopardize the entire concept of environmental protection while maintaining standards.

Nickel, Graphite And Cobalt Mining

Nickel is a key ingredient in Lithium-ion batteries productions. Cobalt mining is unquestionably harmful. Half of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which also has a number of other issues, including an ethical dilemma involving child labor, slavery, toxic leakage, and radioactivity, all of which are reprehensible.

Although automakers such as Tesla are doing everything they can to reduce the use of cobalt in the cathode to a bare minimum, this results in a reduction in battery safety and lifecycle. Nickel and graphite mining are in the same boat. Abuse of human rights and pollution of the air and water have been observed at their extremes. Food and water supplies have been contaminated in graphite mining areas, according to reports.

The recycling of lithium-ion batteries is the next issue we have to deal with. Despite the fact that lithium batteries are 95% recyclable, the recycling game is not keeping up with the growing number of spent batteries from electric vehicles. Lithium batteries suffer irreversible damage, making repurposing them difficult. They must then be completely demolished, extracted, and remanufactured. Different manufacturers use different additives to improve their batteries during the manufacturing process, whether it’s to speed up the processor to make them more durable and temperature resistant. However, the manufacturers keep this recipe a secret, making repurposing the minerals difficult and expensive for recyclers.

It should be noted that automakers must develop a long-term recycling infrastructure because the process is still not cost-effective. Lithium recycling costs nearly five times as much as lithium production from the least expensive brine-based process. Even when best practices are followed, recycled lithium is not pure enough to produce batteries, and the material is used for non-battery purposes. One solution is to repurpose the batteries and use them to power other electronic equipment, thereby extending the lithium’s useful life. These batteries may not have the capacity required to power a vehicle, but they may be sufficient to power stationary storage at homes, power grids, offices, and other locations.

Not to mention that, in comparison to IC engines, electric vehicles and battery technology are still in their infancy. As time passes, the processes are expected to become more efficient and safer, while also focusing on the all-important goal of having the least negative environmental impact possible. We will finally achieve the whole idea of introducing electric vehicles as we see further advancements in raw material mining to manufacturing processes in a responsible way, thus reducing carbon emissions and effective recycling of Lithium-ion batteries. So there you have it, the Environmental Impact of Electric Car Batteries. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section.

Human Right Violations

Cobalt, in addition to the previously mentioned lithium, is required for electric car batteries. Cobalt, which was previously mined as a by-product of nickel, copper, and nickel, is now in high demand due to a scarcity of metal. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the most cobalt mines (DRC). According to UNICEF, about 40.000 children worked in mines in the DRC in 2014. People are exposed to toxic waste leakage and radioactivity in the cobalt mines, in addition to child and slave labor.

 

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