Electric Cars Worse than Gasoline Cars?Category: Science & Technology
Posted: February 16, 2012 03:08PM
Here in the US, where the 'green' movement is going strong, many believe electric cars are needed to reduce environmental impact. In China though, electric cars are actually worse for the environment than gasoline cars.
While a gasoline or diesel vehicle is powered by the fuel in its engine, the electric vehicles are powered by plants located away from the vehicle. With 85% of China’s power plants being fossil fuel based, and 90% of those using coal, the use of an electric vehicle still produces particulates dangerous to people and the environment. Ideally a power plant is more efficient and cleaner than an engine, but as researchers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville have found, this is not always the case.
Compared to a gasoline engine, the power plants emit particulate matter at a greater rate, and even though the plants are removed from the populace, these emissions are carried to the people by the wind. The end result is an electric car is no better than a diesel bus, though it is better than a diesel car. An electric bike though has the smallest impact of the different tested, with the gasoline vehicle beneath it.
This study shows one simply cannot assume an electric vehicle is 'greener.' After all, the electricity has to come from somewhere.