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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are much cleaner than traditional cars because they don’t emit a cocktail of environmental pollutants. By driving an electric car, you, therefore, contribute to a better environment. Keep in mind the current with which the car is charged. The greener the electricity, the more environmentally friendly the car. Saving for a few solar panels and charging the car with this energy is, therefore, a very good idea. The production and recycling of batteries in particular do have an impact on the environment.

Many manufacturers are taking care of their processes, making sure that they are not leaving a huge impact on the environment. Businesses like Hugo and Sons promote environment-friendly products like upholstered coffee table footstools (https://www.hugoandsons.co.uk/upholstered-coffee-table-footstool/) to help protect the environment and minimize pollution. In the same manner, businesses that promote electric cars make sure that their products don’t emit environmental pollutants.

Fewer maintenance costs

Also nice: with an electric car you have much lower maintenance costs. That has everything to do with the electric motor. Compared to an internal combustion engine, an electric motor has far fewer moving parts. This reduces the chance of wear and tear. Time will tell whether an electric motor is still cheaper in the long run.

Electric cars are whisper quiet

The familiar roaring sound of the traditional car is produced by the internal combustion engine. An electric car is powered by electricity, which means much less noise. The fact that these environmentally friendly cars are whisper-quiet is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is nice and quiet for motorists and for people who live close to a (highway) road, but dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

Driving on electricity is cheaper

You fill the tank and are a few tens poorer. With an electric car, that is a thing of the past. Electricity is cheaper than petrol, diesel, and LPG. Charging the car at home or at work is about half the cost of driving on regular fuel. Public charging points are more expensive, even their the electricity is still cheaper than petrol, diesel or LPG.

It is tax attractive

Electric drivers now have a number of tax benefits. For example, an addition of 4% applies to electric lease cars, instead of the usual 22% for petrol and diesel cars. It also makes a difference that you do not have to pay motor vehicle tax (road tax) and purchase tax (BPM) for electric cars.

You can lease electric cars

The hefty price tag and the uncertain residual value are important arguments not to buy an electric car. With a private lease, you don’t have to worry about that. You pay a fixed monthly amount that is based on the number of kilometers, the contract duration, the price, and the residual value of the car.

The disadvantages of electric cars

Electric cars are more expensive. Electric cars are more expensive than fossil fuel cars. It is actually quite logical that you can’t buy an electric car for next to nothing. They are not yet mass-produced and the batteries are expensive. Also, few electric cars are offered second-hand. If the demand for electric cars continues to rise, this will of course change.

The range is limited

The range of electric cars is getting better, but it still lags behind the traditional car. An electric car can get on average between 100 and 500 kilometers with a full battery. For example, a petrol car with a tank capacity of 50 liters and average fuel consumption of 1 in 15 has a range of 750 kilometers. That’s still a difference. The limited range can cause ‘range anxiety’: the fear of not reaching your destination. That is anything but relaxing driving.

Electric charging takes time

A petrol tank is filled within a few minutes, an electric car takes much longer to charge. At home, you can count on up to 8 hours. At a charging point 1 to 2 hours and at a fast-charging station for 30 minutes. Filling up super fast and driving away is therefore not possible. A plug-in hybrid takes 1 to 4 hours to charge the battery. Driving longer distances, therefore, requires the necessary planning and arrangements.

There are too few charging points

The number of electric cars is increasing faster than the number of charging stations. As a result, charging stations are scarce and it is not always possible to charge the battery. Buying your own charging station is of course an option.

A towbar is missing

A caravan and an electric car usually do not go well together. Many electric cars do not have a towbar. Mounting one is unfortunately not an option. The battery pack is often in the way or the cooling capacity of the battery and motor cannot handle it. Something to keep in mind when buying a car.

It drives something different

One finds driving an electric car a world of difference, while the other does not turn his hand around. The big difference is that you don’t have to shift gears, because there are no gears in the car. This makes acceleration so smooth that you drive too fast.

ELECTRIC CARS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Diesel scandal, emissions scandal, particulate matter emissions – the good reputation of classic petrol and diesel cars has been significantly damaged in recent months by a number of scandals and studies. Electric cars, on the other hand, are experiencing an ever-increasing boom as an environmentally friendly alternative.

But are they really so gentle on the environment? We took a closer look at the life cycle assessment of electric cars and checked whether, from an ecological point of view, it was really worthwhile to invest in electronically operated vehicles.

ARE ELECTRIC CARS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?

Electric cars are often cited as a solution to the climate problems caused by car traffic. Politicians also see the increasing integration of electric cars into road transport as an opportunity to reduce CO2emissions and particulate matter pollution. About ten years ago, the Chancellor called for one million electric cars to roll on German roads by 2020. However, Merkel has now had to revise this quite ambitious government target, since the share of electric cars in Germany, despite the premium, is currently only at a low 0.7 percent. The implementation of the planned project therefore seems extremely unrealistic.

Nevertheless, there are good reasons why more and more motorists are choosing to buy an electric car. The reputation that precedes this is usually decisive for sales: while diesel cars count as the biggest polluters in road traffic, electric cars powered by car electricity from an ecological origin are regarded as a clean and, above all, environmentally friendly alternative. But is the positive image of electric vehicles really justified? Are they really more environmentally friendly than vehicles with classic internal combustion engines? In order to be able to make statements about the life cycle balance of an electric car, several factors must be taken into account, such as production and electricity supply.

CONSUMPTION AND RANGE OF ELECTRIC CARS

Larger and heavier vehicles tend to have higher power consumption, of course. The differences between the individual electric models in terms of range and consumption are still very large at the moment. The highest range does not necessarily have the energy-efficient vehicle at the moment, but is mainly achieved by large battery capacities. This is why the Tesla models with a range of 451 kilometers differ best compared to the competition, according to the ADAC Ecotest. The ranges determined by ADAC vary between 112 and 451 kilometers for the different models. The vehicles consume between 14.7 kWh and 28.1 kWh per 100 kilometers.

 

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THE ECO-BALANCE OF ELECTRIC CARS

Studies relating to the environmental performance of electric cars have come to contradictory results in terms of the life cycle assessment. The entire life path, from production to useful life to disposal, was included in the analyses. A study by the German Federal Environment Agency for Humans and the Environment finds that electric cars perform better in their life cycle assessment than cars with internal combustion engines. A similar study carried out on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management in Austria comes to a similar conclusion. Here, too, the life cycle was better when looking at the entire life cycle of electric cars compared to cars with internal combustion engines.

According to a study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg, electric cars have a similar climate balance to cars with internal combustion engines, as they require significantly more energy in their production: In the production of their highly complex accumulators, tons of greenhouse gases are produced, which are released and thus pose a great burden on our planet – comparable to the pollutants that a conventional combustion engine emits in traffic within eight years. This was the conclusion of researchers from Sweden who found a negative climate balance in terms of production based on a meta-study published in 2017.

LITHIUM BATTERIES IN ELECTRIC CARS

The batteries for electric cars are extremely worrying for several reasons. In addition to the water-intensive extraction of lithium, the raw material cobalt is also used in their production. This resource, too, is only available to a limited extent, so its extraction is extremely expensive – at the expense of nature. Many of the raw materials also come from China or the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the promotion not only violates human rights, but also the environment is increasingly destroyed by the pollution of rivers and soils.

Another problem you need to consider when you’re playing with the idea of getting an electric car is the question of where to go with the battery? Lithium cannot be recycled yet. While many scientists and experts are working on a way to reuse the batteries of electric cars, research has not yet gone that far. In the future, therefore, a number of changes will have to be made in battery technology in order to implement an environmentally friendly recycling process.

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