Electric vehicles are crucial in alleviating climate change, with incentives in place for mass EV uptake by 2030. The electrical market is growing rapidly, leading the way towards a greener future.
But are EVs really zero-emission? How do they actually reduce carbon emissions?
We address these and many more in our top 10 EV questions and answers on environmental concerns, batteries, cost, government incentives, and infrastructure:
- Are electric vehicles the future?
- Are electric vehicles better for the environment?
- Can electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions?
- How do electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions?
- Why are electric vehicles expensive?
- When will electric vehicles become affordable?
- Are electric vehicles zero emission?
- Electric vehicles and infrastructure: what are the challenges?
- What are the goals for electric vehicles by 2030?
- What is the range of an electric vehicle?
Are electric vehicles the future?
Yes, we are rapidly approaching an electric future. The sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2030 in the UK, with many leading car manufacturers pledging to go fully electric: Jaguar has vowed to sell only EVs from 2025, with Volvo making the same promise from 2030.
In some places the electric future has already arrived, with Norway becoming the first country where electric vehicle sales have surpassed those of petrol and diesel.
How sand casting will play a vital role in the future of transportation
How sand casting supports EV manufacturing
are electric vehicles better for the environment?EVs produce zero emissions after the manufacturing process, so they are certainly better than combustion engines.
However, EV batteries are made from raw materials such as Cobalt and Lithium that have been linked to grave environmental concerns. The highly conductive materials are removed from radioactive elements such as uranium, which causes TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials) waste.
Additionally, recycling rates for lithium-ion batteries are low- about 5% in the EU and US. However, scientists are exploring the idea of using second-hand batteries as electricity storage for solar power, which would significantly reduce the environmental impact of toxic battery disposal.
Can electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions?
Yes, EVs emit less carbon emissions over their whole lifespan, with studies showing that they are 30% lower compared to petrol cars in the UK, and 70% in some European countries such as France and Sweden.
Additionally, EV emissions can be reduced even more if power plants move to renewable or low-carbon energy.
How do electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions?
EVs create no air pollution or exhaust fumes when they are running as they use lithium-ion batteries instead of fuel, which means they do not produce any carbon emissions after the manufacturing process.
EVs are also more energy efficient due to weight reduction, with manufacturers using recycled and eco-friendly materials to make them lighter and better for the environment.
Why are electric vehicles expensive?
EV batteries are costly to produce and are the most expensive part to manufacture. They are set to become more affordable though by replacing some of the high-cost metals (specifically in the cathode, the component responsible for the storing and releasing of charge) with cheaper alternatives.Read More: How sand casting will help solve the issue of battery cost
Also, EV manufacturing time (sometimes as long as 18 months) and the newness of the market are factors that hinder wide-scale EV production.
When will electric vehicles be affordable?It's predicted that electric vehicles will be cheaper to produce than diesel or petrol vehicles by 2027, due to cheaper materials and larger, more efficient production lines.
EV sales are already growing at a fast rate, which will only accelerate in the next six years when technological advancements drive down production prices.
Are electric vehicles zero emission?
Electric vehicles produce no CO2 emissions as they are powered by rechargeable batteries. However, they get their power from power stations that burn fossil fuels, and emissions are produced in the manufacturing process.Even so, EVs still produce less emissions than conventional cars, with the move to renewable energy power stations reducing emissions even further.
Electric vehicles and infrastructure: what are the challenges?
To accommodate the wide-spread use of EVs, a large network of charging points is essential. Currently, the limited charging availability are reducing EV sales, with long-distance trips requiring multiple charging stops.
Additionally, the capacity of the power grid will need to increase to accommodate more EVs without straining the electricity supply and causing blackouts.
Recently, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has identified problems that could affect the mass roll-out of EVs to the general market. For example, on-street charging could be rolled out too slowly by Local Authorities, with rural areas suffering the most from this due to a lack of investment.
What are the goals for electric vehicles by 2030?
To fight climate change, the UK government has created a 10-point plan that outlines the move to electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.
By 2030, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned, with a £1.3 billion investment plan to speed up the rollout of EV charging points in homes, streets, and across motorways so that vehicles can be charged easily.
In addition, the government will be providing grants to homeowners, businesses, and local authorities to encourage them to install charge points.
What is the range of an electric vehicle?
The range of an electric vehicle, or the distance it can travel on a single charge, depends on the EV model and make. Daily journeys can usually be completed on a single charge, but longer ones will require extra top up charges.Concerns over battery range of electric vehicles is constantly cited as a key reason why consumers are reluctant to switch to EV. Manufacturing electric vehicles that are as lightweight as possible to reduce battery usage, the size of the battery required and increase EV range capability will be essential.
You can read more about the role of sand casting in increasing EV battery range here.
A green revolution is happening.
There are some roadblocks ahead concerning infrastructure and the environment, but EVs are undoubtedly paving the way towards a zero-emission future.
Want to find out about the role of sand casting in manufacturing electric vehicles? Read our ebook Making EV Components with Sand Casting, just click on the button below.
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