Electric cars, as much as we would like them to be, are not the answer to eradicating carbon dioxide emissions. That is the case unless the energy used to charge the vehicles come from alternative energy sources. But as for now, most electric vehicles are charged essentially by burning coal, natural gas and petroleum.
Recently, a comparison of electric cars was made to determine how much carbon dioxide actually goes into running an electric vehicle. It must be said, however, that electric cars do cause much lesser emissions than a regular vehicle does. However, a recent comparison deemed hybrid vehicles more efficient at lessening carbon dioxide emissions over 100 miles of travel.
The vehicles were compared using mpg estimates and the battery capacities/full charge driving distances. The all-electric Tesla Roadster, on a 100 mile drive, would require 21.72 kilowatt hours of energy. This amount of energy equates to a coal plant emitting 47.4 pounds of carbon dioxide, natural gas emitting 23.5 pounds. The statistics were configured using electricity information in the United States only.
The all-electric Mini Cooper would essentially cause 51 pounds of carbon dioxide to be emitted by coal plants. The Mini Cooper requires 23.33 kilowatt hours for a 100 mile journey.
Electric vehicles were compared to such vehicles as Toyota’s Prius, Honda’s hybrid Insight, Toyota’s Camry and Ferrari’s F430. The hybrid vehicles were the clear winners in the comparison: on a 100-mile journey the Prius emits 35.3 pounds of carbon dioxide while the Insight emits 34.6 pounds.
However, the electric and hybrid vehicles are an obvious step-up from standard vehicles such as the Toyota Camry. The Camry emits 62.58 pounds of carbon dioxide per 100-mile journey. On the extreme end, the sports car Ferrari F430 emits 121.25 pounds of carbon dioxide going the same distance.
For now, electric vehicles are a greener choice but hopefully in the future it will be a true green choice. Currently alternative energy only accounts for 2.5 percent of all electricity in the United States, so most electric vehicles are being propelled by coal and natural gas.