One myth I hear often is “I use an electric car and i have no environmental impact“.
I can’t believe people fall for this one. It seems clean as long as you look at the back side of the car and see no emissions coming from the back. But it takes the some energy to carry you from point A to point B except in this case it comes from electricity stored in the Lead Acid batteries. This electricity has to be produced from somewhere.
In 2004, 83% of electricity produced comes from burning Natural Gas, Coal and other hydrocarbons. Assuming no production, transmission or storage losses (which is a very big assumption), and assuming other forms (Nuclear – 4% and Hydroelectric -14%) are more environment friendly, the electric cars are still only marginally better.
And there is the issue of Coal, We get 70% of all our energy from Coal, Coal is extremely inefficient and hands down the most polluting fuel. It creates not just Co2 pollution but So2 and particulate pollution. If you saw the sky in Beijing during or before Olympics, that’s what pollution from burning coal does to a city.
If we consider the big picture, I am sure there is no significant benefit to using an electric car. I actually suspect environment is worse off.
It does save a ton of money for the owners, because electricity in India is subsidized much more than the Petrol and diesel.
It also makes the electric car companies like Reva sell a lot more cars by exaggerating it’s perceived benefits.
And considering India has a lot of coal reserves and almost no crude reserves, it’s definitely good for India’s foreign exchange reserves.
It’s good to see green, but that doesn’t mean you turn blind.