Are electric cars really better for the environment?
The EPA’s website takes everything from EV battery production to renewable sources of electricity generation into account. The agency also evaluates an electric vehicle’s potential for reduced carbon dioxide production and overall lower emissions over the course of its lifetime. The EPA’s data confirms an electric vehicle’s higher CO2 emissions from EV battery manufacturing, but also shows the life cycle advantage for electric cars – IF they are charged by clean energy sources. While the reality of electric vehicle emissions is higher than many people realize, don’t be discouraged if you thought electric vehicles were your only clean transportation option. Buyers looking to substantially reduce their carbon footprint, without going full EV, should consider a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (or PHEV). Examples include the Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Prime. While some automakers are rapidly moving toward an all-electric fleet, some see PHEVs as an alternative form of electrification that provides the best of both worlds – zero emissions under most driving conditions, with highly reduced emissions even when operating in hybrid mode. Until the U.S. electric grid is powered primarily by renewable energy, PHEVs can reduce both emissions and fuel costs in today’s world, often at a price substantially lower than a similarly-sized electric vehicle.