Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution?

4 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution? отключены
August Electric Vehicle

Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution?

[Note to reader: topic sentences are in green ; remaining weakness in red .]


The amount of pollution created by electric vehicles depends mostly on the source of the electricity used to charge them. This makes it impossible to determine if electric vehicles pollute less than internal combustion engine vehicles without considering where they are to be deployed and by what sources of electricity they are to be powered. An electric vehicle that is charged with energy from a clean source, like hydroelectric power, will produce very little pollution, while one charged with energy from an unclean source, like coal or oil, may produce more pollution than an internal combustion engine vehicle.

The sources of energy for most regions fall somewhere between these two extremes. The use of electric vehicles will allow new possibilities in pollution control and management that may outweigh some of their potentia.l failings. While not ready to be used everywhere, electric vehicles have the potential to pollute much less than internal combustion engine vehicles.


Internal combustion engine vehicles are responsible for the vast majority of pollutants that plague urban areas today. Studies of the sources of air pollution have shown that transportation accounts for the majority of nitrogen oxide (54%) and carbon monoxide (89%) emissions in the United States [1]. Furthermore, internal combustion engines are also believed to be one of the largest single sources of carbon dioxide (28%) emissions [1]. [The next sentence undercuts main point of introduction by bringing up a new topic.] Internal combustion engine vehicles also generate other types of pollution, including sulfur oxides and hydrocarbons, however, the amounts generated by transportation are small compared to other activities.

August Electric Vehicle

These emissions are directly responsible for many of the air quality problems faced in major urban areas. For example, carbon monoxide readily bonds with hemoglobin in blood, taking the place that would normally be occupied by oxygen molecules. Exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause …, essentially suffocating a person as their cells are deprived of oxygen.

Nitrogen oxides are also problematic for urban dwellers because sunlight causes hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides to react and form ozone. Even at low concentrations, ozone damages the body’s cells and tissues and causes respiratory ailments. [The next sentence is not about air quality.] Although carbon dioxide is not directly harmful to us since we exhale a large quantity of it every day, it is believed to be a greenhouse gas, that is, it may affect global temperatures.

Pollution from power plants

Estimates of the pollution emitted by electric vehicles relative to modern internal combustion engine vehicles

A comparison of the pollutants emitted by internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles charged by various energy sources. Notice that carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions are negligible when using electric vehicles, but that the emission of sulfur oxides increases. Also note the increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides that occur when using greater proportions of coal and oil derived electricity.

August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle

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