Did you know that around two-thirds of Australians are predicted to be driving electric cars in ten years?
And yet, currently, electric cars are only for the rich and famous or environmentalists.
But, the truth is that switch from gas-powered engines to electric vehicles results in a wide range of environmental benefits. All of which can be enjoyed by everyone.
In this article, we’ll reveal the environmental benefits of electric cars. If this doesn’t get you excited for a low-carbon future, we don’t know what will. Let’s get started!
1. Improved Air Quality
Isn’t’ it unusual to hear that up to 3,000 deaths per year are caused by air pollution in Australia?
There are many factors which contribute to air pollution in urban environments. But, car exhaust fumes are the most significant.
It must be said that Australia has a high air quality. Especially when compared with other developed countries.
And yet, it remains a worrying problem since air pollution can cause serious harm to human health. Residents of major cities, such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are at risk of an earlier death as a result of air pollution.
One alarming study suggests that men can expect to die roughly 72 days earlier. Whereas, women could live 65 fewer days as a consequence.
Air pollution due to the particulate matter (PM) emitted from engines can cause numerous health problems. These include cardiovascular and respiratory health disorders.
This “health emergency” is not without significant economic cost either. The healthcare costs caused by air pollution are estimated to be almost $4 billion.
Air pollution doesn’t affect everyone equally either.
The bottom 60 per cent of households by income are subject to the worse air pollution in the country. In other words, air pollution is not only an environmental problem. But, it’s also a “class problem.”
How do Electric Cars Improve Air Quality?
Since electric vehicles (EV) do not run on fossil fuels, they emit absolutely no harmful pollutants in the urban environment. Therefore, the switch to electric cars would lead to cleaner and healthier cities.
Less pollution would subsequently bring down healthcare costs caused by poor air quality. Thus, life expectancy would increase.
2. Lower CO2 Emissions
Haven’t you heard? Climate change is the biggest threat to human beings and the environment ever encountered.
And also, one of the most significant causes of global warming is the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels primarily causes CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Fossil fuels also include petrol to power gasoline vehicles.
Australia may be ahead of other developing countries in Europe and North America regarding air quality. But, when it comes to CO2 emissions caused by transport, it lags.
CO2 emissions caused by transport have risen since 1990, according to experts. An overwhelming number of Australia travel via car. Around 87 per cent of people commutes to work via car.
Therefore transport is one of the most critical environmental problems in Australia. The country desperately needs to embrace ways to reduce emissions from gasoline cars.
How Can Electric Cars Lower CO2 Emissions?
Electric cars do not emit any CO2 emissions. Following the manufacturing process, which could produce greenhouse gas emissions, EVs are zero-carbon.
That’s why many people advocate the transformation of transport to electric vehicles, including public transportation, such as buses. As a result, electric vehicles could reduce CO2 emissions by more than half.
According to the 2018 report switching to electric cars can significantly reduce CO2 emissions caused by transport. The problem is “the lack of policy support or incentives” by the government for the transition to electric cars.
Therefore, people can continue to drive to work in their cars, without harming the environment with EVs.
3. Reduced Demand for Fossil Fuels
As already established, the burning of fossil fuels is chiefly responsible for global warming and climate change. Therefore, one of the quickest ways to transition away from fossil fuels is to undermine demand.
In other words, if people stop buying coal, oil, and gas, then they stop selling them. However, that’s easier said than done, especially when you consider that over 90 per cent of Australian energy consumption is from fossil fuels, in particular, coal products.
Despite the warnings, the demand for fossil fuels is expected to peak around 2023, according to experts. Anything we can do to cut the need for fossil fuel energy would help in the fight against climate change.
How Can Electric Cars Reduce Demand for Fossil Fuels?
The switch to EVs can play an essential role in reducing the demand for more fossil fuel energy. EVs require no fossil fuel energy to run, unlike gasoline vehicles which are dependent on oil.
4. Renewable Energy Supported
Just as the demand for fossil fuels is expected to fall, the replacement of the dirty energy sources of coal, gas, and oil, with renewable energy is gaining momentum.
Soon enough, Australian energy resources will include solar, wind and hydro energy sources. These will help to create a cleaner and more sustainable society and economy.
EVs can almost completely cut themselves off from fossil fuel sources of energy. And yet, many critics argue that EVs are only as green as the energy which they run on.
It’s worthwhile saying that this is mostly true!
How Can Renewable Energy support electric Cars?
Sure, if your electric car uses energy generated from the burning of coal, your impact on the environment is higher. However, as renewable energy reaches record levels of growth in Australia, there are increasing ways to charge the battery of your EV with clean energy sources.
But, what is also frequently neglected by many people is that EVs have lower emissions even when powered with fossil fuel energy sources. Electric cars powered with coal produce lower emissions compared with internal combustion engines.
5. More Sustainable Consumption
Up to 80 per cent of the impacts on the planet is a result of household consumption. Of course, this includes the driving of cars.
Many experts argue that we need to find more ways to consume sustainably. Therefore our products need to be more durable and be built to last.
People are keeping their cars longer than they did in the past which is good news!
However, it is worth noting that the average car owner keeps the same vehicle for only seven years. Many car owners are chopping and changing all the time.
How Can Electric Cars Lead to Sustainable Consumption?
You can expect EVs to last for significantly longer than gasoline-powered vehicles.
After all, EVs often comes with an 8-year warranty on the battery. This warranty can also be a 100,000-kilometre warranty. Therefore, they can be expected to last significantly longer than the warranty covers.
Moreover, the maintenance costs are much lower for electric cars. Their low maintenance costs are due to the fewer number of “moving parts” which go into the production of EVs.
For example, the average internal combustion engine vehicle has over 2,000 moving parts. By contrast, EVs have roughly 20.
Fewer moving parts inevitably result in lower maintenance costs and fewer breakdowns. In other words, electric cars are built to last.
6. The Decrease in Noise Pollution
Around 46 per cent of Australians says that they experience noise pollution which negatively impacts their quality of life.
Noise pollution isn’t only caused by what people hear on the streets. In Victoria, over 70 per cent of residents says they can hear traffic noise from their homes.
Noise pollution isn’t just annoying for people. It’s also harmful to human health and the environment.
When the human ear hears a noise which goes beyond 85 decibels, it can cause significant damage, such as hearing loss.
However, noise over 65 decibels is enough to increase blood pressure, stress, and heart rate. Even as your body gets familiar with the sounds of the road, the damage continues.
How Can Electric Cars Help to Decrease Noise Pollution?
By contrast, electric cars are almost silent.
They have the opposite problem. Many people are concerned that the absence of any noise produced by the vehicles, requires pedestrians and cyclists to be even more aware of oncoming traffic.
There have been suggestions that EVs need to alert passers-by with specific signals. Therefore, EVs could lead to quieter and calmer streets, for a better urban environment.
The Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars?
Many people are considering switching from an internal combustion engine vehicle to an electric car. It makes sense!
There are numerous environmental benefits of electric cars; from improving the air quality of your urban environment to reducing CO2 emissions.
It’s not just about environmental benefits either. You can also save money due to lower maintenance cost and
If you’re interested in purchasing an electric vehicle, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help you with your transition to a sustainable and cleaner vehicle.