Inconvenient Truths About Electric Cars And EV CO2 Emissions

Submitted by: 5cats 4 weeks ago in News & Politics Science


While having electric cars may reduce some of the various pollutants regular cars emit, to claim they are 'emission free' is a flat-out lie, and the making of their batteries? According to Driving, the production of them make far more pollution than making a normal car.

If the electricity they use is produced "greenly" then sure! Like in Canada or Albania. They reduce emissions... mostly. But since most nations (especially China and India) use lots of dirty coal (as opposed to 'clean coal' in the USA) they end up being no better than gasoline powered ones. Perhaps worse.

And to top it off, the making of the batteries for a Tesla produces as much CO2 as 8 years of driving a regular car. And the batteries do not last for 8 years...

More reading on the subject here and here.
There are 49 comments:
Male 1,833
I believe that most of the battery's for these cars are made in China so theirs a huge pollution bill for just shipping them to where ever they are going. And I persanaly have always had a personal bitch about them never mentioning the average cost in power per recharge. Is it cents or large dollars, and how much these things count when some one is trying to work out how they may have to pay to keep the car running. If its a lot cheaper to have a gas car its going to make a difference the environment or living a descent life.
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Male 1,976
The numbers involved here may not be correct, the base argument is sound. EVs are NOT "green" like many claim them to be. How much energy and toxic substances went into manufacturing the batteries to begin with? Was the energy used truly "clean"? How much environmental impact did obtaining the aforementioned toxic substances have? Where will these toxic substances go when these batteries are used up? How "clean" is the energy used to recharge these batteries? While I'm sure it isn't always the case, I can easily see a real potential for EVs possibly being WORSE for the environment than internal combustion engines, at least in some instances. Also, while I understand that nuclear-generated power is MUCH cleaner than fossil fuel-based power, where does the waste from the process, which still contains LETHAL amounts of harmful radiation, and will for THOUSANDS of years, go? This is a very REAL drawback to nuclear power, which most of its proponents seem to like to ignore. In the long run, just how "clean" is nuclear energy, really?
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Male 41,611
whosaidwhat Yes, the 'cradle to grave' environmental accounting is demanded for regular cars, it must also be applied to EV. Regular cars are massively recycled, almost everything gets re-used even after it is scrapped. Batteries are not that easy though, afaik.

And yes, some places have electricity that's just plain dirty, and doubling demand would make it even worse. It would be nice if every EV had a solar roof and self-charged 100% cleanly... but that's decades away if at all possible.

And Yucca Mountain is where all the Nuclear waste goes. It has been studied to death, for decades. It is half-built already, even more than that. Obama got the final report saying it was as safe as humanly possible there, and MUCH safer than the current system. He shelved it, ending the entire program.

Almost all the 'nuclear waste' is really super-low level stuff. The actual core elements are comparatively small, and while those are deadly? It is easily possible to contain them. The trouble is: where to put those containers? And the answer is right there for then next 100+ years of waste (and all the current waste in America too) for 1000 years of safety...
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Male 1,976
5cats So what happens when the site gets bombed? Don't try to tell me that its bomb proof. The US currently has weapons designed specifically to penetrate reinforced underground bunkers. If we have them, then others either do, or are developing them. What happens when the containers within such a facility start to leak, then the facility itself starts to leak, contaminating ground water? In fact, a piece of ordinance wouldn't actually have to penetrate such a facility; it would only have to cause sufficient damage to the site and its contents to be deadly. What about transportation of said waste to the "disposal" site? What happens when nuclear waste in released or hijacked during transport? Some of the nuclear waste the US generates would have to travel over 2000 miles to get to the "disposal" site at Yucca Mountain. Also, the "super-low level stuff" you refer to is still deadly, and would kill a person exposed to it for only a short time. Yes, the core elements are "comparatively small", but enough are transported at a time to create a dirty bomb capable of rendering a city the size of San Francisco, Chicago, or New York uninhabitable for at least several hundred years, if not longer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not strictly "anti-nuke", but I feel that there are some real problems that need better solutions before we move forward with nuclear-based energy.
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Male 41,611
whosaidwhat It is indeed bomb proof. Even a direct hit by a large nuke wouldn't destroy it all.
And if people are dropping Nukes on places like that? We have FAR GREATER PROBLEMS than radiation in the middle of nowhere...

You obviously know nothing about the situation, yet on and on you babble...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository
You think that wasn't covered in the DECADES of study? They never though of leaks or ground water or accidents? Geez man...

And what happens if the current facilities leak, catch fire or get bombed? They are far more likely to have those bad things happen than at Yucca.

No, you have a 'Hollywood' idea about radiation. The vast majority (like 90%) of "Nuclear Waste" wouldn't even make you sick after years of exposure. Flying on a plane once is a similar dose of radiation, or an X-ray. Only the core elements are lethal, and yes they really are lethal! But that's a few tons, and very easy to transport safely, and keep secure once it arrives at Yucca.

People still live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you are aware of that eh? And Fukushima isn't any more radioactive than my home town: it's fear that keeps people away, not actual danger. Once you've left the grounds of the actual reactor complex? It's entirely safe.

People also continue to live near Chernobyl, inside the exclusion zone, and show no increased signs of cancer or disease than anyone else...
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Male 1,976
5cats Oh, right, you believe the whole, "don't worry, we're from the Government, and we're here to help" thing. Take a really close look at what you said above, namely, the part where you said that "even a direct hit by a large nuke wouldn't destroy it ALL". So, if only PART of it gets destroyed, its no big deal, huh? You carry on. Maybe you don't care if your grand kids, or great grand kids don't need a flashlight to see at night, because they glow in the dark, but I do. Yes, I completely understand that they have done tons of research on this, and industry "experts" have put their two cents worth into the design of it, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is "indestructible". Hell, it doesn't even have to be a bomb; Mother Nature is quite capable of destroying the site with absolutely no help from man. Again, I'm not trying to say that we shouldn't pursue nuclear energy, I'm just suggesting caution. Until we can devise a way to SAFELY render spent nuclear fuel harmless, the potential problems of storing said spent fuel will remain.

Oh, and if spent nuclear fuel is as "harmless" as you seem to believe, why don't you offer your back yard as a storage site? After all, YEARS of exposure won't harm you. Hell, why are we even going to all the trouble and expense of trying to make these "secure" and "safe" disposal sites? Why don't we just dump it in the local landfill? Ask yourself that, then tell me again how its not that dangerous.
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Male 41,611
whosaidwhat If it gets destroyed by a nuclear weapon? FAR FEWER PEOPLE would die than if that weapon hit LA or NYC ok? Jesus man... think!

it would entomb the remaining storage and still nothing would get out.

you massively exaggerate the effects of radiation, it's childish of you.

What would Mother Nature do to 'destroy a mountain' that's been there for HUNDREDS OF THOUSAND OF YEARS if not a million years? huh? What exactly, not Earthquakes there's no fault lines around it...

They studied it, lots of people for decades: this is the absolute safest way to store it for the next 1000 years. There's lots of other ways too, but they are not nearly as safe. Safety, not cost, was always the #1 priority in all those studies. If you can prove otherwise? Do so.

Because my backyard is about 25 x 20 and you can't store much there. That's why. There's a lot of it, it all needs to go somewhere, yes?

because people are AFRAID of radiation, mostly based on HYSTERIA like you promote. The Fukushima area is NOT radioactive any more than Colorado or West Virginia, yet no one wants to move back there. Fear is why.
Oh BTW coal scrubbers? The things that make coal-power even remotely clean (but are absent in China and India afaik because they're expensive)? The stuff they scrub out is actually just as radioactive as the 'average' (that 90% I mentioned) nuclear waste. And it is dumped in 'trailing ponds' and other wide-open places... just dumped and forgotten! So yes, local landfills would work for a lot of it, maybe half? But there's NO WAY any politician could get ANYONE to allow that, correct? NIMBY!

Any more questions? Numbering them might help :p
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Male 1,976
5cats So your back yard is small. Just fill it up with what you can! I'm sure some government or other would be willing to pay for the privilege. After all, its perfectly safe! Right?
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Male 41,611
whosaidwhat This is you solution to 1000 year storage of Nuclear Waste? My back yard?
It would be safe, and if I could get $50K per year for it I'd build the shed or dig the hole myself.
But if that's the end of the discussion I do thank you for being polite :-) Cheers!

Heavy reading: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/radiation-and-health/nuclear-radiation-and-health-effects.aspx



From here: https://survivaljapan.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/safecast-publishes-kyoto-radiation-map/
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Male 1,976
5cats Hey, YOU are the one who is so convinced that nuclear waste is not harmful. 
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Male 3,836
i took an inconvenient poop
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Male 1,976
rumham So you shit your pants?
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Male 1,031
"most nations use a lot of dirty coal."  

Individual homes used to burn coal for heat.  Technology changed that.

Same with electrical generation.
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Male 41,611
punko Now we use Natural gas to warm our homes, which is cleaner and cheaper in every way.
Except the Liberal Party will tax the living fuck out of it soon, causing everyone to be poorer and not doing a single thing to 'reduce emissions'. 

Now America is using more Natural gas for electrical production. They are far cleaner than coal and supply power 'on demand' unlike solar or wind (at about half the cost). Only nuclear is cleaner and cheaper.
But Obama did everything in his power to stop gas production, just like he stopped off-shore oil drilling. Luckily he failed utterly.

You are aware that America has reduced its CO2 far more than any other nation on Earth, right? They are the only ones even remotely close to reaching their "Paris Goals"... not that China or India would even try, since they PLAN on doubling and then re-doubling their CO2 emissions...
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Male 1,031
5cats And eventually we will stop heating most of our homes with natural gas, although it will be phased out at a much slower than coal was and the slower than the current rate of heating oil.  

Nuclear (fission now fusion later) and renewables will be the energy sources moving forward.
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Male 41,611
punko I'll wait for that in 100 to 200 years. Meanwhile I'd like to stay warm in the winter AND eat food, which will also rocket up in price under Justin's Carbon tax (which will not reduce emissions one iota) eh?

The very people pushing AGW are the same who oppose ALL forms of Nuclear energy. We aren't getting the cleanest, most reliable form of energy because of them. They are in this to make billions off the useless 'Government Programs' to throw money into useless (or counter-productive!) ways to "save the Earth" (which is hubris, btw).

Rob from the poor and give to the rich: what Government is for!
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Male 1,031
5cats robbing from the poor and giving to the rich, what the rich use the government for.
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Male 487
"making of the batteries for a Tesla produces as much CO2 as 8 years of driving a regular car." What are the primary sources here? This claim sounds outrageous.
I could find the "The Life Cycle Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Lithium-Ion Batteries" by IVL (Swedish Environmental Research Institute). My guess the number was arrived from this claim in the study after making some assumptions:
"a) How large are the energy use and greenhouse emissions related to the production of lithium-ion batteries?
The results from different assessments vary due to a number of factors including battery design, inventory data, modelling and manufacturing. Based on our review greenhouse gas emissions of 150-200 kg CO2-eq/kWh battery looks to correspond to the greenhouse gas burden of current battery production. Energy use for battery manufacturing with current technology is about 350 – 650 MJ/kWh battery."

Otherwise, kudos to a decent post.
Kinda reminds people of the cost of electric cars. It's like the paper or plastic debate - the environmentally friendly option isn't always obvious. 
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Male 41,611
boredhuman Thanks, I'm sure the Tesla batteries are on the highest end of the dirty scale, because they are much stronger than the typical ones in EVs. 

And yes! The 'best thing for the environment' is not always obvious. Controlled burns and selective logging (as opposed to clear cut, which is bad) help stop forest fires from spreading. The places with the most stringent laws against such things are the ones facing massive fires after a couple of decades of dry fuel buildup. :-/

 And current (no pun!) electric cars are cleaner, mostly, but often enough not. And far more costly.
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Male 8,204
boredhuman Wouldn't the claim on the battery be different if the sources of energy changed to Nuclear for example?  Clearly the Electric vehicle is only as clean as where it get's the energy from, if you don't have renewable  powering the grid then it's not doing much.  If anything what this tells me is we should be doubling tripling down on shutting down all Carbon intensive forms of energy.
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Male 1,562
normalfreak2 “Clearly the Electric vehicle is only as clean as where it get's the energy from”. That and the environmental impact of manufacturing and recycling the batteries.  

Burning anything to boil water for a turbine generator is the wrong approach if EVs are to be an improvement over gasoline.
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Male 41,611
woodyville06 Yes, just building all those batteries is really ugly and dirty. The rare metals and stuff are vey hard to find, often really remote (in sensitive eco-systems) and bloody expensive already. Double the demand and where will the supply come from? Who knows?
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Male 603
Thank you for reminding me why I don't bother coming back to this website. It's either holygod telling everyone how smart he/she is, or 5 cats showing what an utter dumbass he is. Everyone interesting left already, this site's soul went with lala
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Male 5,311
Holy crap this is hilarious. 5cats is literally crapping on himself. Now I’ve seen everything.
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Male 41,611
markust123 You love shit don't you...
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Male 5,311
5cats Is that some kind of Canadian insult or is that where your mind goes? Hopefully the former.
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Male 41,611
markust123 You mention shit twice in a short comment, then wonder why I refer to it?
Talk about shit-for-brains, boy...
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Male 487
thething911 Thanks for making IAB better. Your comments surely improve the site!
How come you've been silent for 5 days and minutes after 5cats posts you spew your hate. Coincidence or sock-puppet? 
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Male 41,611
boredhuman Actually? Someone accused ME of using him as a puppet... I'm guessing that if anyone was his puppet-master? it was the one making that accusation :-)

I think he's a real person though. Often rude, but occasionally has a good conversation.

I don't see how my finding 4 sites explaining a cold hard fact is "me showing everyone how dumb I am".  I show that every day in my comments eh? ;-) Oh wait...

And Lala was a freakshow... sorry but she was a troubled soul.
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Male 5,311
5cats It wasn’t just someone. Many people are fully aware that thething911 and also moldysod are both you. Your anger bursts gave you away as thething911. You both use the same insults in the same exact way. Moldysod  is just obvious.
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Male 41,611
markust123 Nope, not a single puppet.
Again I ask you: why would I bother having a puppet when I say whatever I'm thinking outright, with MY name on it?

Those who have puppets were being ignored by me, despite dozens and even HUNDREDS of hate-spamming comments, I ignored them and refused to reply.
So THEY used puppets, and until I noticed two of them specifically referring to a different comment made by someone I ignore? I occasionally replied to the puppets, but no longer.
Once caught? They did what every good liberal does: they LIED and then PROJECTED. Just like always!

Where is my motive? Why would I disagree "with myself" on several occasions? Why would one of these "puppets" go back years on IAB? 
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Male 5,311
5cats Dude, we know they are you. With moldysod you created that character to stalk Holygod after you stated you were going to ignore him. Why you continue to comment as him after you were found out is the real question. For thething911, I think you wanted a character that people didn't immediately jump all over. Your behavior has created quite a few enemies on here. You would have had a great outlet with him but you can't keep your anger in check and that is how people knew it was you. As for why you disagree with yourself, that is the most obvious one of them all. You do that to unsuccessfully show it is not you. That only started after you were found out that it was you. Here's a question. Why did you and your two alter egos disappear for 24 hours when I asked Fancy to see if they were all you? And why did they all reappear at the same time?
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Male 41,611
markust123 I didn't even see any resemblance to that stalker's name until last week. "Moldy Old Sod" is what I thought.
And fuck you: prove it or go fuck shit. Ask FancyLad or shut your shit-hole.

I used to disagree with thing911 regularly. You know nothing little boy, be quiet now.

No, they do not. Prove it or go away. I know exactly how many IAB accounts I have: 1. Unless you provide actual evidence? kindly stop slandering me.
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Male 5,311
fancylad 5cats has given me permission, again, for you to check to see if he is thething911 & moldysod. Can you have Sonny write a simple script to check for multiple users? Please go back six months to remove anyone who switched to hiding their IP since all this sock puppet talk came about. Thanks, Markus
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Male 41,611
markust123 FancyLad and Sonny? Please tell this shithead I do not have any sockpuppets. All those others are real, separate people: they are not me. (They may be puppets of other IABers, but I doubt that)

Put an end to the witchhunt, this inquisiton, once and for always.

And expose those puppet masters who do use them. Just name the names, no need to ban them :-p
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Male 41,611
5cats I think I had a puppet here about 8-9 years ago? IIRC it was named "IAmNot5Cats" or something, made about 6 comments on a thread where everyone was making puppets for comedic purposes... I recall it because it was so funny back then :-)

Maybe? That could have been somewhere else too :p
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Male 41,611
markust123 Ask Fancy, in fact I"LL DEMAND HE TELL YOU. Yes, by all means! Please delete all those things, and all the puppets and puppet masters! See how much I worry about ME being one? Lolz! Please do it! 

Meanwhile: keep your fucking lies to yourself.
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103
Go fuck yourself?
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Male 4,216
@_chamberlain Welcome back!
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Male 433
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/no-tesla-batteries-are-not-a-global-warming-disaster
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Male 41,611
7eggert No one said 'disaster' but they are far from a 'solution' either. They're no better than the 'dirty cars' they replaced... and cost a hell of a lot more.
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Female 4,659
Fuck it.. I'm going to buy a horse.
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Male 598
melcervini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTilQirHMw4
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Male 349
melcervini I think they fart methane, so not emission free.
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Male 3,836
Roland *brunt*
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Male 4,216
melcervini Think of all the waste generated in the creation of horse feed!  Maintaining those things isnt cheap.
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Female 4,659
daegog I have a little land they can graze on to supplement.  There are enough farmers around me to pick up a nice round haybale for almost nothing to mix with some omolene food etc... I lack the time to devote, otherwise I'd have a bunch lol
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Male 3,836
melcervini yeah i bet there are a lot of farmers around you..uhhuhuhuh
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Male 1,543
melcervini At least you can always eat a horse. Try eating a LI-Ion battery.
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