My Hypothesis: Electric cars do not truly run on clean energy as the source of their energy is not clean. Rushing to electric cars as the answer will not be the correct way to solve our problem although it does help.
Source 1). Gasoline Vehicle Phase out Around the World
Many States and Countries are planning on making electric cars the only buyable cars by 2035 or other times around that. New Jersey itself has passed a legislation that only electric vehicles will be sold by 2040. These goals are great for the environment but there are some downsides that people are not concerning themselves with. The line from where the electricity comes from to when it gets to your electric car is tainted. Many countries are planning on going to all electric vehicles by a certain date, but only British Columbia has actually passed legislation on a ban of the sale of new electric cars by 2040.
2). Electricity in the United States.
While we look at electric cars as the future of clean energy they do not actually run on clean energy. In fact, in the United States cars only run on 17% renewable resources, 20% nuclear, 23% coal, and 38% natural gas if a person does not use solar. A car that runs on almost a quarter coal does not seem like it could be the future to me, but if can if this was to change. The percent of this renewable energy has been growing since the 50s and the diversity of these sources has also increased over time. Wind and solar have skyrocketed in popularity since the early 2000s.
Source 3). Electricity usage in China
Energy Use in China is even worse as their energy usage is 59% coal, and second is 20% petroleum and other liquids. This means that these electric cars in China would run on 79% coal and fuel in China and this doesn’t account for energy lost as it makes its way to the vehicle. Coal usage was decreasing over several years, but in 2018 and 2019 it has started increasing this usage yet again. These vehicles are actually less efficient in China than in the United states.
Source 4).Coal and the Environment
So what is the issue with coal? The issue with coal is that it causes much pollution such as emitting Sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain, Nitrogen oxides which cause smog and lung illness, carbon dioxide, and even mercury and heavy metals. This means that it is not just bad for the environment but also for us. This is the most concerning percentage of electricity production.
Source 5). Environmental impacts of Solar Power.
We can use other sources for energy such as solar, but these even solar has some drawbacks. Unlike wind that can share land for agriculture solar does not have this availability. The downside of solar is that it takes up land, they use a lot of water, and can use very hazardous chemicals that if not taken care of properly causes risks. This can be dangerous for workers making them as they can inhale silicon dust. Many safety precautions are put in place for the safety of the workers and making sure the products are disposed of safely. The pros outweigh the cons when it comes to solar energy, but people will have to realize more electricity will be used as more cars become electric making these solar farms having to grow largely in size to keep up. The diversity in energy is the best option as differing areas across the globe have different abilities to produce electricity because of their environment.
Status of Research.
I have already found many more sources for the topic of clean energy, and also how we will have to adapt/ build over the next decade. My main focus for the next five sources will be how much more energy we will have to produce in order to keep up with the larger demand of electricity. How will we build all these plants before 2035 and what kind of electricity should we focus on and where? There is no lack of sources on the matter of clean energy or information on our energy consumption, but there are not many talking about the awareness of electric vehicles not being run on majority clean energy. Much of my work is finding these dots and making connections which is going well.