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We Aren’t Saving the Earth Like People Think When Buying an EV.

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by FlyF4, May 10, 2017.

  1. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    This topic was prompted by someone I met with an EV making snotty remarks about ICE cars and how they are polluting the earth. I suggested he do more research about how his own EV is built and runs.

    Yea, this will make some people upset who think our EVs are perfect alternatives to ICE cars on the environment. As much as I like to think my Tesla is a perfect alternative, I am a realist.

    While our Teslas are much better at reducing pollution and waste, I’m not one to brag about it. Consider about 30% of the electricity generated in USA to charge the cars is made by coal-powered plants (over twice the number of Wind, solar, and hydro plants combined), and the 20% of nuclear plants to generate the electricity will make waste that will be radioactive for thousands of years. And while roughly 30% of electricity is from natural gas plants that are cleaner than coal, they still pollute.

    But then there is pollution that goes into making the car; diesel equipment mining and processing the Lithium, factories that smelt and create all the aluminum and steel, oils from the plastics, and factories to create all the other components of fabric, electronics, wiring, and on and on. Then there are the toxic chemicals to create the computer chips and many other components. Maybe as bad as making an ICE car.

    So I hope folks keep in mind when creating that custom license plate of “No Waste”, “No CO2” or whatever, then you are just denying reality. The reason I bought the car is because I like it. I don’t think I am helping to save the earth. Yea, it is a lot better alternative to ICE, but not pollution free.

    The good news is that as we switch to higher percentages of clean sources for energy generation, the numbers work in our favor.
     
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  2. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    It's a package deal. EVs are not the solution; they are part of the solution. That's why Tesla is in the solar and stationary storage business now too. Tesla knows what it's doing, and many buyers do too.
     
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  3. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Oh so true and I agree. I was trying to say that people who think it is the ONLY solution, and disagree, are people in denial o_O
     
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  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    So while I appreciate your effort to educate the rest of us :), I think most people are well aware of the pollution created in building a car. The question really should be about the net difference between manufacturing an ICE and an EV. Fair?

    I powered my Roadster (with a NOCO24U plate in California) from solar. I now power it and an X with electricity that is 100% generated by hydropower. I have no problem claiming clean emissions. (And, that license plate started lots of conversations.)

    There's another impact that you're ignoring -- many of us have changed since owning an EV. I bought it for performance & ended up becoming an EVangelist. Lots of habits changed for the better. And when you factor in the ripple effect from all the time owners have spent at events & just Tesla time in parking lots - it's a lot bigger than you imply.
     
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  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I don't think anyone here on this forum believes that driving an EV is the ONLY solution. Hopefully you didn't get that impression from anyone here ...
     
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  6. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    #6 FlyF4, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    Fabulous. You got it. Nope I am NOT ignoring the impact you mention. Don't miss mypoint.... too many people really are ignorant about this topic and that is why I mention it. You and most others on here are obviously not one of them :D Great that you are creating your own electricity, but you do realize that pollution of various sorts including CO2 went into making your solar panels, equipment, and car. Thus that was my point. No one has a 100% pollution free Tesla. Including mine :D Not trying to be rude, just stating the fact. And Sadly, yes there are a few people on here who think otherwise.
     
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  7. JimVandegriff

    JimVandegriff Member

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    I don't know any electric vehicle owners who think that they are "saving the earth" by using an electric vehicle. Reversing (drawing down) global warming will take way more effort than buying an electric car (even a Tesla), but I think we all know that. I am continuing to educate myself about what it will take, and currently recommend Paul Hawken's new book Drawdown (subtitled : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming). This puts our vehicles in a context about global warming and suggests that electric vehicles ranks 26th in results by 2050 with 10.8 gigatons of reduced CO2.
    I think we all (individually and collectively) have a lot of work to do. My only suggestion to you is to be positive to people about moving to electric vehicles, encourage them, and lead by example and information to do more.
     
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  8. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    Agreed. Just talk to them about how the rest of the energy and raw material stream needs to be cleaned up too. Maybe they already know and just weren't going into details. Or maybe they don't, and politely broaching the topic will get them thinking about the other areas that need to be addressed as well.
     
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  9. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I didn't buy a Tesla to save the world, rather, being electric makes the car better! (Charge at home, cheap, fast, etc..). I am neither a Trump or a treehugger (regarding the environment - both extremes). But either way it is still better than driving 13 MPG Acura
     
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  10. wallstguy

    wallstguy Member

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    Just wanted to point out that a few of the things you mentioned are there regardless of EV or ICE, i.e. plastics, production of the car, computer chips, etc.

    What we don't have is the "engine oil", and "gas" from an ICE that releases emissions. As far as electricity is concerned, almost all of Ontario is powered by Hydro (~40%) or Nuclear energy (60%) vs gas.

    At the end of the day though, I never purchased the car to "save the world" regardless, purchased it for its features :)
     
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  11. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    #11 FlyF4, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    Geez folks. Missing the point. I do encourage people to move to EV. But I am not going to mislead them by doing it. :eek: I'm not trying to compare an EV to an ICE and certainly not saying an ICE is without similar issues. Simply trying to say that if EV owners think the car is a clean manufactured car and continues to be clean (ACROSS THE BOARD), then it is a bad assumption. Most people here area really smart and understand what I mean. It isn't an education. Sadly, there are just a lot of arrogant EV owners out there (and I met a lot of them) that shun ICE owners when the very car they drive has SOME of the same issues. They just deny it. :( It is interesting how some people get suddenly defensive without thinking of what I am saying.
     
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  12. TES-E

    TES-E Member

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    It's a step in the right direction.
     
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  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I have no illusions about 'saving the earth' the Earth was fine before us and it will do just fine after we're gone.

    I am interested in sustainable transportation. You can't do that with fools fuel. EVs aren't the complete solution... but it's a big part of it. Go Solar. Drive Electric.

    To say that the electrification of transportation where ever possible and generating that power sustainably is morally obligatory if you care about our future quality of life isn't misleading.... it's a stone cold fact.
     
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  14. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    @FlyF4 - if an EV owner believes that they are helping save the earth and they own a 100% clean car, let them be happy about it. Why would anyone want to bust their bubble?

    The people who need to be educated are the gas guzzlers who think that global warming is a myth and nothing bad is going to happen because their truck/car spews all those gases. Let's spend our energy in educating them instead.
     
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  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Well... unintentionally, I'm sure ... but you did take pot shots at people here. Me, for instance.

    "So I hope folks keep in mind when creating that custom license plate of “No Waste”, “No CO2” or whatever, then you are just denying reality. The reason I bought the car is because I like it. I don’t think I am helping to save the earth. Yea, it is a lot better alternative to ICE, but not pollution free. "
    I had one of those license plates (moved, so have to reapply) - and according to your post, I am just denying reality.

    Not offended. I understand you're enthusiastic and likely didn't mean to word it that way. But instead of disliking so many people's posts, I suggest you realize they are saying what you said you MEANT to say.
     
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  16. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    #16 ohmman, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    It's inarguably a better alternative. I'm shocked that you've met people who think there are no emissions that result from creating and driving an EV. So yeah, I agree that it's worth educating those particular people. But the overall message should be that it's the right choice, if the other choice is an ICE.
     
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  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #17 nwdiver, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    .... what? There's emissions when building a Tesla? I always thought it was magic... 'poof' there's a car....:eek:

    .... yes.... there's probably over a thousand posts on this forum about solar PV because blue is our favorite color... and it's a coincidence that Tesla is selling solar roofs...

    I do have great disdain for people that either deny a problem or accept it and refuse to move toward a solution. We need to move away from fools fuel. Driving electric is an essential part of that transition. Sustainable energy is the other part.
     
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  18. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    Keep in mind, EVs have only really started to pick up steam and popularity with the general population few years ago. Model 3 and Chevy Bolt are one of the first EV cars to come at a price point that the general public can purchase. So EV movement is in its infancy. Once EV movement really takes hold, CO2 emissions will significantly be reduced worldwide.

    Also electric vehicles is only one part of the equation for fixing pollution. Elon and most Tesla owners want our cars to run from renewable energy. It's just right now that's not possible yet for a vast majority. Solar panels are getting more popular but there needs to be a storage for that energy. Tesla is just getting to this. Soon, more people will have installed solar and batteries so the majority of their power needs will fulfilled by renewable energy.

    Give it a few more years- Tesla is trying its best to create an all package fit- where the sun will generate power thru its solar roof panels and energy be stored in Tesla powerpacks that will feed its cars. The future is coming. Just got to be patient.
     
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  19. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Solar powers my car, so no CO2 for miles driven here,!
     
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  20. mohanman

    mohanman Member

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    I would agree with the original poster, but I think the OP needs to understand this is just the beginning of a revolution to change our future. They just released solar roof panels. What if every future household had solar panels powering up their homes and cars. Yes you would still need to make the products which requires some exhaust/energy, but the end result would be much less then still having ICE around. My advice.. you are making a impact, a huge one, but maybe not right now.
    Mo
     

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