For some time now, there has been a specious claim making the rounds that EVs are actually worse for the planet than internal combustion engines. The basic gist of the argument is that you use more energy to make the EV’s motors and battery packs than you would for a traditional ICE car, so that total emissions are actual lower for a tried-and-true gasoline-burning vehicle.
This does have some basis in fact: making an EV generally has a higher carbon footprint than making an ICE car. This makes sense – after all you are basically preloading the fuel inside the car when you manufacture an EV. But what goes into the car before you purchase it is only one part of the equation – you also have to factor in the emissions of driving that vehicle. For an ICE car, its emissions profile is set for the entire life of the vehicle; it will be burning gas, and as it ages the efficiency of that process will degrade slightly over time. For an EV, it takes about 18 months to catch up to the carbon footprint lead the ICE started with, but from that point forward the EV will build a lead over the ICE car because every mile driven will have zero emissions. Given that cars last well over 100,000 miles and for many years, this should be a substantial advantage. Note: this is based upon the current mix of our electric grid (natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear, solar, wind, etc…) which powers the EV, but as our electric grid continues to add more solar and wind capacity, the miles driven will become cleaner and cleaner.
And… this doesn’t even take into consideration the substantial benefits that EVs have on public health: less noise, less pollution, less smell.