Opinion | Electric Cars are not as Good for the Environment as People Think

Don’t be fooled by the pros of electric cars in the world today


Ivan Parfonov, Staffer

Electric cars have been around for a couple of years now and with every year they get more advanced but the mining and making of the main components like lithium-ion batteries have increased the fossil fuels in our atmosphere which isn’t exactly good for the environment. 

Every person has their own opinion on electric cars whether they’re useful and help the problems we have with global warming or if they hurt our environment more than they help which is what is happening right now and has been happening for a couple of years. 

A lot of problems have been brought up about Electric cars and it’s nowhere near a little problem, it’s actually really bad. The charging stations for cars that are placed around the world can take tons of power away from the power grid that is connected and take away a ton of energy from a city that is close by and lots of cities had problems with this. The article, Electric Cars Will Challenge State Power Grids, states “Department of Energy study found that increased electrification across all sectors of the economy could boost national consumption by as much as 38% by 2050, in large part because of electric vehicles”. This explains that it will take away energy from other people so then they would have to use up more energy which will increase the price of energy. 

Another major problem with electric cars is lithium-ion batteries. Mining lithium-ion takes a ton of resources and releases fossil fuels into the atmosphere. It ruins ecosystems, and our air quality contaminates water sources, etc. It harms our planet even more and with the demands of more EVs, there would need to be more sites to mine lithium-ion which would keep on making it worse because it will go on and on in a cycle. There have been many news articles about this and one of them called South America’s ‘Lithium Fields’ Reveal the Dark Side of our Electric Future mentions, “Any type of resource extraction is harmful to the planet. This is because removing these raw materials can result in soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem functions, and an increase in global warming”. This tells us that they have been hurting the environment with their mining process. 

There is another major problem that connects to the last one but is still very important to address. When making lithium-ion useable for batteries it increases the fossil fuels released and can contaminate water supplies and ecosystems if not properly recycled. An article called Are Electric Car Batteries Bad for the Environment? says “When it comes to recycling, the situation is completely reversed. As little as 5% of the world’s lithium batteries are recycled, according to Chemical and Engineering News, a stark contrast to the 99% of lead car batteries recycled here in the U.S.” which states that a very little amount is recycled and the other goes somewhere else where it can hurt ecosystems. 

To help our planet stay healthy and support the life we need to come up with solutions. Some would be to not buy an electric car because they cost a ton of money, most of the time more than internal combustion engine cars. Also the more you buy the more they are gonna make which will increase the mining of lithium-ion which will increase fossil fuels in the atmosphere which would hurt our planet. Try to find fuel-efficient cars or whenever there is a chance ask your friends for a ride so less fuel is used and released into the air.