Electric cars refer to vehicles powered by electric motors that store electricity. As reported by Alquthami et al. (2022), their popularity has increased over recent years due to several advantages compared to combustion engine cars. Indeed, research shows that electric vehicles (EVs) are characterized by certain positive impacts such as:
Contributing to Cleaner Environment
Environmental friendliness is one of the essential advantages of electric cars. It is evident that the use of electric vehicles offers various benefits for the environment and can help prevent the climate change problem (Le Petit, 2017).
Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: The absence of exhaust allows EVs to reduce the negative impact on the environment and nature effectively. Throughout its life cycle, an electric car produces fewer GHG emissions than a combustion engine car. According to Le Petit (2017), “even when powered by the most carbon intensive electricity in Europe, EVs will emit less and those emissions decrease further as more renewable electricity enters the grid” (para. 1). As can be seen in Figure 1, even carbon-intensive electric cars produce fewer emissions than diesel-powered cars.
Lowering the Level of Noise Pollution: EVs generally produce less noise than traditional vehicles (Ghasri et al., 2019). This characteristic benefits the population of busy areas and can be enhanced by limiting speeds in cities. As a result, electric cars can help create a more peaceful environment and improve the well-being of people.
Decreasing the Use of Harmful Fluids: Combustion engine cars rely on the use of dangerous substances such as motor oil. Their impact on the environment is harmful to people, animals, and nature, including soil and water (Ghasri et al., 2019). In turn, electric cars help prevent the risks associated with fluids and toxic chemicals that can poison the environment since these vehicles do not use them.
Reducing Running Costs
In particular, the maintenance of EVs requires fewer expenses compared to the costs of operating and maintaining gasoline or diesel cars. Even though the initial investment is higher for electric cars, in the long term, they help reduce expenses and prove more efficient (Vadhera et al., 2021).
Lower Maintenance Costs: Electricity is known to be cheaper than other types of fuel, and the absence of complex mechanisms, consumables, and spare parts eliminates the chances of frequent breakdowns and the need for replacement (Vadhera et al., 2021). An EV has no spark plugs, transmission, and fuel filters, and no oil change is required. As a result, electric cars are cheaper to maintain in the long term.
Decreased Fuel Costs: An electric car does not have a fuel system and requires no oil, which is necessary for classic cars. In other words, the dependency on fossil fuels is significantly reduced with the use of EVs. As reported by Vadhera et al. (2021), charging electric cars is cheaper than using fuel. Consequently, this characteristic contributes to decreased costs for operating electric vehicles.
Promoting Discounted or Zero Car Taxes: Furthermore, Alquthami et al. (2022) note that “many countries around the world announce plans to eliminate or reduce fossil fuel-based vehicles in the near future” (p. 1). As a result, governments aim to promote the use of greener vehicles by offering zero tax or discounts for the owners.
Improving the Driving Experience of Customers
Electric cars remain popular among drivers, and the increase in sales encourages manufacturers to improve models and eliminate the existing drawbacks. This tendency can make these vehicles even more comfortable in terms of operational characteristics, dynamic, and speed properties.
Enhanced Safety: The center of gravity of an electric car is shifted down, which means these vehicles roll over less often and demonstrate better performance during sharp maneuvers (Alquthami et al., 2022).
Better Reliability than Fuel-Based Vehicles: EVs have less complex systems, which reduces the chances of failure (Ghasri et al., 2019). As a result, the reliability and durability of such cars are higher compared to their combustion engine counterparts. Moreover, recharging is possible when the speed is reduced, which enhances the driving experience for owners.
More Comfortable Driving Experience due to Less Pollution: Finally, EV drivers can benefit from less noise and air pollution compared to diesel or petrol cars (Vadhera et al., 2021). In the future, the variety of zero-emission models is expected to increase, which will provide customers with even more green options.
Promote Sustainability in the Car Industry
As can be seen, electric cars are associated with a number of environmentally-friendly characteristics.
Shaping the Market: As more customers select this type of vehicle, the market changes accordingly and affects other businesses involved. In this regard, electric cars have several important effects on the car industry in general.
Raise Eco-Awareness in Customers: Namely, the absence of exhaust gas emissions makes EVs a preferred option for many responsible competitors in the industry. The advertisement of greener vehicles increases the number of eco-aware individuals who strive to contribute to the elimination of harmful effects of climate change (Vadhera et al., 2021).
Setting the Trend for Innovation and Sustainability: Electric cars are currently peaking among the public, particularly as more and more celebrities prefer them. This is an important feature for individuals who are interested in new technology and aim to implement innovative trends in their life (Ghasri et al., 2019). As a result, car manufacturers are motivated to apply sustainable and innovative strategies in their production process.
On the other hand, there is a certain negative effect associated with electric cars:
Increasing the Use of Minerals and Other Valuable Resources
While the manufacturing of electric vehicles is marked by higher sustainability compared to combustion engine cars, there are still various processes that can be enhanced to reduce their impact on the environment.
Challenging the Mineral Supply Chain: Of greatest concern are the minerals needed to produce the batteries that power electric vehicles. The mining process presents significant challenges for the industry and questions the green image associated with this mode of transport. According to Le Petit (2017), “the electric vehicle revolution will lead to a sharp increase in demand for critical metals” (para. 6).
Low Sustainability of the Production Process: The production process of EVs requires extended use of metals and raw materials (Le Petit, 2017). Another impact is the environmental unfriendliness of the batteries of the electric vehicle, which causes problems with the creation and disposal of these elements.
Limited Recycling: Finally, the electric car industry affects the environment since battery recycling is associated with high costs (Ghasri et al., 2019). As a result, there is not enough effort in this regard to waste management, which increases the use of raw materials.
Alquthami, T., Alsubaie, A., Alkhraijah, M., Alqahtani, K., Alshahrani, S., & Anwar, M. (2022). Investigating the impact of electric vehicles demand on the distribution network. Energies, 15(3), 1-18.
Ghasri, M., Ardeshiri, A., & Rashidi, T. (2019). Perception towards electric vehicles and the impact on consumers’ preference. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 77, 271-291.
Le Petit, Y. (2017). Electric cars have significantly lower climate impact than diesels over their lifetime – study. Transport & Environment. Web.
Vadhera, S., Umre, B. S., & Kalam, A. (2021). Latest trends in renewable energy technologies. Springer Singapore.