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How Electric Vehicles contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution

Electric vehicles do support the environment in various ways. In this article, we are going to discuss five areas in which electric cars help the environment and minimize air pollution.


Vehicle emissions


In general, all-electric cars (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) emit fewer tailpipe emissions than traditional cars. EVs and PHEVs, in particular, indicate no tailpipe emissions while running only on electricity. Nevertheless, a car’s overall environmental impact is not just determined by its tailpipe emissions. To get the full picture, life cycle emissions must be taken into account. These emissions originate from fuel pathways and include upstream emissions from the extraction, processing, manufacturing, and delivery of gasoline and power. 


Fuel combustion (gasoline, diesel, or other liquid fuel or biofuel) results in tailpipe emissions, which are made up of a variety of pollutants including carbon monoxide and dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other contaminants like sulfur. Due to the impact that traditional automobiles have on the environment and the current climate change problem, the emissions that these vehicles’ fuel systems emit have a threat to the environment.



Pollution accumulation rates are then taken into account to determine the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels. The DOE EVI-Pro calculator and INL charging cost models are used in the study to compute the infrastructure costs of EVs depending on various adoption scenarios. The findings indicate that adopting just electric vehicles (EVs) from particular vehicle categories (such as LDV, LDT, or HDV) may result in infrastructure costs and AQI improvements of varying levels. 


Hybrid electric vehicle adoption techniques present a more expensive but potentially more successful way to reduce air quality indicators (AQIs), especially in areas like Salt Lake County. Based on these results, a surrogate model that takes different weather and accumulation factors into account can quickly assess EV adoption methods against budgetary restrictions and AQI reduction targets. Further research directions include improving traffic models and projecting costs for the installation of EV infrastructure in other cities where EV adoption rates are rising.








 EV helps to reduce noise pollution


One of the main types of pollution that harms wildlife and human health equally is noise pollution. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) conducted recent investigations in 2023 that clarified the effects of noise pollution on health. According to their research, about 26.8 million individuals, or 40% of the UK population, live in areas with dangerously high levels of traffic-related noise pollution.


Since electric motors power EVs instead of internal combustion engines, they are by nature far calmer. Tire and wind noise are EVs main sources of noise. EVs perform significantly below current auto noise regulations since they are lighter vehicles. This feature, especially in metropolitan settings, has great potential to lessen total noise pollution and traffic noise. Electric automobiles have significant advantages over other forms of transportation when it comes to mitigating the negative impacts of noise pollution on people and animals.



EV helps to create cooler cities


Globally, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a major task. China is particularly significant due to its large population and high CO2 emissions. Chinese megacities also endure intense heat because of a phenomenon known as “SHII.” Fuel-burning vehicles such as cars and trucks exacerbate these issues by releasing emissions into the atmosphere that warm the earth and add to the intense heat in urban areas. People utilize more energy to run their air conditioners during this heat wave, which uses more electricity.


A recent study discovered that there may be a 0.6°C drop in near-surface air temperatures if all conventional cars were replaced with electric vehicles. In places with heavy traffic density and during morning traffic peaks, this cooling impact is most noticeable. It’s interesting to note that, despite EV exhaust heat emissions being reduced at nighttime traffic peaks, air temperatures did not significantly decrease; this is probably because the meteorological conditions were different at that time. These results offer a fresh quantitative evaluation of the potential impact of EV adoption on urban air temperatures in tropical areas.



The promotion of sustainable mobility


The promotion of sustainable mobility and environmental advantages through the integration of grid-connected RE sources into EV charging networks is considered to be contingent upon the advancements in smart technology. The primary distinction is between cars that run on gasoline and those that run on electricity. While the amount of carbon produced by gas-powered cars is fixed, electric vehicles have the potential to increase in efficiency as we move toward a cleaner electric grid.


People can use sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal power to sustainably charge their electric vehicle (EV) at home.  


According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 came from the transportation sector. Whether we use fossil fuels to power our cars to recharge an electric vehicle (EV) or to fuel a gas-powered car, doing so depletes vital resources and adds to global warming. On the other hand, carbon dioxide is not released into the atmosphere by renewable resources. For your EV charging needs, you may move away from fossil fuels and toward sustainability by transitioning to green energy.

Ten million electric vehicles were sold globally in 2020, a significant milestone in the electrification of transportation, accounting for 4.6% of all automobile sales. Despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, this increase took place. The availability and range of electric vehicle (EV) models have increased dramatically over the last ten years because of favorable legislation in important regions.

The future should see an increase in regulatory measures, the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) with power systems, the decarbonization of electricity, and the expansion of infrastructure for recharging EVs. While existing automobile and battery technology can be beneficial to emerging economies, stricter fuel efficiency and emissions regulations are also necessary. 

One effective means of reducing automobile-related environmental pollution is to purchase a high-quality electrical vehicle. To effectively tackle climate change, the 2020s must be a decade of ambitious policy and broad adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across all vehicle sectors.


















References and further readings

Barman, P. et al. (2023) ‘Renewable energy integration with electric vehicle technology: A review of the existing smart charging approaches,’ Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 183, p. 113518. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2023.113518.


Fuels & Emissions – (2020). https://www.acela.org/fuels-basics/fuels-and-emissions/#:~:text=Tailpipe%20emissions%20are%20the%20product,and%20certain%20pollutants%20like%20sulfur.



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