Not So Green

Do electric cars really cause less air pollution?  The answer is not as obvious as you might think.  Gasoline hybrid cars, which create power from the car’s own mechanical energy waste, certainly create much less air pollution than traditional internal combustion engine automobiles.  And plug-in battery cars do not actually exhaust any pollutants because there is no exhaust.  However, the electricity coming from the wall socket may have a not-so-clean origin.

If the electricity comes from wind energy or a hydroelectric dam, then it is clean.  But about 75 per cent of American electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and this conversion creates air pollution.  Of course, electric car motors do not run on oil imported from other parts of the world.  So there remain many good reasons to drive an electric car.  But in some ways, it might be a stretch to call them “green.”