Are Electric Cars Eco – Friendly When They Use Fossil Fuels?

What’s the main selling point of electric cars? If you are thinking of ‘eco-friendliness’, you are right. They are becoming popular day by day to a large number of people who are fans of sustainable living.

E-cars have several advantages over ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles that run on diesel or petrol. Automakers claim that they emit a negligible amount of greenhouse gases and nitrogen oxide that is extremely harmful to human health. In fact, the government in many countries encourages citizens to switch from ICEs to electric cars.

Are electric cars as eco-friendly as they are advertised?

Eco-Friendly Electric Cars: Myth Or Truth?

After the Dieselgate or Volkswagen Emission Scandal in 2015, many people started looking for a more environmentally friendly option. Electric vehicles were already gaining popularity, but that momentum really worked in their favor.

When mass people love them for their quiet operation and lower carbon emission, governments and authorities favor them for managing air pollution and achieving the national target for carbon footprint by lowering the volume of greenhouse gases.


ICE vehicles produce a large carbon footprint because they burn fossil fuels like petroleum products or natural gas. E-cars are safer because they don’t run on fossil fuels, right? Not likely!

Electric cars are as bad for the environment as traditional vehicles for these reasons:

1. The Source Of Electricity

The e-cars run on electricity, which is produced from fossil fuels. In a sense, these vehicles are technically burning fossil fuels, inflicting the same harmful effect on the environment. For example, when more than half of a country’s electricity comes from coal and gas, an electric car has to run around 100,000 kilometers to emit a less amount of overall carbon dioxide than a gas-driven car.

2. Battery

Manufacturing an electric car requires using more power energy (almost twice) than a traditional car. This happens because of the complex battery unit they use. Moreover, the disposing of these batteries in nature causes an environmental hazard.

3. Manufacturing Process

Many automakers use aluminum for the bodies of electric cars. Transforming the bauxite ore into lightweight aluminum literally hogs a huge amount of energy.

It appears that there is only a small margin between the carbon footprint of an electric car and a traditional vehicle. In fact, the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg confirmed that in a 2011 study.

Is There Any Way To Make Them More Eco-Friendly?

It is true that e-cars are more energy-efficient and less harmful to the environment once they are in use. Is there any way to reduce the overall carbon footprint they produce?

electric cars
Using renewable energy is a solution (Photo Source: alamyimages)

Yes, there are several ways.

An electric car charged off only green electricity needs to run only 30,000 kilometers to pay off the eco-debt. Compared to gasoline-run cars, these vehicles will yield six times less carbon dioxide and other harmful gases throughout their lifetime.

Also, research is going on for recycling and reusing the batteries used in e-cars. Engineers are also trying to make these battery units more effective so that they last for a longer period.