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The Positive Impacts of Electric Vehicles

By Taya Puner

Photo courtesy of Michael Fousert on Unsplash

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, transportation is at the forefront of its cause. Transportation makes up about 29% of the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by the United States, a percent higher than most of its other contributors including buildings, electricity and heat, industry, agriculture, food waste, and more. This often leads us to the question of how can we reduce these transportation emissions. The answer that environmentalists and global health experts typically lead us to: electric vehicles. But why might electric vehicles (EVs) be so effective in reducing these emissions and their impacts on climate change?

The difference between electric and gas-powered vehicles is their source of electricity. Electric vehicles contain an electric motor, meaning it produces its electricity from a battery, rather than a gas-powered vehicle, which contains an internal combustion engine that burns its gas to produce electricity. These two sources of energy have two very different environmental impacts.

The most obvious reason that experts believe in the use of electric vehicles is due to their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to gas-powered vehicles. When burning gasoline, vehicles emit chemical compounds, including carbon dioxide, into the air. On the contrary, EVs do not produce these byproducts of combustion, as they do not have the source of electricity or tailpipes to emit these chemicals.

Not only do these vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gasses, but they are also energy efficient. The electric motors within EVs have the ability to convert the majority of their chemical energy to mechanical energy. This means that instead of the electricity releasing pollutants into the air, the energy can be stored, converted, and sometimes renewable. Most importantly, this energy can be converted into more of the vehicle’s movement than possible within non-EVs. One example of this is regenerative braking. Regenerative braking takes the energy used when braking and converts it to the power used to charge the vehicle’s battery.

Beyond the direct environmental impacts, EVs can be efficient in terms of overall maintenance and finances. Gas-powered cars have many parts, including fluids and filters that require frequent maintenance. However, as EVs rely on their batteries, which can last for many years and can survive in a variety of temperatures, they require far less maintenance. In terms of finances, while EVs may be more expensive in their initial purchase, EV owners end up saving up to thousands of dollars each year, and more long term, as they do not have to pay for gas expenses.

Like everything else, there may be some negative impacts of EVs. However, there are many positive impacts of EVs, including that they contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, are energy efficient, have low maintenance, are a financial investment, and overall investment in our planet’s future.


Works cited

(2023, January 18). Pros and Cons of Electric Cars. EnergySage.

(2022, March 18). What is Regenerative Braking? Tires Plus.

Fitzgerald, J. (2022, October 16). Electric Car Maintenance: Everything You Need To Know. Car and Driver.


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