EVs, Batteries, and the lives we choose to ignore

Bivek Renuji
5 min readSep 14

We often consider eclectic cars as an environmentally friendly alternative or its been sold to us in that format. What do you think, the EVs are eco-friendly?

What a stupid question right? Of course, electric cars are environmentally friendly.

Emissions from Gasoline cars

An average gasoline passenger vehicle emits about 400 grams of tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile, Which accounts for 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per year. In addition to carbon dioxide (CO2), automobiles using gasoline produce methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from the tailpipe and all vehicles can emit hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) from leaking air conditioners. For gasoline vehicles, the emissions of HFCs are small in comparison to CO2; however, the impact of these emissions can be important because they have a higher global warming potential (GWP) than CO2.

Emissions from Electric cars,

CO2 emission from electric cars is 0%. Period.

We compare/ being sold in this way.

What about the emissions while producing large lithium-ion batteries?

  1. To produce the batteries we need minerals like lithium, cobalt nickel, etc. These are not available on the surface of the earth. Same as extracting crude oil from the earth we need to mine these elements from the earth. For extracting and transporting these materials we still use machinery that runs on fossil fuels and then we have to heat them in high temperatures to make these batteries. As a result, building an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery found in a Tesla Model 3 creates between 2.5 and 16 metric tons of CO2 (exactly how much depends greatly on what energy source is used to do the heating). This intensive battery manufacturing means that building a new EV can produce around 80% more emissions than building a comparable gas-powered car. . . There goes one point from your eco-friendly badge.
  2. Like most gasoline cars most of the emissions of today’s EVs come after being rolled off from the production floor. The major source of EV emissions is based on how we charge the batteries. These emissions will vary enormously based on where you drive and what kind of energy is being used there to produce electricity. The best case model available in the world right now is Norway, the nation that draws most of its energy from hydropower. This means that the carbon footprint left by EVs is minuscule. In other…
Bivek Renuji

Principal Consultant-Digital & Omni Channel Commerce | Reimagining Commerce| Transforming People & Companies | Product Management Leader |Coach