Electric Vehicles and Their Impact on Lifestyle and Environment

min read
A close-up of an electric car plugged into a charger.
BetMGM Sep 06, 2023, 2:14 PM

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads has increased dramatically in recent years, standing as a testament to the growing popularity of electric cars. The sales numbers for Tesla vehicles alone indicate the industry as a whole, with sales in the U.S. up from 48,000 in 2017 to 181,000 in just the first quarter of 2023.

The increase in usage can be attributed to better technologies, larger manufacturing capacity, government incentives, and an increase in consumers willing to switch from gas to electric vehicles.

If you’ve decided to stay home and play online casino games rather than drive to a casino, you’ve already reduced your carbon footprint. If you own an electric car, then you’re doing even better.

However, there’s been some debate about the electric vehicle’s environmental impact and whether it’s as clean as people think. So, are electric cars sustainable? Take a look at some of the ways they have impacted people’s lifestyles and the benefits and disadvantages of electric cars when it comes to sustainability.

The Impact of Electric Vehicles on Lifestyle

Electric vehicles don’t just affect the environment, but they also impact the lifestyle of many people. 

Making People More Environmentally Conscious

Although most people who buy electric vehicles are already aware of the impact cars have on reducing their carbon footprint, they also go a long way in shaping how people think about the environment even further. 

People are more inclined to invest in the best eco-friendly products when they are more conscious about their carbon footprint. They are also more likely to recycle and change their eating habits to lessen their effect on the environment.

The increased visibility of these cars on the road helps to convince people that the time is right to invest in them, which takes more gas-powered vehicles off the road.

Quieter Roads

Noise from highways and other roads is one of the most common causes of noise pollution across the globe. It’s no secret that EVs are much quieter than gas vehicles. The increased use of these cars means less noise production, making life quieter for people who live close to busy roads.

Better Air Quality

One of the most significant issues with vehicles that run on fossil fuels is their emissions into the environment. Of course, not only is this a massive contributor to global warming, but it is also a big factor in air pollution. By taking more of these vehicles off the roads and replacing them with EVs, the air will be cleaner and healthier for people to breathe.

Are Electric Vehicles Better for the Environment?

The benefits of electric vehicles on the environment have been widely debated in recent years. Technology and sustainability intersect, and with evolving technology and a growing need for sustainable products, this is bound to become an even more common debate.

There are a few things to take into consideration when thinking about whether EVs are more environmentally friendly than vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

How the Electricity Is Generated

If an electric car is charged on an average U.S. grid powered by fossil fuels and renewable energy sources, then there’s no doubt that they are more environmentally friendly. 

The Times gives an example of an all-electric Chevrolet Bolt versus a new gas-fueled Toyota Camry. The Bolt, on average, will produce 189 grams of carbon dioxide per mile driven over its lifetime; the Camry produces around 385 grams of carbon dioxide under the same circumstances. 

However, if the Bolt is charged in an area like the Midwest, which has an electricity grid almost entirely powered by coal, these benefits are mitigated somewhat. In these instances, a hybrid car would be a better alternative. The solution is to clean up the electricity grid, which will, in turn, drop vehicle carbon emissions.

Problematic Raw Materials

The biggest concern when it comes to electric vehicles is the batteries and, specifically, what goes into producing them. Cobalt, lithium, and other raw materials are needed to power the batteries in EVs, and these have been linked to several environmental and human rights concerns at extraction.

Cobalt, in particular, is an issue. Its extraction leaves behind toxic slags and tailings that are liable to leach into the surrounding environment. The extraction method of smelting also releases harmful air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide.

Most of these raw materials are extracted in countries with poor human rights records and where there is little to no regulation on the conditions of workers. Children and other workers often face extensive work hours without protection from harmful chemicals.

While the technology for batteries powered by different ingredients is ongoing, companies must work on making mines more environmentally friendly and ensuring better conditions for their workers.

Developments in the Recycling of Batteries

There have been concerns about recycling modern lithium-ion batteries. Only around 5% of these batteries are recycled, and the recycling process uses vast amounts of water and produces air pollutants. 

However, there have been recent developments in this area, and batteries are now used as backup storage for renewable energy grids like solar power. This second life can last up to a decade, and the leftover materials can then be extracted and recycled adequately into new batteries and other materials. This extends their lifetime and makes batteries less of a problematic area.

EVs Are More Environmentally Friendly, but Further Innovation Is Needed

At the end of the day, there can be no question that electric vehicles are an improvement over gasoline-powered vehicles. It is a step in the right direction, and although they are certainly not perfect, the industry is constantly developing new technologies to improve them. This innovation doesn’t just apply to the EV industry — it also helps people have cleaner homes and practice other sustainable practices like smart gardening by leveraging green technology to make their carbon footprints even smaller.

The sooner people adopt a greener lifestyle, the better, and electronic vehicles play a huge role in this change.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.