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Electric Vehicles Will Be the Future Menace to Climate Change

With the anticipation of applying world modern mitigation measures to climate change, electric cars will not be the best substitute for fossil-fuel-driven cars. This will be like substituting current problems now with later issues in the future. Climate change is indeed a menace in the world because of its severity on how it has affected the general life of flora and fauna. Scientists are working so hard that they can come up with anyways, which would be used to mitigate this problem of climate change. “Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress alone” (World Health Organization). This would cost an estimated expenditure of around 2 to 4 million US dollars by the year 2030 on damage to health. Climate change has become a very significant issue, and very hard to reverse the implication due to the progressive emission of greenhouse gases. The major contributor to the emission is carbon dioxide, which takes up around 79 % of total greenhouse gases, and the rest takes around 11% methane, and 10% is nitrogen oxide and fluorinated gases. (United State EPA). These figures show that the emission is at an alarming rate. Therefore there is a need to use alternative means of transport or different nature of energy that will not cause the danger of the emission of greenhouse gases.

Among many industrial activities, which lead to the emission of carbon dioxide, research conducted in the United States show that the transportation sector is responsible for over 55% of total emission (Brinson and Guzman). Another research indicates that the number of cars will have reached 59% by the year 2020; hence they become among the top contributor to the emission through the burning of fossil fuels (Rodrigue, 456). Another research has indicated that, between April and May 2022, the population of cars in the world was estimated to be 1.45 billion vehicles, which were around 1.1 billion vehicles for passenger cars (BONNICI). This average population of cars in the year 2022 alone will contribute an estimated 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (Environmental Protection Agency US. These emissions of greenhouse gasses are at alarming rates, and therefore a sustainable mitigation solution to control them is needed have caused harm to the environment and humankind.

The most common impact of the emission of greenhouses is global warming, which has led to disruptions in the average climate of the living world. The research shows that global temperatures have risen from 0.50 to 10 for the last 100 years (Mikhaylov). This has resulted in ice melting from glaciers and ice caps and deforestation due to reduced water availability in the soils after evaporation hence the expansion of arid and semi-arid areas. The other significant impact is on humans, where inhaling greenhouse gases for a long time leads to health problems. These problems include asthma, high blood pressure, lung cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and premature death. These health implications, among other environmental substances, have led to climate change (Requia et al.). “The world bank estimated that premature death due to air pollution in 2013 alone cost the global economy about US $225 billion” (2016). Car manufacturers are replacing fossil-fueled cars with electric cars to reduce the emission and hence the climate change impact.

The world is embracing electric cars as they are the solution needed in the mitigation plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recent data shows an increased number of sales of electric vehicles in 2021, with Norway having the highest percentage of about 86 of total car sales, Iceland at 72%, Sweden at 43%, Denmark at 35%, the Netherlands at 30%, while the other countries have less than 30%. These countries with more significant percentages have reduced greenhouse gas concentrations in the environment, reducing health complications. (Canary Media). This also proves that cars have had a very high demand. Engineers have invented electric vehicles, which are taking over slowly, intending to reduce or face off fossil-driven cars with electric ones. This idea is taking global acceptance.

On the contrary, it is like a technical postponement of a problem for the next 50 years, which would come in a different version and still have a negative implication for the same climate. Besides, China researched the impact of electric cars by comparing the data about air pollution concentration between 2014 and 2018 in 20 major cities and found a significant drop due to the use of electric cars (Guo et al. 249). This research indicates how electric cars immediately offer short-term solutions to the emission of greenhouse gases, but more research needs to be done on sustainability.

Most of the general automobile motors in the US that manufacture cars aim to replace selling fossil-driven cars with electric-driven ones entirely by 2035. Audi company from Germany plans to replace them by 2033, with other companies worldwide planning to replace them by 2050 (Castelvecchi). With this trend, the general automobile motor across the world will have shifted from fuel-intensive to material-intensive energy systems, with hundreds of millions of vehicles carrying massive batteries inside them, which will contain tens of kilograms of materials that have not been mined yet (Castelvecchi).

With all these anticipations of replacing fossil-fueled cars with electric cars, there are other solutions to the emission of greenhouse gasses and the general reduction of climate change effects worldwide. Governments, agencies, and individuals are seeking ways of mitigating climate change where zero emissions of greenhouse gases in one of them. They are also trying to avoid anything that could negatively affect the climate. Some issues related to the manufacturing of electric cars still need to be addressed, such as strategies for recycling and the ultimate disposal of the batteries after use and the greenhouse gasses emitted during the manufacturing process. Electric car batteries are not made of a single cell but multiple cells that amount to several kilograms, unlike laptop batteries. These batteries are made of lithium-ion, so many processes are involved in mining and processing them. There are several challenges related to using Lithium in manufacturing electric car batteries.

Lithium is the significant essential raw material needed to make electric car batteries. A single lithium-ion battery for a car requires 500,000 pounds of material to make a single 1000-pound battery. There are significantly different places in the world where Lithium, including Mibra mines in Minas Gerais’, Brazil, is estimated to have mined 752,400 tons in 2021 and is expected to operate up to 2034. The other place is at Bald Hill Lithium and Tantalum project, which is located in Australia, and mined 274,600 tons of Lithium in 2021 and is projected to run up to 2027. Mount Marion Lithium project is another place of mining located in Australia, which is estimated to have mined 485000 tons in 2021 and is projected to deplete in 2047. The Pilgangoora project in Australia mined 457,300 tons in 2021 and is expected to operate up to 2060 (Mining Technology). There are other places where lithium mining is done, and from the data, no mining beyond 2060 will occur due to the depletion of resources.

Another challenge is related to the lithium mining sites, where several side effects affect the environment negatively and thus yield climate change. This includes water loss since the ground covering the groundwater resources is removed, exposing the water. Mining also results in the destabilization of the ground and loss of biodiversity due to disruptions on the ground. Other impacts include increased salinity of water bodies around the mine and water contamination. The pumped brine during the mining forms a toxic mixture of potassium, magnesium, Borax, and lithium salt that is exposed to the environment and can cause tree death. The reduced water after mining makes the place vulnerable to drought and desertification, another negative implication of climate change and ramifications to the ecological system of the place. (Simpkins). All of the illustrated implications result from the need for Lithium to manufacture electric vehicles. This will have changed the version of climate change from carbon dioxide emission to ecological destruction in the plan of having electric cars.

The third outcome that challenges the idea of shifting to electric cars is the carbon dioxide gas emission during manufacturing. It takes an average of 200 barrels of oil to manufacture a battery that can hold only one barrel of equivalent energy. This means that by manufacturing one battery of 1,100 pounds, machines fueled by fossil fuels will release carbon dioxide 72% more than producing an efficient conventional car. Research shows that manufacturing an electric car results in the emission of carbon dioxide than the conventional car by 20% in its lifetime, which in turn leads to more climate change (Rolander et al.). This will be like transporting emissions from roads to the industries where the batteries are being manufactured. The plans are that there will be increased use of these batteries meaning there will be increased demand for the mineral by 1000% so that there can be manufactured enough care to replace the 1.45 billion cars and more because of the increasing population. The mineral will be depleted, and there might be nowhere else to find the minerals; hence the whole project might collapse together.

The Last but not least challenge that shows that electric cars may not serve the best interest of climate change is the disposal of lithium-ion batteries after they probably break down. When Lithium is left in the trash, it can cause jostling where its temperatures can escalate to higher levels, which can cause an explosion. It can be problematic to dispose of 1.45 billion spoiled electric car batteries, which would be expected to be disposed of in the process of replacing conventional cars to control climate change.

In conclusion, comparing conventional cars and electric cars still holding on mitigation measures for climate change, the world still needs to research the aftermath implications of electric cars. The environmental implication, which contributes to climate change, the material demand to make the batteries, and the possible depletion of the materials, prove that the project might not be sustainable. Therefore, scientists and engineers ought to work more on coming up with better ways that would be applied in the pursuit of mitigating climate change severity in the control of emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

Works Cited

BONNICI, David. “How Many Cars Are There in the World?” WhichCar, 23 Apr. 2022,

Castelvecchi, Davide. “Electric Cars and Batteries: How Will the World Produce Enough?” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 17 Aug. 2021,

Guo, Jianfeng, et al. “Does air pollution stimulate electric vehicle sales? Empirical evidence from twenty major cities in China.” Journal of Cleaner Production 249 (2020): 119372.

Mining Technology. “World’s Ten Largest Lithium Mines in 2021.” Mining Technology, 13 June 2022,

Require, Weeberb J. et al. “How clean are electric vehicles? Evidence-based review of the effects of electric mobility on air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions, and human health.” Atmospheric Environment 185 (2018): 64-77.

Rolander, Niclas, et al. “StackPath.” StackPath, 16 Oct. 2018,

Shareef, Hussain, Md Mainul Islam, and Azah Mohamed. “A review of the state-of-the-art charging technologies, placement methodologies, and impacts of electric vehicles.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 64 (2016): 403–420.

Simpkins, Laura. “The Side Effects of Lithium Mining.” The Side Effects of Lithium Mining | Wellcome Collection, 23 Sept. 2021,

United State EPA. “Overview of Greenhouse Gases | US EPA.” US EPA, 23 Dec. 2015,

World Health Organisation. “Climate Change.” Climate Change, 6 Nov. 2022,

Brinson, Linda , and Francisco Guzman. “How Much Air Pollution Comes From Cars?” How Much Air Pollution Comes From Cars? | HowStuffWorks, 7 July 2021,

Rodrigue, Jean-Paul. “Percentage of Households by Number of Vehicles, 1960-2020 | the Geography of Transport Systems.” The Geography of Transport Systems | the Spatial Organization of Transportation and Mobility, 2020,

Environmental Protection Agency US. “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle | US EPA.” US EPA, Mar. 2018,

Canary Media. “Chart: Which Countries Buy the Most EVs?” Canary Media, 2 Sept. 2022,

Mikhaylov, Alexey, et al. “Global climate change and greenhouse effect.” Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues 7.4 (2020): 2897.


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