Electric Cars Aren’t “Zero Emissions Vehicles” – Rising Because of That?

By James D. Agresti

While praising California’s decision Governor Gavin Newsom Bans New Gasoline Car Sales By 2035 declare that this would require that “100% of new car sales in California be zero-emission vehicles” like “electric cars.” In fact, electric cars emit a significant amount of pollution and can be more harmful to the environment than conventional cars.

Toxic pollution

The notion that electric vehicles are “zero-emissions” stems from a deceitful story that ignores all the pollutants that don’t escape from the exhaust. Assessing the environmental impact of energy technologies requires measuring all of the forms of pollution they emit over their lifetime, not a fraction of them. To do this, researchers perform a “life cycle assessment,” or LCA. As explained by I have to go to school every dayLCA allows:

estimates cumulative environmental impacts due to all stages of the product life cycle, often including impacts not considered in more traditional analyses (e.g. extraction of raw materials) , transportation of raw materials, disposal of end products, etc.). By including impacts throughout the product lifecycle, LCA provides a holistic view of the environmental aspects of a product or process and a more accurate picture of the true environmental trade-offs in product and process selection.

LCA is subjects arrive much level, level uncertaintybut a review published by Cleaner Production Magazine in 2021 breaks the notion that electric cars are cleaner than conventional cars, much less “zero-emissions”. The LCA found that producing, charging, operating and disposing of electric vehicles produces more pollutants than conventional cars. This includes:

increased formation of fine particulate matter (26%), human carcinogenicity (20%) and non-carcinogenicity (61%), terrestrial ecotoxicity (31%), toxicity freshwater ecology (39%) and marine ecotoxicity (41%) relative to gasoline vehicles.

Foreshadowing that result, a 2018 report by European Environment Agency warns that studies on the “toxic human effects” of electric vehicles are “limited” and that electric cars “may cause greater negative effects” than conventional cars.

Similarly, a 2018 journal article Environmental Research Letter states that the unexplained “environmental impact” of mining lithium to produce batteries for electric cars “would directly oppose the intention” to “encourage the use of electric vehicles” and “need to be urgent settlement”.

Report for 2021 in Cleaner Production Magazine has now solved this problem, and it shows that electric cars emit more harmful pollution than gasoline cars. However, politicians who accept the electric car agenda before comprehensive data are available continue to go ahead despite the fact.

Local pollution

Regardless of the overall harmful emissions, European Environment Agency pointed out that electric vehicles “have the potential to provide local air quality benefits” because pollution from their manufacture, charging, and disposal is often emitted far away from densely populated areas.

Simply put, the shift to electric cars will shift pollution from cities in rich countries to poor countries, where their components are extracted and manufactured, and to communities. There are power plants and landfills. In the words of the 2021 article in Cleaner Production MagazineThis “environmental burden transfer” leaves “third-country workers and ecosystems” “exposed to higher rates of hazardous substances”.

China dominates the global supply chain for green energy components not only because of cheap labor but because it has lax environmental standards withstand the pollution these products create. Therefore, China provides 78% afterward world solar battery, 80% afterward world lithium-ion battery chemistry, and seventy three% afterward world battery cell.

Highlighting the implications of “China’s role in providing minerals critical to the global energy transition”, a 2022 study by Brookings Institution found that “continued dependence on China” would “increase the risk that supplies of important minerals will cause or contribute to serious social or environmental harm”. It also documents that the United States and other rich nations were unwilling to accept these harms on their own soil.

Even when Newsom despised the health of the poor and slave labor In other countries, electric vehicles are still not “zero-emissions” for Californians. This is because electric vehicles emit pollutants from road, tire and brake wear, and these forms of pollution are worse in electric vehicles than in standard vehicles. According to a 2016 article in the journal Atmospheric environment“Electric vehicles are 24% heavier than their conventional counterparts” and this produces a lot of “zero emissions” such as “tire wear, brake wear, road surface wear and dust accumulation”.

Greenhouse gas

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main substance greenhouse gas emitted by human activity and reported in 2021 in Cleaner Production Magazine found that electric cars emit 48% less CO2 than gasoline-powered cars. Although this level is lower, it is still far from “zero emissions”.

Furthermore, a study published by Ifo . Institute of Germany in 2019 found that an electric Tesla Model 3 emits 11% to 28% more CO2 over its life than a diesel-powered Mercedes C220D. Again, LCA is subject to uncertainty and no studies are over yet, but this clearly demonstrates that electric vehicles are far from zero-emissions.

Regardless of those facts, Gavin Newsom confirm that “California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales” that will help “address this climate crisis.”

Contrary to Newsom’s claims of a “climate crisis”, a range of environmental and human welfare measures related to climate change have remained at or improved for more than three decades. century. This includes foliage yield, extinction rate, forest cover, agricultural production, coastal flood, rainfall and drought, stormy, tornadoand death due to inclement weather. These empirical data refute more than 30 years prediction failure by global warming alarmists.

Newsom then adds another layer of deception by clarify that the plan reduces “dangerous carbon emissions” that “pollute our communities.” This mistakenly analyzes CO2 as a toxic, dirty substance. Reality, that is an organic, colorless, non-carcinogenic gas with no toxic effects on humans until concentrations exceed at least 6 times the levels in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Referring to CO2 as “carbon” is also non-scientific. That’s because CO2 is not carbon, just like H2O (water) is not hydrogen. There are more 10 million different carbon compounds, and calling CO2 “carbon” makes up this relatively harmless gas with highly toxic substances such as carbon monoxide and carbon black.

In summary, there is no reliable evidence that reducing greenhouse gases from electric cars will benefit anyone.


Like Newsom, California Air Resources Board boasts that “100% of new cars and light trucks sold in California will be zero-emissions vehicles” by 2035. Assuming Newsom and the board members have at least rudimentary knowledge of cars electric cars, calling them “zero-emission vehicles” is a lie.

A Google search shows that journalists and many others also using This phrase is inherently wrong.

The effects of this deception go far beyond pollution. This is because electric cars are more expensive than other options, and that is why people rarely buy electric cars unless subsidized or mandated by the government. As documented by a 2021 journal article Traffic and Environment:

Mass-market adoption of electric vehicles will likely require governments to restrict the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles (planned in some countries and California) or BEVs. [battery electric vehicles] become cost-competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and shape.

Regardless of whether these additional costs are borne by consumers or taxpayers, they make people poorer because these expensive cars end up traveling fewer miles for every dollar spent.

The same applies to other “clean energy” policies that are prevalent in California. This is the main reason why it has the highest electricity prices in the continental US, or 77% more than the national average.

Such cost-of-living policies have contributed to making California the state with highest actual poverty rate in country.

Despite its “green” agenda, California still dominates the American Lung Association list of cities with worst air quality in America. In fact, the nation’s four worst cities for ozone pollution, the five worst cities for year-round particle pollution, and the two worst cities for short-term particle pollution are all in California.

There are certainly factors other than energy policies that have led to those terrifying results in California, but lying to people will deprive people of their opportunity to make informed decisions about the pros and cons of the plant. these policies.

James D. Agresti is the president of Trutha research and educational institute that publishes well-documented facts on public policy issues.


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