Eco Friendly Electric Vehicles

I have been reading and hearing a lot that the Electric Vehicle (EV) is the answer to all our global warming woes. They are "Non Polluting" as they do not emit any smoke or shall I say combustion products. They are silent, just charge tham at night and use them and feel happy about saving our planet. Auto journalists with a the green flag on their shoulders are all ga-ga about these vehicles as the Messiah who is going to save the world from heating up into a tinder box and then choke and drown all itsinhabitants.

Shall we not be so thankful to these vehicles? Or shall we? Are they really so good and clean?

Well I shall talk about the Indian scenario as I am living here. These EVs run on electricity and hence do not have any tailpipe exhaust, but what about the chimney exhaust of the power plant which is producing the electricity used by these vehicles? Approximately 80% of power generation in India is produced using Coal based termal power plants, whose exhaust is surely adding to the green house effect.

As far as Hydro power plants are concerned, they are constructed by flooding and inundating large tracts of forest land, the CO2 sink is sunk under the water in the reservoir. These forests decay under water and are the largest sources of Methane, another gas which when left to itself adds to the green hous effect. So in effect, the CO2 sink becomes the CO2 producer. Research has determined that large hydro power plants have a carbon footprint around two to three times that of a Thermal power plant producing the same amount of electricity.

Now coming to the batteries that are used in these EVs. There is no institutionalised system for recycling the used batteries in Inida. As result these batteries are discarded and add to solid waste and land and soil pollution in addition to water pollution if they find their way into waterbodies. Not to mention the carbon footprint of the recycling process for those that atleast reach that state.

Isn't it a bit of an elitist and feudal mindset that allows pollution to get concentrated in pockets while claiming a clear heart for oneself.

Cdr Rajesh Sinha (Retd)'s profile on LinkedIn