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Are Electric Cars Worse For The Environment? Myth Busted

Published on Oct 31, 2018 972,663 views

Are Electric Cars Greener Than Gasoline Powered Cars?
The Facts About Electric Cars & The Environment - Sponsored by FE
What Happens To Old EV Batteries?
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Electric cars are touted as a solution for reducing emissions and improving the environmental impacts of transportation, but are electric cars actually any better for the environment than gasoline cars? This video looks to answer three main questions:
1) Doesn't EV battery production cause a lot of emissions?
2) Don't electric cars get their power from fossil fuels?
3) Isn't lithium mining terrible for the environment?

MIT Emissions Study -
Cradle To Grave Emissions Estimates -
Vehicle Production Emission Estimates (Low) -
Vehicle Production Emission Estimates -
Vehicle Production Emission Estimates (High) -
EV Battery Production Emissions -
End Of Life Emissions -
Annual Vehicle Use Emissions -

Related Videos: (Formula E Series)
1. Electric Cars Are Single Speed -
2. Manual Transmission Electric Cars -
3. Tuning Electric Cars -
4. 300 MPH Electric Production Car -
5. How EVs Beat ICE -
6. My New Car Is Electric -
7. Are Electric Cars The Future? -
8. Horsepower vs Torque - EV vs Gas -
9. Electric Car Battery Recycling -

Don't forget to check out my other pages below!
Official Website:
Car Throttle:
EE Extra:


  • Engineering Explained
    Engineering Explained 7 месяцев назад Hope everyone's having a great day! I put a ton of time into researching this video, and was surprised numerous times to learn about the differences in lifecycle emissions between gasoline cars and electric cars. It's a fascinating subject and I'm sure we can keep the discussion below civil! (That was a joke 😜). If you were curious about the battery video referenced towards the end, here's the link:
  • thetrico
    thetrico 4 дня назад Nivel vídeo! Anyhow I'm going to keep on my 20 plus years old vw diesel engines at home ;) Could you make a video or explanation about the 50.000cc glycerine (diesel) engines on the formula-e?
  • DxB
    DxB Неделю назад "average gasoline car in the US" There's your problem, you are comparing oranges to apples. Compare same classes of cars like Civic 1.0 with the Leaf, then we can talk.
  • BAbaJOkONE
    BAbaJOkONE Неделю назад @David Mead fff
  • Mark Ellse
    Mark Ellse Неделю назад Excellent article. One question though. What is it that makes electric cars consume less than internal combustion cars? They have the same masses and shapes and therefore need the same energy to move them about. They take energy from the grid, say 8% transmission losses and store it, say 20% loss. So their efficiency comes down from, say, 40% at power station to less than 30% efficiency. Diesel car engines are more efficient than that.
  • Robert Lavender
    Robert Lavender 2 недели назад Our goverments have messed up with public emissions. The biggest problem is gas boilers, every house is pumping out tons and the goverment is a waste of space with not tackling this correctly. They need to make solor power free with the incentive that people install electric heaters.
  • Kukuruz Krupnoklipac
    Kukuruz Krupnoklipac 2 недели назад You forgot to mention Arctic oil and russians
  • Oslo Vega
    Oslo Vega 3 недели назад Lithium and Neodymium: @
  • Şahin yaşar
    Şahin yaşar 3 недели назад even if EV cant save earth from climate change humans will go extinct
  • filiperrios
    filiperrios 3 недели назад Did you find anything related to battery discard and nuclear waste?
  • Eduardo Chaverri
    Eduardo Chaverri 1 месяц назад Hello bro I love you videos. I just want to say that if you are in a country like Costa Rica that have been over a year and counting working with only clean energy having an electric vehicle is the best option
  • Mikel Syn
    Mikel Syn 1 месяц назад @Juan Miranda "assume that's the only way they charge their EV". That is actually a rather big assumption. For the vast majority of people, they take their car out in the day and come back at night. In fact, for most people, they don't actually use the electricity they make from their PVs, given that they are usually not home while the PV is producing electricity. Rather, they tend to feed it to the grid (which is problematic itself, but would require a lot more time to talk about).
  • Mikel Syn
    Mikel Syn 1 месяц назад Could you go into deeper breakdown between plug-in / hybrids vs full electric cars? I think that might be an interesting comparison to make, especially given the large outcry over Adam Ruin's Everything.
  • Lantos Daniel
    Lantos Daniel 1 месяц назад Where are the liberal hippies at :-) ^_^
  • ? ?:
    ? ?: 1 месяц назад Can you make a video on Hydrogen cars vs. Gas cars? South Korea has a company Hyundai that has a hydrogen car that is so called zero emissions. A side by side comparision of traditional gas power vs. hydrogen would be cool to examine their Carbon output from production to use.
  • ? ?:
    ? ?: 1 месяц назад We need to stop the fossil fuel industry. And Battery companies need to find less environmentally damaging ways to make batteries. The mining process to make batteries offsets the goal of going green. Carbon footprint high in mining process. What about hydrogen?
  • VincentTG
    VincentTG 1 месяц назад Nice video. But how about maintenance? Producing spare parts for gasoline cars is pretty bad for the environment.
  • Caveman Roge
    Caveman Roge 2 месяца назад You should also look into the cobalt mining for batteries.
  • nightbringersteve
    nightbringersteve 2 месяца назад Dude 500g/Mi emission? WTF? :D In the Eu we are below 150g/Km emission rates on ICE cars XD America is a joke related to emissions :D also you forget to consider the CO emission related to electricity :) We are currently making EURO 7 emission rates a thing. Look it up :) the rates are so low that we can not even measure them properly xD. Currently, in cities, modern european car's exhaust gases have less polluting materials than the air they are takin in to combust fuel.
  • Igor Neumann
    Igor Neumann 2 месяца назад If we are considering emissions from generating energy, shouldnt we consider the energy to extract and refine gasoline, also? I've heard it takes 4Kw for each L.
  • Stev A1
    Stev A1 2 месяца назад (изменено) The world is caught up in an illusion that electric cars are not polluting the planet but in reality they are polluting the world more, than a gasoline car. The chemicals uses in their batteries are extremely dangerous. They also emit the same gases as a gasoline car with one exception, their gases are emitted by the electric company in some remote place and not behind the car, so people think that they are clean, haha.
  • Will Allen
    Will Allen 3 месяца назад @Juan Miranda Yes. An electric vehicle will produces ZERO emissions when charged by renewables. It takes a very long time for a country like the US to replace all vehicles on the road, whither that's EVs or catalytic converters. By the time most people had EVs renewables will be significantly more common then they are now. As with most environmental decisions this is about the future. Fortunately for us this is probably going to happen in our lifetimes.
  • MrBlueDevil93
    MrBlueDevil93 3 месяца назад You are off by miles. Exogenous variable for battery recycling... CO2 emission way over estimates on ICE by govt as well.
  • campsite a
    campsite a 3 месяца назад Comparing emissions is irrelevant. The carbon footprint of southeast asia is literally 1,000x greater than that of North America. It would be comparatively more ethical and effective to influence warfare in that region than it would be to transition all of north america to electric vehicles.
  • logicaldistraction
    logicaldistraction 3 месяца назад Great video, thanks!
  • Who's your mate?
    Who's your mate? 3 месяца назад WAIT! Great video but, you explain how much co2 is involved in making batteries for evs but, you didn't tell us how much co2 is involved in getting a tank of petrol from the seabed to the pumps....? I think the carbon cost of producing a tank full of petrol (having mined, refined and transported it) is worth discussing...? I haven't watched the other 4 films in this series yet but, I'd be interested in hearing about the comparison. Keep up the good work! (From a carbon guilt afflicted 2.4 litre petrol car driver)
  • PC Ce
    PC Ce 3 месяца назад (изменено) @Danny Robinson not only the emissions during the production of the battery are bad but the materials used in building the battery is extremely toxic. Electric cars are way worse for the environment than gasoline cars. Even trace amounts of the heavy metals found in batteries are known to cause cancer. People in the electric car cult don't see the bad side of electric cars. The world is better off with gasoline cars than the cancer causing electric cars.
  • Danny Robinson
    Danny Robinson 3 месяца назад You're counting the Co2 emissions from building the battery, which I assume is mostly from mining lithium and other elements. What about the CO2 emissions from pulling the oil out of the ground, transporting it to a refinery, and then transporting it to a gas station?
  • PC Ce
    PC Ce 3 месяца назад it's so sad to see that there are so many people who think that electric cars are clean. They are not cleaner. They are polluting the earth as much as a gasoline car. Lithium ion mining itself is a polluting activity. Cutting down trees to make room to have large charging stations is polluting too. Imagine if everyone drives an electric car how much more Charing space we need. Millions of trees will have to be cut. We need an incredible amount of Charing space because electric cars takes forever to charge. Electric cars are not the solution to climate change. Only narrow minded people think it is. The future is making renewable gasoline by recycling CO2. Liquid fuels are so easy to transport and fill up. With these we can keep the current system of fuel delivery and we don't need to cut down millions of trees to make space for charging electric cars.
  • Mustansir Taher
    Mustansir Taher 4 месяца назад (изменено) Hi @Engineering Explained given the relatively low energy density and high weight of batteries at the moment it may not be so feasible for all car owners to go electric and hence not a silver especially with long distance runs (let's be honest Tesla is just too costly), however if it's sourced from sustainable sources like algae and waste residues not corn or soybeans, biofuels especially renewable petrol and renewable diesel are attractive alternatives to many users especially with significant reductions in CO2 emissions and other pollutants. This also applies to long haul trucks, planes and ships where electrification is the hardest. May I know what's your take on this? I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  • John boy
    John boy 4 месяца назад Pound for pound electric cars are more expensive than comparable petrol engine cars of similar size FULL STOP , and until they become much cheaper i cant see the point ( or i would have one ) . we might as well go back to the Victorian era and travel horse & cart or pull that penny farthing out the shed . Also I'm sick of the do-gooder saying "leave your car at home & cycle to work" .....most of the bikes for sale are from Asia and they are the biggest polluters .
  • eDrive
    eDrive 4 месяца назад ICE is most Worse For The Environment. Burning endless fuel and consuming oxygen for breathing
  • eDrive
    eDrive 4 месяца назад electric driving is so much fun and joy full. Once you drove an electric car for some days, not just once around the block, you never want switching back to an internal combustion powered car!
  • David Bartz
    David Bartz 5 месяцев назад fantastic video, first off. Maybe I missed it, but doesn't the battery pack only last around 8 years? So what would it do to the numbers if you factor in replacement battery packs?
  • David Beaulieu
    David Beaulieu 5 месяцев назад Dyson is doing a ceramic battery shortly fyi on the lithium thing
  • Finn Balor
    Finn Balor 5 месяцев назад So basically based on your state it and how they generate there electricity plays a factor in your co2 emissions but...the problem with that statement is your assumong nuclear energy has no byproduct and well it might not create co2 it does produce toxic waste which we have no way of disposing of... checkmate.
  • Tim Duncan
    Tim Duncan 5 месяцев назад Engineering Explained Dude you seem to be “in the tank” for BEV’s what is your problem? Most of us live in this world where money trees have all died from intellectual elites BS.
  • eDrive
    eDrive 5 месяцев назад Electric cars are just great for the environment, No local emission and less pollution when manufacturing the car. Also way less pollution for creating electricity, than getting mineral oil out of the ground, until the gasoline/diesel is in the tank of the car. Always remember that there is no gasoline or diesel source. It's always mineral oil that needs to be refined and transported over a very very long distance. This already consumes an tremendous amount of energy, nobody is thinking about...
  • clown192
    clown192 5 месяцев назад @David Mead Apparently Desiel is worse for the environment. Here in Australia we have a love affair with diesel and Both me and wife have diesel cars. Nitric oxide is the end result that can have an effect on respiratory issues in humans and think back to this winter I had a cough for months after having a cold which News reports said were suspected as being adult whooping cough or the 100-day cough as it has been named. Different to CO2, Nitric Oxide has an instant effect. As in, rather than affecting your health over time, you can become sensitive to it straight away. But diesel does get more miles per gallon so....
  • Iain Reid
    Iain Reid 6 месяцев назад Hello, you can't use the mix of generation to attribute how the electricity generation proportions are applied to charging an electric car. Except for a miniscule few, all electric cars are charged by fossil fuel and hydro. In most countries hydro is a very small contributor. The reason is due to the way the grid works, any extra load, and transferring to electrci instead of internal combustion, is an extra load, which is met by increased utput from fossil fuelled stations. Renewables cannot react to load, one of their biggest disadvantages, but by no means their only disadvantage..
  • Aaron Heaney
    Aaron Heaney 6 месяцев назад Engineering Explained did you take in consideration the carbon emissions of producing each fuel tank of petrol?
  • Leo Lee
    Leo Lee 6 месяцев назад One of your best videos yet. My profession uses evidence-based practices extensively. It's great to see that you are applying the same approach.
  • MrBrander
    MrBrander 6 месяцев назад Thank you for this video. It was fascinating to watch. :)
  • roberts dancauskis
    roberts dancauskis 6 месяцев назад Hi! How about diesel cars?
  • Kishore Ved
    Kishore Ved 6 месяцев назад Thank you very much for your efforts in researching and explaining all important details 🙏
  • N4w4k
    N4w4k 6 месяцев назад @A P I agree 2 metric tonnes of CO2 per year (12k miles) is what a recent car produces, so since the electric car also produces 2 Tonnes per year, you never offset the initial disadvantages of producing the batteries! But that, IMHO, is very telling of the "cleanliness" of electricity production in some area!
  • Vivian Stimpson
    Vivian Stimpson 6 месяцев назад Good video bud, thanks.for all the research and sharing it. How about a comparison between a natural gas powered car and electric car. Just an idea.
  • Kim Dahl
    Kim Dahl 6 месяцев назад Thanks for this interesting video. One factor to consider is that many of the coal electric plants are in remote areas and therefore do not contribute as much as internal combustion cars to air pollution where people live like in Utah where I'm at. Seems to me that electric cars would greatly help the inversion air pollution problems that Utah has during the winter for this reason. Coal plants are going away anyway because of better technologies, so it will only get better in the future with electric cars.
  • Chesray Nelson
    Chesray Nelson 6 месяцев назад Does the ICE emissions figure include the CO2 produced when refining oil into diesel/petrol(gasoline)?
  • Jonathan Barlow
    Jonathan Barlow 6 месяцев назад @Juan Miranda It takes approximately 3-5 years (depending on your location) for a solar panel to produce more electricity than was used in its production. Since the vast majority of solar panels are manufactured in China, which produces 70% of its energy from coal, a 'zero' emission vehicle isn't quite as impressive. Also, the areas where the Chinese produce these panels, and we dispose of them, are now toxic waste dumps.
  • someonesomewhere
    someonesomewhere 6 месяцев назад CO2 is not everything.....sry for that its a nice compairson but finaly mot realy saying something at all. It realy depens on who is the power get produced. and you forgot things like replacing powerlines which will give also co2 on top of the e car and soooo many things more to think about. So there is a lot of Grey energy you havent been considering. Hybrid is maybe the best option everywhere.
  • D Brick
    D Brick 6 месяцев назад (изменено) Just curious - do the emissions for the gas vehicle also count the emissions from delivering fuel to the station? Also - how many fewer miles will be driven to fuel stations if the vast majority of people charge at home/work? The last is highly speculative, of course - but on the former - is that figured in?
  • droptheeye
    droptheeye 6 месяцев назад awesome video!!
  • badchefi
    badchefi 6 месяцев назад Great work! Thank you as now I can link in your clip instead of all the references and links!
  • YP FHD
    YP FHD 6 месяцев назад You forgot many companies offer solar charger and companies like tesla use solar power to charge at super charge stations. So its not quite right but no one is right 100%.