Environmental Feasibility of Automotive Green Engineering

in Project HOPE4 months ago

Greetings dear readers, on this occasion I will socialize some points of view related to the environmental functionality of electric vehicles, basically the thematic approaches to be developed arose from the following concerns; Why has automotive ecological engineering not been successful, if the development of electric vehicles is based on environmental strategies, why have they not been so receptive?.

Historically, the automotive sector has been classified as one of the most polluting sectors of the environment worldwide. This is due to the fact that vehicles represent a major source of air pollution, essentially because they emit high levels of toxic gas discharges into the urban ecosystems of the world's major cities. For this reason, the automotive industry has developed ecological alternatives over the last two decades, with the firm purpose of confronting this environmental problem.

Fig. 2 The avenues of the world's main metropolises represent the spaces with the greatest amount of toxic gases emitted by conventional vehicles. Image of public domain, Author: Free-P, 2014

However, it is important to note that among the ecological alternatives presented so far, the most relevant are the electric vehicles, whose models according to the manufacturers have been designed under environmentalist principles, this because, do not use fuel burning as an energy resource, and on the contrary work by using electrical sources.

Fig. 3 Electric vehicles do not emit polluting gases into the environment. Image of public domain, Author: Mmurphy, 2015

However, even though the incorporation of electric vehicles is seen as an acceptable alternative, which seeks to counteract the emission of greenhouse gases, to date there is much uncertainty about whether this type of ecological automotive engineering is really the best environmental option, because, according to the arguments of experts in ecological matters, in order to mass produce electric vehicles, a lot of energy is required for their manufacturing processes, and in addition their batteries are recharged with electricity that has been partially generated from fossil fuels.

In this sense, the two unfavorable elements described in the previous paragraph, put in doubt the ecological functionality of these automotive devices, however, the expert Anders Nordelöf, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, considers that "it is time to stop discussing whether electric vehicles, are good or bad", because according to his point of view, both the industry, authorities, politicians and environmental experts, should start working together to make these vehicles as ecological as possible.

Fig. 4 One of the problems facing ecological automotive engineering is battery charging using conventional electrical sources. Image of public domain, Author: Rostichep, 2015

To conclude, faced with this somewhat dissonant situation, which has prevented the success of ecological automotive engineering, and understanding that electric vehicles have great potential for environmental protection, it is necessary to rethink new methods of reliable mass production, in addition to creating strategies for recharging batteries from clean sources such as solar or wind, this in the quest to generate the lowest possible emissions of carbon dioxide during manufacture, and also in its subsequent use as alternative vehicles.


[1] Nordelöf A., Messagie M., Tillman A., Söderman M., and Van J. Environmental impacts of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles—what can we learn from life cycle assessment?. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 2014; 19: 1866–1890. Article: Online access

[2] Held M., and Baumann M. Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Electric Vehicle Concepts. 2011. Article: Online access

[3] Buekers J., Holderbeke M., Bierkens J., and Panis L. Health and environmental benefits related to electric vehicle introduction in EU countries. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 2014: 33: 26-38. Article: Online access


The cover image was designed by the author: @lupafilotaxia, incorporating the background Public domain image

Original manuscript, uploaded from the Project HOPE community website


The topic is much more nuanced than that. For starters, even though electric vehicles are obviously the future of transportation (as fossil fuel will be eventually exhausted) the current production process is anything but eco-friendly, as it requires several materials that are pollutants and whose production needs a lot of energy. For example, heavy metals and other chemical components that are used or necessary to produce electric batteries.

Then there is the conversation about "where is electric energy coming from", because an electric car running on energy generated by fossil fuel is just moving the pollution, but not eliminating it. And renewable sources are not efficient enough to support even a partial conversion of mobility to electric, let alone a full worldwide change.

Electric cars are the future, but they still need significant progress in the energy storage department - which means better batteries with higher capacity, shorter charging times, and less polluting components. It's okay to adopt them now because the process is just in the beginning, but the current model is not sustainable and must improve to make it a viable alternative for full scale adoption.

Greetings @lucabarbera

I agree with you, in fact in the publication, I mention the uncertainty that exists about whether this type of ecological automotive engineering is really the best environmental option, since, according to the arguments of experts in ecological matters, to mass produce electric vehicles requires a lot of energy for their manufacturing processes, and in addition their batteries are recharged with electricity that has been partially generated from fossil fuels.

Thank you for leaving, your ideal and well-supported point of view.

Greetings friend @lupafilotaxia. It is really important that the electric vehicles are incorporated in mass, there is no doubt that they are more ecological. I would add to the list of things to solve the speed of charging the battery, for all of us it is easy to stop for 5 minutes at a service station, fill up with gas and follow the trip, with an electric car you have to stop for several hours, that can be a limitation for many.

Greetings dear friend @emiliomoron.

Certainly, for electric vehicles to have acceptability in the current context, some things need to be improved, among these the charging time is one of them. Thanks for visiting.

Hi @lupafilotaxia
Recently I saw in Boogota, here where I live, an electric truck, but it is the only one I have seen, and this is a city with a lot of vehicular traffic.
What there is is a great use of electric bicycles and traditional bicycles, that helps in some way the ecology and decontamination.
However, it's not effective enough to make it better as we all hope.
It's up to us to see what happens with all this electric car stuff, if mass production really happens.

Greetings friend @josevas217.

Clearly from the environmental and social point of view, this type of technology is much more environmentally friendly and practical to use. In relation to the issue of mass production, this is precisely the point being discussed, in addition to the problems of battery charging, which are not as environmentally friendly as believed.

Greetings friend @lupafilotaxia.

Actually an interesting and important topic that you share with us in this opportunity, in spite of the high costs of this type of vehicles I know that in a very short term they should be the solution to the greenhouse effect and in this way become an essential alternative in favor of our precious environment.
Thank you for sharing such excellent content with all of us. Success and blessings to you and your family.

Greetings friend @rbalzan79

That's right, this type of green technologies are a viable solution to the greenhouse effect. Thanks to you for leaving your positive appreciation, warm greetings, we continue reading.

A very necessary subject that needs to be discussed more and more, @lupafilotaxia.

I have a bicycle (and I can do things in my day-to-day life without any problems) and I don't change it for a car because I believe that this is a very secondary need.

Correct @wiseagent, is an issue that should be discussed seriously, and where the automotive sector, governments, and international institutions on environmental issues reach points of consensus, which tend to generate effective strategies, to realize the production of really green electric vehicles.

Thanks @newton666 for visiting and sharing.

Dear @lupafilotaxia,

experts, should start working together to make these vehicles as ecological as possible

Yes! Stop talking. Obviously we can't go back to fossil-driven cars. The only feasible future is to go forward. Find a way to make these alternative fuel vehicles truly clean. Thank for this most reasonable, practical appeal to our good sense.

Greetings dear friend @agmoore, thank you for visiting the blog.

I fully agree with you, we cannot continue with the use of conventional vehicles, the sensible thing is to promote improvements in the current electric vehicles to really make them an ecological solution.

In the case of electric vehicles, we must think about the following:

It may be that electric vehicles are not pollutants, however, as they need electric energy we should ask ourselves: What percentage of the energy derived from fossil fuels has a degree of contribution to electricity generation worldwide?

The question is necessary because if the electric vehicle does not pollute, thermoelectric power will end up doing so, which I still believe represents a high percentage in the generation of global electricity.

Thank you my dear professor @lupafilotaxia for sharing this kind of content that leaves many points for discussion.