Agree to Disagree: Does Your Electric Vehicle Help the Planet?
Tesla vehicle sales are, well … electric. The company posted $5.5 billion in 2021 profits, roughly six times its previous year earnings. Globally, the electric car industry is anything but static, soaring to 7 million units in 2021. The promise of owning such a green vehicle – and doing your part for the planet – is a big part of the lure. But is it warranted? Devonshire Research Group, an investment firm that values tech companies, examined each stage of environmental impact it takes to produce an electric car. It found that while a Tesla might not belch out exhaust, there are other potentially equally damaging effects wrought along the way. EV advocates argue that while the technology and resources aren’t perfect, they are ultimately better for the environment long term as the tech improves, and are far more realistic in application than mass transit systems, particularly for rural areas. Opponents say the kinds of infrastructure EVs require, such as nation-wide charging stations, still require huge investments that would be better suited for more ecologically-friendly mass transit systems. So, does your electric vehicle help the planet?
Britta Gross -
Managing Director of Carbon Free Mobility Global Program, Rocky Mountain Institute
Britta Gross is managing director of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Carbon Free Mobility Global Progra... read bio
Against The Motion
Jonathan Lesser -
Adjunct Fellow, Manhattan InstitutePresident, Continental Economics
Jonathan Lesser is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. As president of Continental Economi... read bio
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