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Berkeley Researcher: Electric Cars Not as Green as They Appear

Berkeley Researcher: Electric Cars
Not as Green as They Appear

As the nation’s foremost provider of recommendations for credible and reliable transport of cars, we are thoroughly interested in new innovations in the automotive industry. Electric technology is especially fascinating to us, both because it seeks to offset the carbon effects of driving and because we help ship thousands of electric vehicles each year (since it’s not yet feasible to drive them long distances).

As with any new and exciting idea, critical analysis is crucial to ensure that we are not deluding ourselves – the same as we see with reviews of auto carriers – racing at breakneck speed in the wrong direction. Debate is important to the electric car field specifically because perhaps its strongest proponent is Elon Musk. Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, is a savvy billionaire and business genius with much to gain from the electric car’s popular acceptance.

One example of the Tesla frontman’s contribution to the EV market is announcement of 90-second battery-swapping stations between major cities, starting on the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco in California. A huge electric vehicle state, California is a major auto shipping state as well.

Are Electric Cars Dirty?The Argument Against EVs

IEEE Spectrum published a peer-reviewed study, conducted by Ozzie Zehner, who is the author of the book Green Illusions and a visiting scholar at UC-Berkeley. Zehner assesses the full environmental consequences of electric cars. His findings: the cars are probably more harmful to the environment than internal-combustion cars are. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong on these issues, when shipping electric and other innovative vehicles, enclosed transport can protect the car from damage.

In the study, Zehner covers the full spectrum of these automobiles. Rather than just looking at fuel, his analysis runs the gamut, from sourcing of parts to the manufacturing process to the fuel itself (which, in the case of electricity, is not typically coming from sustainable energy even though the car isn’t directly emitting carbon monoxide).

The environmental case for electric cars has to be extremely strong, because they are expensive and, with plug-in requirements, are not nearly as convenient as internal-combustion cars are. For us, consumers who value convenience choose door to door transport rather than terminal shipping.

Union of Concerned Scientists Rebuttal

If you check out the IEEE study, be sure to read the comment (at the top as of 8/13) from one of the authors of a study that disputes Zehner’s findings. The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the same basic variables and determined that electric cars are the most environmentally sound option, from sourcing to manufacture to fuel.

Why do we care about these studies? Simple: At Autos In Transit, we are passionate about quality information and service. Only working with DOT-compliant, bonded, and insured carriers, we can give you up to eight quotes now, completely free (above form).