Effects of Electric Vehicles

China Brown

Southern New Hampshire University

Natural Science



The increased use of electric vehicles has reduced the direct emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants for road transport significantly. However, such positive effects of using electric vehicles have partially been offset by some additional emissions that are usually caused by the continued use of fossil fuel in the power sector (Holland et al., 2019). Electric cars do emit not only exhaust fumes but also use batteries that emit toxic fumes. Most of the electricity that is used to power electric vehicles is usually generated from the non-renewable energy that can have negative impacts on both the environment and human health (Ma et al., 2017). The significance of the issue of effects of electric vehicles on Panyu public transport is that it will help in educating people on why the electric vehicles are not good for the environment and what can be done to make them better.

The three resources that I can use in investigating the issue of effects of electric cars are, “Distributional effects of air pollution from electric vehicle adoption”, “The analysis of the battery electric vehicle’s potentiality of environmental effect” and “Is subsidized electric vehicles adoption sustainable: Consumers’ perceptions and motivation toward incentive policies, environmental benefits, and risks.” The similarities in the content of all the sources are that they all explain the adverse effects of the electric vehicles on the environment. The difference in the content of the resources is that the first article is specific to how the electric vehicles pollute the air while the other two articles explain the effects of the electric vehicles in general. The articles are relevant and significant towards the investigation on the effects of electric vehicles on the environment because they have provided relevant examples of how the electric vehicles have impacted the environment in different ways. My thought process when I was searching for the sources was that I first generalized the environmental effects of the electric vehicles and what I did to make my choices was first to eliminate all the articles that were not relevant to the impact of the electric vehicles towards the environment.

What is the effect of electric car technology on Panyu public transport company of China for over two years?


The study on the effects of electric vehicles will greatly help Panyu public transport company in realizing the emissions that are usually caused by their vehicles and how they can contribute to the climatic changes. Once the company has realized the different effects of the electric vehicles, it will then develop some of the best mechanisms that will ensure that the environmental effects have been reduced and that can be done through minimizing their purchase of the electric vehicles.

There are some terminologies that might be challenging for the company to understand on their own. Some of such terminologies are the air pollutants which include PM10, NOx and the volatile organic compounds (VOC) (Cusenza et al., 2019). The terminologies can only be explained to them by offering a better description of what they mean. PM10 are fine articles or respirable particulate matter comprised of smoke, soot, nitrates, metals, dust water, sulphates, and rubber among other substances that make them very harmful to human health once breathed in. However, NOx is nitrogen oxide, a harmful element that is also present in automotive emissions. VOC are organic chemicals with high vapor pressure, and most of them are harmful (Cusenza et al., 2019).

The natural scientific principle that applies to the issues of electric vehicle on environmental change is that human influence is the critical factor that determines the environmental changes. The key relation between the principle of environmental change is that the emissions caused by electric vehicles have started exceeding those that are produced by gasoline vehicles. The heavy batteries that are possessed by the electric vehicles cause an increased particulate matter emission from the tires (Li et al., 2017). The electric vehicles still have a combination of the drum brakes and disc brakes which are both well known for causing particulate emissions (Zhang et al., 2018). The electric vehicles usually rely on electricity that is generally generated by fossil energy, which can as well result in pollution causing environmental change.

When considering the life cycle of electric vehicles in comparison to that of conventional vehicles, the production process of electric vehicles is far much environmentally intensive since it emits more toxic waste. The production of electric vehicles has approximately twice as much global warming potential to that of the conventional vehicles (Zhang et al., 2018). Furthermore, the production of electric motors and batteries needs excessive toxic minerals like copper, aluminum, and nickel (Ma et al., 2017). This fact makes the acidification effect of electric vehicles much greater when compared to the production of conventional gasoline vehicles. When considering potential for harmful effects associated with airborne particulate matter, acid rain, human toxicity, smog, depletion of mineral and fossil fuel resources, as well as ecosystem toxicity, electricity-powered vehicles perform on par or worse than conventional vehicles irrespective of their negligent emission while operating (Zhang et al., 2018).

Since Panyu public transport company operates buses and has handed electric vehicles in its fleet as a way of addressing the harmful effects of its services to the environment, understanding the environmental threats electric vehicles pose if very crucial (Advancing Public Transport, 2020). The company needs to understand that a move to replace its gasoline vehicles with electric ones will not eliminate the problem of harmful emissions since the manufacturing process and the operation of electric vehicles produce particulate emissions. Hence, the company should understand that, by simply purchasing an electric vehicle, they are promoting the production of more and contributing to environmental pollution.

Hence, for a company like Panyu public transport company, it would be better to continue operating the conventional vehicles instead of opting for electric vehicles to avoid contributing to their excessive harmful effect on the environment. The effect of electric vehicles surpasses that of conventional vehicles, particularly considering their production process that is considerably more environmentally intensive. Their global warming potential is two times that of conventional vehicles. Besides, the production of batteries that power electric vehicles as well as the electric motors themselves needs more toxic materials than conventional vehicles. Electric vehicles still use tires and a combination of drum and disc brakes that emit particulate matters while operating. The electricity used to power these vehicles also comes from fossil fuels that damage the environment. Based on these findings, companies like Panyu should not buy electric vehicles as a way of minimizing their production and harmful effect on the environment.


Advancing Public Transport. (2020). Our members. Panyu Public Transport Company. Retrieved February 9, 2020 from https://www.uitp.org/all-members?title=&field_member_category_tid=All&field_location_term_tid=138&page=8

Cusenza, M. A., Bobba, S., Ardente, F., Cellura, M., & Di Persio, F. (2019). Energy and environmental assessment of a traction lithium-ion battery pack for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Journal of cleaner production, 215, 634-649.

Holland, S. P., Mansur, E. T., Muller, N. Z., & Yates, A. J. (2019). Distributional effects of air pollution from electric vehicle adoption. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 6(S1), S65-S94.

Li, S., Tong, L., Xing, J., & Zhou, Y. (2017). The market for electric vehicles: indirect network effects and policy design. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 4(1), 89-133.

Ma, Y., Ke, R. Y., Han, R., & Tang, B. J. (2017). The analysis of the battery electric vehicle’s potentiality of environmental effect: A case study of Beijing from 2016 to 2020. Journal of cleaner production, 145, 395-406.

Zhang, X., Bai, X., & Shang, J. (2018). Is subsidized electric vehicles adoption sustainable: Consumers’ perceptions and motivation toward incentive policies, environmental benefits, and risks.Journal of Cleaner Production, 192, 71-79.

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