Next time someone yells at you for failing to drive an eco-friendly Tesla, share this news with them.
According to The Telegraph, a recent study conducted at the University of Edinburgh suggests electric cars emit almost as many emissions and particulates as an average gasoline or diesel-fueled car.
The study concluded electric vehicles are found to be nearly 24 percent heavier than a regular car fitted with a typical internal combustion engine. An increase in weight means frequent wear and tear on an electric car's brakes and tires, thus the release of more toxins.
Despite the university's findings, automobile experts suggest the study doesn't include key factors such as an electric car's ability to use its engine to brake rather than a set of physical brakes attached to its wheels, deeming the study inaccurate.
President of the Automobile Association, Edmund King, spoke on the study saying,
In the AA's view, electric and hybrid vehicles don't produce as much particulate matter as even if some of the vehicles are heavier they tend to brake less. Regenerative braking is an incredibly efficient way of reducing the need to brake whilst increasing energy efficiently by a third.
If it weren't for this new method of regenerative braking, electric cars would likely fit the university's findings more accurately.
Aside from brake and tire use, none of the driver's habits behind the wheel are taken into account.
Tire wear tends to come down to driving style and certainly the early adopters of electric and hybrid vehicles are not screeching around like boy racers. The big advantage of EVs is that tailpipe emissions are clean and hence the take-up of these cars should be encouraged.
So, are electric cars actually as clean as we think they are?
The short answer: Yes, as long as you take care of it.
However, depending on how an electric car is maintained, it could easily become just as bad for the environment (and your respiratory system) as a regular gas-fueled car.
If you're driving a Tesla like it's a Ferrari, you're probably not doing Mother Nature, or yourself, any favors!