True or False: Teslas Are Bad for the Environment

Teslas are becoming more commonplace around the world and sold as a way to save the planet. But are they really good for our environment?

Teslas get a lot of attention for being one of the first fully electric and largely self-driving cars. 

Many people buy them to make a greener vehicle choice for the environment, but critics claim that Teslas are not as eco-friendly as one might think. Let’s settle this debate once and for all.

 

Why Teslas Are Good for the Environment

Several factors make Teslas a great choice if you are environmentally conscious. First, they run on electricity instead of gas, which means they can be fully charged using renewable resources like solar panels, windmills, or hydropower.

If you drive to and from work, using renewable energy exclusively or even partially to cover your transit costs reduces your carbon footprint significantly. 

Not only are these energy sources greener, but they are also infinite. 

Gasoline is not only made from finite fossil fuels, but mining them also causes both environmental and political disasters. 

Plus, accidents such as oil spills can cause irreparable damage to our already fragile ecosystem and hurt wildlife.

Another factor is that Tesla interiors are made using vegan leather so that no animals are hurt in the process.

Not only are the animals spared, but the adverse side effects of raising cattle for the leather are also eliminated.

Tesla as a company also goes out of its way to recycle other materials necessary to assemble the vehicles. Even the lithium battery, the most controversial part of every Tesla car, can be partially recycled. 

According to Tesla, they recycle up to 60% of old batteries, and they are still working on improving this process to do even better.

 

Why Teslas Are Bad for the Environment

Many people claim that Teslas are worse for the environment than gas cars because of the lithium batteries. These are similar to the batteries in your phone but much larger. 

A now-deleted article by the Wall Street Journal claims that “ …building a Tesla actually generates more emissions because of the metals needed for its lithium-ion battery.” But is this true?

Although there is currently no sustainable way to create lithium batteries, many companies are researching to find a solution to fix this issue. 

Most studies show that there isn’t a significant difference environmentally between a gas car and an electric car because of the batteries and the source of electricity used to charge the car.

Although Teslas can be charged using 100% renewable energy, most of them are not. 

Unless you have solar panels, the electricity used to power your home likely comes from fossil fuels.

Tesla Superchargers are also connected to whatever source is available in the area, and most are not from clean sources.

 

The Debate

Yes, a Tesla can be less environmentally friendly than your regular gas car, but it depends on the circumstances. 

If you own solar panels and use that energy to power your electric vehicle, you are decreasing your carbon footprint despite your car having a lithium battery.

Another thing to consider is that fully electric cars are still new. Coca-Cola used to contain dangerous drugs, and paint used to contain lead, but now they don’t. 

Tesla started the electric vehicle trend and has helped build an infrastructure where they are practical to drive as a primary car. 

You can say that Tesla single-handedly paved the way towards a greener future and is actively working to find a solution to the remaining problems, such as the lithium battery. 

Don’t forget that in 2014, Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents available for anyone to use for free, stating that “technology leadership is not defined by patents.” 

This patent helped other companies create electric vehicles, and no matter what you think of Elon Musk, this was a great move that not every company would have made. 

With more people having access to it, it is inevitable for a greener solution to be invented with time.

Yes, a fully electric car isn’t the perfect solution to climate change. It is, however, a step in the right direction. 

There are valid arguments on both sides, and my opinion is that a Tesla is an environmentally friendly car. 

As someone who is fortunate to be able to charge a Tesla using 100% solar energy, I am encouraged that a greener future is possible and will be here sooner than we think. 

I believe that this will be feasible thanks to technological innovations made by companies such as Tesla.

Photo: Shutterstock/CanadianPhotographer56


More on electric cars here:

When Will Electric Cars Take Over The World?

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