The Problem With Electric Vehicles

By: Lauren | Last updated: Nov 01, 2023

Although many people believe that opting for electric vehicles instead of standard gas-powered cars or trucks is the best way to protect our planet, experts in the field are stating that there is actually a huge problem with the sustainability of these vehicles that no one is talking about.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electric vehicles are the future, but it seems they are ignoring some serious consequences.

What Does the EPA’s New Regulation Entail?

The Biden administration, along with the EPA, have proposed a new law which forces the entire automobile industry to shift to electric vehicles. The idea is to impose a new “multi-pollutant emission standard” for all light and medium-duty cars and trucks.


Source: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The basis of this thought process is that carbon-emission vehicles are playing a big part in climate change. But according to some, the EPA’s climate model that exhibits an extreme climate threat is actually exaggerated.


What is the Problem with Electric Vehicles?

Although there is some debate as to the severity of greenhouse gas emissions from standard vehicles, it’s actually besides the point, as there is a huge environmental issue with electric vehicles that people are ignoring.


Source: Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images

Essentially, in order to build the batteries in electric vehicles, over 104,000 pounds of materials need to be mined from the Earth, which of course, will have a huge effect on the planet if we begin mass production.

Mining for Electric Vehicles: Let’s Look at the Numbers

Experts from the Manhattan Institute report that to create just one EV battery, 20,000 pounds of lithium brines, 10,000 pounds of nickel ore, 2,000 pounds of graphite ore, 12,000 pounds of copper ore, and 60,000 pounds of cobalt ore need to be mined.


Source: David McNew/Getty Images

And that doesn’t include the three to seven tons of materials dug up in order to get to each of those thousands of ores.

The Bottom Line

While the general belief is that electric vehicles will be saving the planet, it seems that they are not nearly as sustainable as they appear.


Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mark P. Mills from the Manhattan Institute explains the problem clearly: “The variables and uncertainties in emissions from energy-intensive mining and processing of minerals used to make EV batteries are a big wild card in the emissions calculus.”