You've probably been hearing it for a while and maybe you've seen it too: the electric car. The electric car is seen as one of the solutions to combat pollution and also as a partial solution to global warming. But is this hype really as good and clean as it is claimed to be? You'll find out today.
In the media there is especially positive talk about electric cars and particularly about how this would have zero emissions. Here in the Netherlands there are even commercials in which people who give counter-arguments and are said to have it all wrong, such as the well-known ''the emissions of the car may be lower, but the production of the car gives more emissions than a normal car''.
If we take a look at this argument, we have to look at the facts. It turns out that the fine particle production of the electric car, due to, among other things, the wear and tear of the brakes, tires and the road surface, is almost equal to the production of a much lighter car with a Euro 5 or 6 engine. On top of that there are the emissions from the power station.
This is not the only thing. The production of batteries for electric cars also causes pollution. If you add this up, you end up with a lot more pollution in the production of the electric car than in the normal fuel car.
I want to add a little bit of science to this article. Not only during the production of the car and its batteries, but certainly also during the production of the engines there is more pollution. In an engine of an electric car there are permanent magnets, these magnets contain neodymium. Neodymium is a self-sufficient earth metal and its extraction and production are very polluting.
Not only for nature it is harmful, claimed the 'Daily Mail' (A British newspaper). The newspaper published a report about the Chinese industrial city Baotou, where most of the world's supply of neodymium is extracted. The report contains shocking photographs of poisonous lakes, but also stories of residents struggling with serious health problems. People suffered from cancer, skin problems and tooth loss, among other things. Neodymium fumes can cause lung damage when inhaled and can pile up in the liver when exposed for prolonged periods. Increased concentrations of neodymium in water can also damage the skin membranes of the animals living there, negatively affecting reproduction and the nervous system. In short, the production of the electric car cannot really be called ''clean''.