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Accueil > Gazette Etudiante > Transports

La voiture peut-être être écologique ?

Leslie Goovaerts

29 septembre 2011

Can electric cars really be Green, environmentally friendly, vehicles ?

By Damien

Did you know that only 18% of electric energy comes from a clean source of energy (such as from the Sun with solar panels producing photovoltaic energy and the wind, with the use of windmills) ? So where does the rest of the production of energy come from ? Well, 67% of the energy worldwide comes from coals mines and plants. When you know that coal pollutes more than oil, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it ?!! In France, 80% of the production of electricity comes from nuclear plants ! And if you say nuclear production, then automatically you mean nuclear waste.

Well come on now ! Let’s talk about electric cars : The electric car is Green by origin and by definition when it drives, because it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions. However, if we dig a little more we discover the negative points. It also consumes energy but not directly, only when plugged in. And yes ! Where does the electricity in our homes come from ? It comes from our nuclear plants (remember what we said before about waste) !! The notion of Green nuclear electricity really makes me laugh !

So now you tell me (whether you are Green activists or not) : are electric cars really environmentally friendly ?

387 ppm

By Benjamin

387 ppm is the concentration of carbon dioxide measured in the troposphere in 2010. This amount, over the last million of years, had never gone over 300 ppm…

In 2010, the number of vehicles in the world was 1,2 billion, and this figure is to increase even more in the next 40 years to finally reach 3 billions of vehicles. This increase will not take place in the so-called developed countries, but rather in the emerging ones which are economically growing very rapidly, such as the countries known as the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

It is actually in China that this increase in the number of vehicles should be the most important. Indeed, between the years 2003 and 2007, the number of vehicles went up by as much as 133% ! In China, there are 645,8 millions of vehicles which reject 2544,6 Giga kg of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and this figure keeps going up. Every day, some 1900 additional vehicles add up to the existing number of vehicles.

So, what possible solutions are there ? China has an efficient and active policy when it comes to encouraging the use of electric cars. Thus, the government offers subventions to those buying one. Yet, in a country where 80% of the electricity is supplied by coal mines, do you think electric cars really are an environmentally friendly solution ? Could the solution actually come from us, who live in “rich” countries ? Indeed, a possible and efficient solution would be for us to reduce by 50 % our number of vehicles. I can tell you how much this would be for France and the French : going from 37 millions of vehicles to 18 millions within the next 40 years.

But are we up for the change ?

Recycling cars

by Alexis

Do you know what happens to end of life vehicles, when they stop being driven by their owner ? Do cars pollute only when they are driven ? This is a question worth asking. Especially as what becomes of a car is a crucial issue for our environment.

Once your car doesn’t drive any more, it becomes an OOV (an Out of Order Vehicle), and consequently, polluting waste. It’s lucky a recycling system exists, knowing that in France only 1 500 000 cars become OOV every year. So cars better be recycled !! Just imagine what would become of our environment if 1 500 000 vehicles were to be dumped in a dump every year ?

However, for efficient recycling to be take place, solid and liquid elements of the vehicle must be sorted. Recycling follows three steps : first, the vehicle is depolluted by an approved demolition contractor, who is going to select certain parts of the vehicle, and hand in the remaining car to an approved crusher. Second, the brusher proceeds with crushing the car after having sorted the different materials making the car, in order to recycle them. Finally, the recycling of the collected various materials can thus take place.

This system is efficient and has been going on for many decades. On average, 16 approved demolition contractors are available in each department, which makes it possible for cars nationwide to be recycled, therefore preventing polluting Nature around us.