By Carla Gilotti

Edited by Maeve Bouchez

Nowadays, the use of electric vehicles is increasing in many countries, even though fossil-fuelled cars still predominate. Electric cars present both advantages and disadvantages, such as the price of these types of vehicles, the change they would bring to the economy, whether they are or are not respectful towards the environment, the marketing, etc …  

“Biofuels are not the solution to the climate crisis but a threat to both climate and biodiversity. We must stop investments in the biofuel industry and invest in new mobility concepts without combustion engines instead”, says Peer Cyriacks, the deputy director of nature conservation at the NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). 

Vehicles that use fossil fuels have many disadvantages. The biggest and main problem is that they are very polluting. Not only regarding global warming, but also for us humans: it is not good to constantly be surrounded by dangerous and contaminating gases that contain harmful substances. A study was made where a reporter asked people if they would rather live in a city where there are cars with either electric engines, or internal combustion engines. People were most likely to say that they preferred vehicles that ran on electric motors. The reason for this is that they do not produce carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) or any other toxic substances. Furthermore, petrol cars are very noisy. In short, electric cars are better for the environment and much quieter than cars that use fossil fuels.

Illustration by Romano Greta

Indeed, electric vehicles create a much “cleaner” and quieter environment in a busy city. Most people’s “ideal” city is one where you can enjoy the nice weather and go on a walk in nature, where it is nice and quiet, with no cars that produce poisonous substances. Thus, electric cars seem to be a great solution.  

On the other hand, we must bear in mind that electric cars also have their disadvantages. An example would be their price. Electric cars are much more expensive, and the suppression of fossil-fuelled cars would bring a drastic change to the economy. Another big problem is to constantly have to recharge the electric battery of the car. On top of that, there is a lot of energy consumption whilst they are charging. 

Jarod Cory Kelly, an energy system analyst at Argonne, says that the manufacture of electric vehicles generates more carbon than combustion-engine cars. In addition, other groups also argue that electric vehicles are not necessarily cleaner or greener than fossil-fuelled cars.  

At first glance, electric vehicles sell themselves out to be better than what they really are. In other words, by not releasing polluting gases into the atmosphere, they appear to be more environmentally friendly, when in reality, their production, battery and charging produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gases that negatively affect the environment. 

In conclusion, electric vehicles are not what companies make them out to be with their advertisements. Unfortunately, in one way or another, all types of cars pollute. Moreover, we must beware of society’s “tricks” and marketing deceptions, as they convince us to buy and believe in their products. After all, it is better to use other means of transportation. This is an easy way for us, students, to help. Try to come to school by foot, bike or bus. Luckily, in Luxembourg, public transport is free, so we have no excuses!  

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