We at PluginIndia will provide answers to these questions, you might encounter when you meet such people who argue just for the sake of arguing!
"Your electric car is a coal powered car. There is nothing green about it!"
Thus the cleanliness of power used is a based on from where you get you electricity and can sometimes be clean electricity.
Another important point which is also a general consensus among academics and researchers is that, even in a coal-dependent region, electric cars have an environmental edge over the most fuel-efficient internal combustion car. That’s due to the dramatic gains in vehicle efficiency offered by electric motors and powertrains. In regions where electricity is produced from renewable sources electric cars are significantly greener.
Electric vehicles have the lowest overall energy conversion losses. In an electric vehicle, chemical energy is stored in a battery. Lithium-ion batteries are used in vehicles because of high energy density. Converting the chemical energy to free electrons (electrical energy) can be greater than 90% efficient – some energy is lost to heat in cells and other battery pack components such as current conductors and fuses. Overall, drive efficiency of the EV's are around 85 to 90% - almost three times more efficient than an internal combustion powered vehicle.
Compare this to petrol vehicles. Chemical energy is stored as petrol in a conventional car. Combustion is used to convert the chemical energy into thermal energy. Pistons convert the thermal energy to the mechanical work that turns the wheels. The conversion process is, at best, 35% efficient. The majority of the energy stored in the gasoline is lost as heat.
The efficiency of electric motor is more than the efficiency of the combustion engine so u get efficiency benefits.
And as mentioned before - The electric vehicle offers the potential to use energy from renewable sources. You can install a solar panel and run on clean electrons. And if you stick to the grid, consider this as the grid gets cleaner, your electric vehicle gets cleaner in time.
Can that be said about ICE based vehicles? They will always remain dirty and bad!!!
So the Oil companies are using the dirtiest form of electricity to refine the dirtiest form of fuel!!
"What about the electricity? Electric vehicles will ensure our grid will one day collapse!"
But at the same time, its not that big of a deal. Here is why.
Lets put this into an analogy - In 2011, there were sales of around 3 million new air conditioners. Generally a 5 star rated AC consumes one kWh of energy in 1 hour of operation. If we run an AC for 4 hours, it consumes the same amount of energy that an electric vehicle consumes per day (Assuming 40 km is the average daily usage of an EV for day to day purposes)
So effectively speaking, if we have 3 million new AC's, and if we had 3 million EV’s - sometime in the future, we feel that the grid impact of AC’s, something that is a luxury, is far far higher, in fact orders of magnitude higher compared to introducing electric vehicles in huge numbers that will happen in our country.
Even the NEMP document says that even if India achieves and introduces 3 million EV's sometime in the future, the additional energy generation capacity is less than 1%. Therefore its not even being accounted for. The country’s energy consumption for other needs are so much more significant that this does not even figure in the calculations.
"What about the batteries? Materials in them are toxic for the environment!!"
Battery packs do wear out, but they can be recycled into new batteries when they do. This is not new. Even the lead acid battery in your ICE car has a valuable core that is recycled to make a new battery when it wears out and you have to replace it with a new one.
The Lithium-Ion battery packs have a longer life and have lots of materials that can be reused. When the lifespan of the batteries are over for the electric car, they tend to have a secondary life. They can be used to power a home as an inverter, for example.
Here is an important statistic - "Lead acid car batteries are the single most recycled consumer good in the world."
98% of all the lead acid batteries are recycled as lead is a dangerous toxic substance. Similarly Lithium Ion batteries will be recycled and wont be thrown into a garbage dump!
Now that you have all the information, go into the world and spread the gospel of EV's and clean energy! Don't let cynics detract you from your mission!