For proponents such as the actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, the main argument is that their electric cars [...] don't contribute to global warming. And, sure, electric cars don't emit carbon-dioxide on the road. But the energy used for their manufacture and continual battery charges certainly does—far more than most people realize.Reducing our energy usage is problematic because many of the ways that we reduce that energy usage - solar cells, windmills, mag-lev trains, dams - use the energy on the front end to produce it.
The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity. By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.
While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile. But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions—the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.
So unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally
I'm coming to think that the only way we can eliminate our damage to the planet is to stop existing.