In writing this article, I can declare that I am not an "Expert" on the subject. However, having considered purchasing an "electric car" recently (solely as a contribution to protecting the environment), I have done many hours of research.
I did not just do this research for idle curiosity, it was because when I purchased my current car in 2008, I did not challenge the guidance of government endorsed "Expert" advice i.e. that it would much be better for the environment if I bought a car with a "Diesel Engine"... well thank you "Experts" for that great advice - NOT!
Anyway, my research concluded that for both environmental protection and practical purposes, electric vehicles are a very poor choice. In fact, of the three engine fuel options, Petrol, Diesel or Electric, the research indicated overwhelmingly, that Electric Cars are the worst choice.
Undoubtedly, in some very specific circumstances, using Electric Vehicles could offer a considerable benefit to a local environment e.g. in congested towns and cities, where poor air quality is a health hazard. However, this is just moving the environmental issue away from the local area and back to the Electricity Generation Stations.
Once we factor in how Electricity is actually produced, the environmental benefits are at best highly questionable, but even the most convincing arguments avoid one simple fact i.e. we don't produce enough electricity, or have adequate electricity supply infrastructure, to cater for a substantive switch to electric vehicles.
Where possible, I would suggest that the best current option for the environment, would be to not buy an electric car and more importantly, to stop buying any new cars at all!
And no, this does not mean giving up driving (phew!), it's just about not buying "new" cars. We have already produced enough cars for everybody, so we just need to make them last until an environmentally better solution comes along. And, what better way to inspire the invention and production of better products, than to stop buying the rubbish that we are currently being offered!
This may appear a bit unrealistic but I have done the research and mathematics, and keeping our current stock of motor vehicles on the road and reliable is not just very feasible, it's economically a great option too.
I will be publishing my research on this website page as soon as I have the time, but if you are thinking about buying an electric car right now, and are making this choice for environmental reasons, all I can say is please do some research... in my opinion, the "Expert" advice, and "Marketing" hype, that we are all encountering at the moment is all very misleading, and I feel we are all being "duped" once again (from "Dieselgate" to Electricgate... what next)?
A couple of examples of the complex issues involved: -
1) The UK does not have the capacity to generate enough electricity, or the infrastructure to deliver enough electricity, to charge millions of car batteries, and won't have for at least 30 years.
2) Batteries contain toxic materials that will become hazardous waste. Within a few years this could be about 1 million cars worth of batteries per year (approximately 200,000 tons) - and that's just the UK!
Of course we could believe that the UK Government (that is helping to promote Electric Cars), will find quick and clever solutions to these huge fundamental issues... "hmmmm, I'm not totally convinced about that".
NOTE: The following information is an extract taken directly from the BBC website (click on the skull and crossbones image below, for a link to the page).
It's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned.
Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.
But leaks of the little-known gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road.
Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.
Cheap and non-flammable, SF6 is a colourless, odourless, synthetic gas. It makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations.
It is widely used across the industry, from large power stations to wind turbines to electrical sub-stations in towns and cities. It prevents electrical accidents and fires.
However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).
Just one kilogram of SF6 warms the Earth to the same extent as 24 people flying London to New York return.
It also persists in the atmosphere for a long time, warming the Earth for at least 1,000 years.