Electric cars sound like they’d be naturally cleaner than gas-powered cars. Stand between them and the electric is obviously cleaner, but the total life cycle impact isn’t as obvious. Batteries contain toxic chemicals and may not be recyclable. Electricity is only as clean as the source used to generate it. For a while and in some regions, it was cleaner to use a gas-powered car. Updated analyses prove the competition is increasingly in the electric car’s favor. Better technologies and more efficient renewable energy production mean a 38 mpg gas-powered car can only outperform an electric car in one relatively small region around Colorado. For much of the US, a gas-powered car needs to get at over 50 mpg. As the trends continue, electric vehicles are expected to dominate almost everywhere.
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