A lighter shade of green

Switching road transport from oil to battery power will be better for the environment in many ways, but it is does not come without downsides. Gareth Simkins takes a closer look at electric vehicles

Just because electric vehicles are smoke free does not mean they have no impact. Photograph: Andrea Lehmkuhl/123RFFrom the discovery of fire to the microchip, every technology humanity has developed has had an environmental impact. The same is true for the electrification of transport. Just because battery-powered cars are smoke-free does not mean they have no consequences.

The thought hit home when this ENDS writer was almost hit by a barely audible zero-emission van at an electric vehicle (EV) show in February. Noise is one of the internal combustion engine’s major downsides, but it does, at least, alert pedestrians.

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