The car has been traditionally a petrol or diesel vehicle. Petrol and diesel are fossil fuels. The more we burn, the more we contribute to climate change. Around 12% of worldwide emissions come from road vehicles. When we burn petrol or diesel, we also release other pollution and this also affects air quality. Recently we have developed batteries that we can recharge time and time again from electricity. This has allowed cars to switch from burning fossil fuels to being electrically powered. These cars are often called Zero Emission Vehicles because they do not have an exhaust pipe and release no carbon dioxide directly from the vehicle. However, it is important to consider also how environmental the manufacture of the vehicle is and the emissions from the electricity we use. When we buy renewable electricity, we can really reduce the emissions from cars to very low levels.
To make a really big benefit to climate change the vehicles need to last a long time and their electricity they use should be from low carbon electricity like solar power, wind power or nuclear power. The cost to run an electric car is also lower than for a similar sized petrol or diesel car.
Of course, it helps to use our cars less, use public transport, walk or use a bicycle instead!
How can we benefit from an electric vehicle?
We can buy or rent an electric car instead of a petrol or diesel one. There are more electric cars on the market than there used to be including plenty of second-hand ones too.