Petrol, diesel or electricity: which is more environmentally friendly?

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Correlation between price and environmental friendliness of fuel in the Netherlands

Petrol, diesel or electricity: which is more environmentally friendly?

Today, a car has become an indispensable part of our world. And no matter how many problems there are (traffic jams, fuel prices, environmental damage, accidents, etc.), humanity continues to buy more and more new vehicles to increase its own comfort and mobility. The global problem that, without exaggeration, is slowly destroying humanity is of course the pollution of the environment by cars. This is what we are going to discuss in this article.

Petrol and diesel cars: what is dangerous for the environment?

Ecologists have listened to the car’s damage. But what is it specifically about? After all, everything is usually limited to a lot of dry statistics or shouty slogans. In short, cars emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. In addition, the pollution of groundwater and soil is not going anywhere. In addition to the above, there are also oil leaks, fuel leaks and so on.

Diesel engines emit more soot and oxides into the atmosphere than carburetor engines. How does it affect a person? The first thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter whether you have a car or not. The exhaust fumes will affect you one way or another. It’s like passive smoking: you may not be addicted, but if you’re constantly in the company of an active smoker, your health is constantly at risk.

Furthermore, it is worth recalling that the amount of exhaust gases emitted is also affected by the quality of the roads. The worse the roads, the more you have to drive and the more you strain the engine, which means you use more fuel. And of course traffic jams. When the engine is idling, more oxides and soot are released into the atmosphere, which turns into roadside dust (tire fragments also end up there), which ends up in the soil and groundwater. The conclusion: Over time, this causes lung, liver, kidney and even skin disorders. The icing on the cake is of course that harmful emissions contribute to the problem of global warming. Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on Earth – about 16%. Passenger cars are responsible for 11.9 percent of these emissions.

Another thing that contributes to all these problems is the abundance of cars that are not maintained on time. For example, if your fuel pump breaks (it is necessary to supply fuel to the engine; it ensures an even fuel dosage for proper engine operation), the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere increases.

There are also a few differences between gas pumps and diesel pumps. Basically, the first one takes fuel from the tank and sends it directly to the injectors under a certain pressure. In diesel engines there are two pumps, a low-pressure pump and a high-pressure pump. The fuel does not enter immediately, but passes through the high-pressure pump due to the peculiarities of fuel combustion in diesel.

Electric cars: why are they considered more environmentally friendly?

There is a special one organization in the world called the International Council on Clean Transportation. It has carried out a number of studies comparing the full life cycle of cars using petrol and diesel with that of electric vehicles. This audit included all processes, from the extraction of raw materials to the use of the car. The conclusion was unequivocal – the carbon footprint of so-called “electric cars” is much smaller. In addition, it should be taken into account that the development of electric cars is constantly improving. For example, the batteries of such cars now last longer without maintenance than the engines of petrol and diesel cars. This is even prescribed in warranty documents. And this is even prescribed in warranty documents.

Therefore, purchasing a car is an important decision that affects the quality of life, not just yours. The choice remains yours, of course, but we still recommend that you pay attention to alternative car options. To be fair, modern electric cars are becoming increasingly affordable.

Information sources:

[Fotocredits – Rob Bouwman © Adobe Stock]

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