How can Electric Vehicles really help improve Cardiff’s environment?

Greenhouse gases are the major contributor to climate change. Fossil vehicles account for 72% of CO2 emissions globally, electric vehicles are more likely to be the solution of climate change as they emit less greenhouse gas.

Courtesy of Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Welsh government announced its target to reach a 95% carbon emissions reduction by 2050. As the market of electric vehicles is growing in Cardiff, how can electric vehicles really help Cardiff’s environment?

Sean Driscoll: Welsh Coversative Councillor for Llandaff and Dabesciurt (Courtesy of Sean Driscoll)
Professor Liana Cipcigan:Research theme leader-sustainable transport, School of Engineering of Cardiff University(Courtesy of Liana Cipcigan)

“As for can they really help Cardiff’s environment, on their own, no. That’s not to say we should stick with the status quo as the removal of petrol and diesel will reduce some pollutants but the vehicles will still have brakes and tyres to emit PM. They will however be an essential part of our route to a cleaner and healthier future, one where the air is safer to breathe and where emissions do not cause further dangerous climate change, ” said Sean Driscoll.

“Electric vehicles are playing a significant role in road decarbonisation because pure electric vehicles have no tailpipe, therefore don’t emit exhaust gases. This is important feature to reduce air pollution in congested cities. EVs are charged with a mix of power generation that is becoming greener in every year. Emission from vehicles with internal combustion engines are a significant source of CO2,” said Liana Cipcigan.

Councillor Emma Sandrey (Courtesy of Emma Sandrey)

“We believe that while EV is part of the solution, we need to avoid a situation where we see drivers switching en masse from diesel and petrol cars to electric, not least because of; how resource intensive the process of manufacturing EVs is, how the charging infrastructure could prove highly problematic for pedestrians, how it will lead to a huge demand on the National Grid’s electricity supply, and how they do nothing to address problems around congestion and particulate matter. We would like to see a target in the strategy for an overall reduction in car use across the board,” said Emma Sandrey.

Gareth Jones, train conductor(Courtesy of Gareth Jones)

“Electric vehicles can have a great impact on the air quality as there’s no pollution from an exhaust pipe. Though I recently read that the majority of harmful air pollutants come from things like brake and tire wear. Two areas that are currently unregulated. These two issues will still affect electric vehicles which will continue to affect Cardiff’s inhabitants. Whilst a switch to electric vehicles is certainly a step in the right direction I feel more needs to be done to reduce the overall affect of transport in the city. A move to more active transport, walking and cycling, or a large increase in public transport use is the only way I can currently see transport having less of an impact on Cardiff’s environment. This opinion is based on the day to day use of vehicles and I haven’t even considered the environment impact of the batteries in the electric vehicles,” said Gareth Jones.