Can Electric Vehicles Make Buildings Greener?
What is the price of driving 100 kms? We looked at various statistics and found that on average it is around $US 12 for a gasoline car, $US 9 for a diesel can and $US 3 for an electric car. Despite the typically higher initial cost of purchasing an electric car, it can save money in the long term, and in most cases, specifically where the lifecycle of the car is concerned. According to Virta (https://www.virta.global/blog/electric-cars-pollution-facts), electric vehicles have a 58% lower lifecycle impact than conventional vehicles; thus the use of electric vehicles is more favorable to the environment compared to the alternatives.
So what are the benefits of electric vehicles to the environment and how are they related to sustainable buildings?
No CO2 or air pollutants during use
Since electric cars do not emit CO2 or air pollutants, except fine particles, resulting from the wear of tires and brakes, they are overall better for the environment and public health than their thermal counterparts. As CO2 emissions and pollution is the greatest challenge faced by current vehicles, this is considered the greatest benefit of electric vehicles.
It is important to note that although they are considerably better when it comes to performance during their use, many factors must be taken into account when broadly categorizing them as “better than existing vehicles”. One must consider the supply chain of the materials, the manufacturing of the car and its components, the electrical source for recharging and the recycling options available at the end lifespan of the vehicle. All these factors contribute to the environmental impact of the vehicle and go beyond its impact while in use.
Longer lifespan of vehicle parts
Due to the simpler engine operation than a gas powered vehicle, most of the parts in an electric vehicle need to be changed less frequently. As there are fewer moving parts, the electric motor can accumulate hundreds of thousands of kilometers without failing while the battery packs are managed more efficiently, only the tires need to be changed as regularly as gas powered vehicles. This makes the overall reliability of electric vehicles incomparable as maintenance costs are drastically reduced as is the energy consumption.
Almost no sound pollution
As electric vehicles do not run on an internal combustion engine, they are much quieter than conventional vehicles. The lower noise produced by electric cars give comfort not only to the users but they also reduce the sound pollution and thus preserve the environment and promote better biodiversity, human health.
Green Buildings and Electric Vehicles
Buildings that incorporate Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) or electric vehicle ready infrastructure in their parking areas promote an adoption of alternative and cleaner transportation and thus can be considered more sustainable or greener than conventional buildings. Green building certifications reward projects that have electric-vehicle-ready infrastructure and preferred parking spaces for green vehicles, namely having these parking spaces closer to main entrances or more practical to access overall.
Visit EvoCharge’s Resources to learn more about the differences in charging levels: https://evocharge.com/resources/the-difference-between-level-1-2-ev-chargers/
According to the USGBC buildings can earn up to 1 LEED points in the ‘Location and Transportation’ category for ‘Electric vehicles’. The credit is intended “to reduce pollution by promoting alternatives to conventionally fueled automobiles”.
To learn more about the LEED credits available for ‘Location and Transportation’ visit https://www.usgbc.org/credits/new-construction-core-and-shell-retail-new-construction-data-centers-new-construction-1