ABSTRACT: The amount of pollution created by electric vehicles depends mostly on the source of the electricity used to charge them. This makes it impossible to determine if electric vehicles pollute less than internal combustion engine vehicles without considering where they are to be deployed and by what sources of electricity they are to be powered. An electric vehicle that is charged with energy from a clean source, like hydroelectric power, will produce very little pollution, while one charged with energy from an unclean source, like coal or oil, may produce more pollution than an internal combustion engine vehicle. The sources of energy for most regions fall somewhere between these two extremes. The use of electric vehicles will allow new possibilities in pollution control and management that may outweigh some of their potential failings. While not ready to be used everywhere, electric vehicles have the potential to pollute much less than internal combustion engine vehicles
Conclusion: At present, for the vast majority of the country, neither electric vehicles or comparable gasoline-powered vehicles holds a solid advantage over the other in cleanliness. This balance will probably not change any time in the near future as the problem with electric vehicles is not inherent to them, but rather to the means by which we generate our electricity. Although electric vehicles offer some compelling advantages over internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of pollution management, the real advantage of electric vehicles lies in the future when more electricity is produced from cleaner sources. For those living in California, or in other regions with a high percentage of energy production coming from clean sources, the future is already here.
This was written by student before 2006.