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Will electric cars reduce pollution? © Getty Images

Will electric cars reduce pollution?

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They may produce no emissions themselves, but electric cars still currently depend on fossil fuels.

Asked by: Kate Dennis, Durham


Electric vehicles’ engines don’t churn out polluting fumes, making them the obvious choice for improving local air quality in towns and cities.

But although they have the potential to drastically cut pollution, they are only as green as the electricity they run on. Given that most electricity globally is still produced by burning fossil fuels, charging an electric car can indirectly generate similar amounts of greenhouse gases to a petrol-powered vehicle, particularly in countries that rely heavily on coal power.

As the world embraces renewable energy, electric cars will increasingly gain the upper hand in years to come.

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