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Is Tesla really that Efficient?

So it seems that a Tesla is viable to drive for most applications; the problem now is efficiency. Is it really better for the environment than your average Honda Civic? I’m going to limit this comparison to single family cars, not busses or other forms of public transportation. Those are entirely different beasts. 

    A good deal of sites claim that Tesla’s aren’t all that great in reality. Take, for example, the production costs: yes, the Tesla is more environmentally inefficient to produce than any given econo car. The flaw in this, pointed out by Tim Urban (from whose blog I got most of my information for these posts. Check out this link and you’ll see why: http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html#part3) is that the Tesla is a luxury vehicle, Comparing it to a civic is unfair. Put up against other luxury vehicles, the Tesla isn't any worse.

    The next major problem raised about Tesla is the source of it’s electricity. A few sites claim that the source of the electricity which powers a Tesla is as bad as driving a gasoline car. And, in all fairness, our energy isn't the cleanest. The major flaw in this argument is that they fail to take into account the processing costs of the gasoline for a standard car, which skews figures back in Tesla’s favour. As of right now, coming up with definite figures is difficult: it all depends on where one lives, driving style, and how the electricity the driver consumes is produced. (Tim Urban has the most approachable graphics regarding this.) On the bright side, even taking the worst estimates, things will soon get better: as alternative forms of energy become more ubiquitous, the emissions caused by producing electricity will drop, and this problem will slowly fade.

    Finally, there is the completely unfounded fear of batteries which many people seem to cling to: Lithium Ion batteries are safe, efficient, and recyclable. Thats all there really is to say on this subject.

    

    So, while a Tesla is not really a viable option for those living on your own in University, or just starting out due to the cost, for those who can afford it, not only is it one of the most highly rated consumer cars ever, but it is also effective in the winter, and relatively efficient already, with more advancements on the way. Expect to see them becoming more and more popular in the next couple of years, and when they do, expect other forms of renewable energy to follow closely.

 

Thanks,

Paul

This Term's Writer / January 11 - 25, 2016

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