Properly answering this question requires plenty of research since you have to look at the full energy equation and update the results regularly. You can't just simply say that since Tesla cars don't spew exhaust, therefore they must be much better for the environment. We also can't make an accurate blanket statement for every location at any given time.
Remember, electricity has to come from somewhere. It doesn't just magically appear. There's a source out there that's creating the electricity that's used to charge vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, and all other EVs for that matter.
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Energy sources are continually changing. In some areas, they're changing more rapidly than in others, so this a question we need to ask and analyze over and over as time goes on.
Engineering Explained takes an in-depth look to provide us with a well-researched answer. If you support and follow EVs, you're likely already aware of the simple answer. Yes, Teslas and all EVs are better for the environment than gas cars and the situation is improving over time. But why? And, how much better? We'll leave you with Jason Fenske, who's much better equipped to provide the analysis.
Engineering Explained has many videos pertaining to this subject. For background, we've embedded two previous related videos below.
Video Description via Engineering Explained on YouTube:
Are Teslas Actually Better For The Environment?
Are Teslas Better For The Environment Than Gasoline Cars?
Are Tesla Electric Cars actually better for the environment versus alternative energy sources? Do electric cars have lower emissions, even if their energy comes from fossil fuels? Between electric, hydrogen, gasoline, diesel, and hybrids, which uses the least amount of total energy, from well to wheel? This video will analyze the entire energy equation, starting from the very source of the fuel, whether that’s petroleum, natural gas, or other energy sources.
Featured in the video is a 1965 Convertible Bug powered with Tesla battery pack modules. The car uses five modules of the 16 total in a Tesla Model S or X battery pack, giving it approximately 100 miles of range, paired with a 102 horsepower electric motor, and a manual transmission! It’s the ultimate environmentally friendly car, with a reused Beetle matched with reused Tesla batteries. Check out the video for a full breakdown of the emissions related impact of gasoline vs electric cars.
Are Electric Cars Worse For The Environment? Myth Busted
Are Electric Cars Greener Than Gasoline Powered Cars?
Electric cars are touted as a solution for reducing emissions and improving the environmental impacts of transportation, but are electric cars actually any better for the environment than gasoline cars? This video looks to answer three main questions:
1) Doesn't EV battery production cause a lot of emissions?
2) Don't electric cars get their power from fossil fuels?
3) Isn't lithium mining terrible for the environment?
What Really Happens To Old Electric Car Batteries?
Are electric car batteries recycled? Can batteries be re-used? Are electric cars better for the environment? Sponsored by Formula E
What happens to old electric car batteries when they wear out? Can electric car batteries be recycled, re-used, and is any of it cost effective. In this video we look at not only road cars but also race cars, and learn about what happens to electric car batteries after they can no longer provide a useful charge. We'll look at the Nissan Leaf, as well as what Formula E plans to do with the batteries from Seasons 1-4.