episode 10

electric vehicles

Why electric vehicles?
How to decide which electric vehicle to buy?
How about the environmental impacts of electric vehicles?

In this episode, we talk comparing costs and benefits; and life cycle analysis and thinking about the full cost 

Hybrid and electric vehicles have been coming to the market for quiet a few years now. In November 2020, the UK government announced a two-step policy:

Step 1 will see the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans brought forward to 2030.

Step 2 will see all new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035.

We talked to someone who is already making the switch. He happens to be an environmental economist (“first a birdwatcher” he would say). 

Why electric vehicles? Because they don’t emit the same / as much air pollutants during use – see our episode on air pollution and its effects. In addition, the electricity they use could be largely, and even wholly, renewable, also avoiding emissions of greenhouse gases. We cover the impacts of producing electric vehicles has like lithium mining but we also remind about the impacts of oil extraction. There is no zero impact way of moving about…well not in a motorised vehicle anyway. That’s why it’s crucial we follow a transport hierarchy: 

Travel on public transport – needs more public investment (more, better connected, safe, less environmental impacts)

When you can’t use public transport – opt for lower impact: walk, cycle, and when you have to drive a car, choose an electric one…that’ll be hard for the gas guzzling SUV drivers but we still have hope…and the technology and the regulation!

Our guest in this episode is Ian Dickie,  is a Director of eftec and a Director of the Aldersgate Group


*** The views we and our guests express in this podcast are our own ***

reference list

Click the links below to find out more


Salary Sacrifice Scheme in the UK that allows the lease payment straight from your wages avoiding income tax and national insurance. Similar scheme also existing for bike to work. There are many lease companies who make the arrangements for you. 

Which? Electric car guide

Science & Infrastructure

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport in the UK – 6th Carbon Budget from the Climate Change Committee (CCC)

Infrastructure needs for electric cars as identified by the CCC

How electric cars are charged and how far they go

Metropoolregio Amsterdam

TOTAL installs charging points


Battery Myths


Tesla on batteries

The supply chain of EV batteries

Nanotechnology breakthrough

Deepwater Horizon disaster – one example of the impacts of oil extraction and compilation of all damage studies