Tesla is the target of a lot of criticism in today’s world, yet it can still achieve enormous success. In 2008, the company introduced the Tesla Roadster, which was the first lithium-ion battery automobile to be manufactured in serial production. In contrast to other electric automobiles, the Roadster was not just quick but also elegant and attractive. Since its introduction, more than 12 million electric vehicles have been sold all over the world, with Tesla being responsible for the sale of more than one million of those vehicles.
Would there be millions of electric cars on the road today if Tesla had never been invented or if it had never been the spark that started the revolution of electric automobiles? Without a doubt, the revolution brought on by electric cars was bound to occur at some point. However, the famed documentary Who Killed the Electric Automobile? wasn’t released until only two years before the Roadster was made available to the public. In the film, the passing of the electric car was lamented. According to the documentary, the major manufacturers may have succeeded in putting an end to the electric car, but Tesla was able to bring it back to life.
Good news for future Earthlings. Buying an electric automobile to reduce climate change is vital. A research from last year calculated that adding 4,434 metric tonnes of CO2 in 2020—equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.5 ordinary Americans—will cause one additional death globally between 2020-2100.
According to the study’s baseline assumptions, carbon emissions cause 83 million deaths later. Thus, electric cars save lives tomorrow. Which?
Tesla’s latest impact assessment told me. The average combustion car’s lifetime emissions are 450 g CO2e/mile, or 68 metric tonnes over 150,000 miles (241,401 km). When charged on the grid in America, the Model 3 emits 180 g CO2e/mile, which is 27 metric tonnes of carbon over its lifespan. Each person who switches from a gas-guzzler to an electric automobile saves 40 metric tonnes of carbon. (Solar-powered cars save even more.) To calculate how many lives electric cars have saved, we must determine how many have replaced gas cars.
About 2 million vehicles have been sold by Tesla thus far. According to this estimate, if the electric car revolution had been delayed by one year, it would have saved 80 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. According to the study cited above, every 4,000 metric tonnes of carbon emitted is anticipated to cause one additional death. This means that roughly 20,000 lives could be saved.
If we consider the 10 million electric cars sold by other manufacturers in addition to Tesla’s 80,000 sales, the number of lives saved rises to an astounding 120,000.
To be clear, this is just an approximation, and some assumptions have been made to make it easier to understand. However, it’s more than likely an underestimation. For this reason, only deaths caused by excessive heat are included in the Nature Communications study (e.g., heat stroke). However, there will be other means of death as a result of global warming. People will be suffocated, starved, and infected with new diseases as a result. Because of this, electric car adoption will result in even more lives saved.
So far, we’ve just looked at the afterlife. However, the majority of the harm caused by climate change isn’t due to human deaths. It’s because you’ve caused harm to their property and made their lives more difficult. Electric vehicles appear to have prevented a great deal of harm when this is taken into consideration as well.