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The Best Cars For the Climate | Hot Mess 🌎

The Best Cars For the Climate | Hot Mess 🌎

Say you’re looking to buy a car. How do you pick the best car for the planet? There’s already a lot to consider when choosing
a new ride, and factoring in climate change makes it even trickier. Well we’re here to guide you through it…
even if we can’t come to the dealership with you. Hey, I’m Joe. Let’s get something out of the way right
out of the garage: cars don’t just produce emissions when we’re driving them. Making a car–any kind of car–takes an
enormous amount of energy, and so does disposing of it. So when we talk about a car’s climate impact,
we have to consider factory to junkyard, not just on the road. So, that applies to all types of cars. But there’s still a lot of options to consider. First up, we’ve got our good ol’ internal
combustion engine cars.The ones we’ve been zooming around in for over a century! They can be powered by propane, ethanol, even
biodiesel, but most run on gasoline and regular diesel. These kinds of cars and trucks account for
nearly one-fifth of all US greenhouse gas emissions . But you’ve still got some options that can
reduce the impact of even a gas-burning car. Fuel efficiency–how far you can go on one
gallon or liter of gas–depends a lot on vehicle type, model and age. Older cars can be less fuel efficient, but
buying a used car technically produces less emissions than a new one, because no extra
energy went into producing the used car. Luckily there are a few easy tools you can
use to compare cars’ fuel efficiency. We’ve linked them down in the description. And when it comes to which fuel, carbon dioxide
emissions from diesel cars do tend to be lower…but diesel cars emit more of other kinds of air
pollution, that may not affect the climate, but do make air less healthy to breathe. Considering all this, many climate- and environment-conscious
car buyers are turning to electric vehicles–or EVs. These run on electricity stored in a battery–basically
a scaled-up version of the battery tech in your laptop or smartphone. When it’s empty, you plug the car into an
outlet to recharge it. Pretty simple! EVs don’t burn any kind of fuel–they don’t
even have a tailpipe–so they don’t release any emissions…. …when they’re on the road. Remember, making a car–any car–and all
of its parts takes energy, and this can create its own emissions. So how clean are electric vehicles, really? Today’s electric cars typically run on lithium
ion batteries, which contain elements that are really rare and hard to find–like cobalt. The process of mining and processing these
raw metals into usable battery components requires a huge amount of energy. Even the wiring, casing, and the stuff that
holds the battery together are expensive… money-wise and energy-wise.All this considered,
manufacturing an electric car produces about 68% more greenhouse gas emissions than manufacturing
a regular car. Here’s the kicker:  When an EV is plugged
in, it’s pulling electricity from the power grid. Depending on where you live, that electricity
that could be generated by coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar… or in most places,
a mix of these. So driving an electric vehicle will probably
still produce emissions, just not from the tailpipe. When you factor in manufacturing and charging,
there’s no truly zero emissions car on the market yet. But. Here’s the thing. Even though making an electric car produces
more emissions than making a gas-powered one, and EVEN though many electric cars get their
energy–at least partially–from non-renewable sources…over their entire lifetime most
electric cars still produce less than half of the emissions of gas-powered vehicles. Electricity generating plants are simply more
efficient at turning combustible fuel into energy than a car engine is at turning gasoline
into energy. So, are hybrid cars a good middle ground? Well, non-plug in hybrids–which have gas
engines and batteries charged when the car is moving or braking–are basically just
really fuel efficient regular cars with a more emissions-heavy production process. The impact of plug-in hybrid cars–small
gas engines and batteries charged by plugging in–is hugely dependent on the energy source
charging them. Manufacturing emissions are higher for hybrids
too, but in many cases the on-the-road emissions savings is more than enough to make up for
that. The biggest factor in whether a plug-in hybrid
contributes more or less emissions than a regular car is the source of the electricity
going into its battery, similar to those questions surrounding electric cars. There are a couple of other futuristic options
out there too, like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which use hydrogen gas to power an electric
motor! The technology is tricky, the infrastructure
just isn’t there–yet–and as of right now they are SUPER expensive. It’s too early to suppose how they may stack
up compared to gas and electric vehicles in a practical way, but if you want a whole video
on how they work and how they could transform our emissions in the future, let us know in
the comments below. The real answer to this question of “which
car?” could be…no car at all. If you live in an area that’s highly walkable
or bikeable or that has convenient public transportation, it may not make sense to drive
every day. But the hard truth is we’ve built a world
that depends on automobiles, so we need to drive toward a cleaner car future. Just think–if everyone in the US drove electric
vehicles, we could cut our total car-produced carbon emissions in HALF, even without changing
how we make our electricity! We’re in a huge time of transition when
it comes to how we get around in a climate-friendly way. So buckle up–I’ve got a feeling it’s
gonna be fun ride..and hopefully you can use this handy-dandy green car guide to walk you
through your next car purchase.

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100 thoughts on “The Best Cars For the Climate | Hot Mess 🌎

  1. Technically most electric cars are bad for the enforcement because they get electricity from a country mainly using fossil fuels for power.

  2. "But, the hard truth is that we've built a world that depends on automobiles."

    No. The hard truth is that we need to dismantle the world we've built around automobiles and rebuild it away from automotive dependency. If you want to reduce climate emissions, nothing less will do.

    By the way, it may be true that if everyone switched from ICE to EVs today, we'd cut emissions in half. However, unless you plan on providing every single household in the US (let alone the world) with an EV, it will take decades for that switch to happen. And as the IPCC report pointed out, we don't have decades. Hybrid cars have been on the market for nearly 20 years and their market share is still only single digit.

  3. depends how much you drive. if you drive only 100km a year buy a car with least purchase emission->old car. efficiency does not matter here. You drive a lot buy new efficient and reliable! car. used gasoline can still be better than used BEV, if you drive a little. Better someone else use this BEV if they put a lot more km on it.

  4. Electric vehicles are not going to take off among the masses until you can get them at a similar price to traditional cars. They simply cost too much right now for many people who already own a gasoline powered car.

  5. Everyone seems oblivious to the fact that if it were harder to finance cars, we would have a much higher percentage of fuel efficient cars and EVs on the road. It's been proven time and again that when people are spending credit as opposed to spending money that they have already earned, they spend more and buy more luxurious options. Back when it was harder for people to get financing, the people who could not afford to buy a new car had to settle for the used cars of people who were frugal enough to save up for a new one. Frugal people who save up their money to buy a car are much more likely to factor in costs such as fuel efficiency, insurance cost, and long-term reliability. People who finance the entire price of a vehicle are much less likely to worry about fuel efficiency or reliability and focus more on appearance and luxury. This is why The big three American automotive manufacturers have all but given up selling small fuel-efficient cars in the United States in favor of less fuel-efficient and more luxurious trucks and SUVs. Even the political party that is supposedly all for saving the environment completely ignores this because much of their campaign financing comes from the financial industry.

  6. Some places offer different supplier who can feed the grid renewable energy sourced power based on your individual preference. So you can choose to go 100% renewable in those cases making driving an EV 100% clean in that sense at least. Looking up your specific state and county electric suppliers could get you that. The available options might surprise some.

  7. I'd like to bring up the fact that even in areas where walking, biking, and public transportation is an option, driving allows people to get to better jobs in general. It's actually one of the reasons I am locked out of better jobs; it takes 2+ hours to get to decent jobs via public transportation, as well as some of the public colleges around where I live. So while those are sometimes available, they are not always the better options monetarily.

  8. Sorry but you can not say "extremely rare materials are necessary to produce electric vehicule " and 2 minutes after : " imagine if all of americans people were driving electric vehicule " (sorry for my french writing accent) I read a lot on electric vehicules and I think that you really missed some crucials unfavourable points for electric side. Like we cannot produce a lot of them because of material lack.

  9. So im guessing that every car is built on order, 100% of cars bought isnt already made and if none bought them they wouldnt just wither away in a garage somewhere…. right?

  10. Here is my concern. As far as I know no one has done any longterm research on what the life of an electric car is. What if the batteries need to be replaced every 5 or ten years, surely that cuts into any emissions savings. It might even make then worse for the environment. Let's say I buy a really efficient gas car like some fiat with a 1.5 liter engine and I keep it on the road for 20 years is that better or worse than an electric car that needs to get a new battery every 8ish years. That's what I want to know.

  11. "What’s The Best Car For The Climate?" A two-wheeled one that you pedal! Only kidding, EVs are awesome. I drive a small (wind-powered!) EV almost daily: AMA!

  12. Why don't you put the links to these tools on the PBS website ??? I had to google and come to YouTube even though I watched this on the PBS site.

  13. 4:16 — Disappointing that this did not mention the huge amounts of electricity used to refine oil to gasoline. We could use that electricity to power a bunch of EVs. This really changes the equation — but I cannot know if it was factored into the "cut emissions in half" statistic given or not.

  14. 2:40

    That's not completely right. EVs too have emissions – microplastic from the tires. Cars are the main source of microplastic in the environment.

  15. 1:16 Either this chart is wrong or you are saying it wrong!

    What about emission from Coal plants, Meat industry, Construction industry?
    The chart should say U.S TRANSPORT emissions or something like this.

  16. Diesel engines also release black carbon (soot) which contributes to climate change, even though it's not a greenhouse gas. That would be a very informative episode as most ppl only consider CO2e. Adding filters to diesel engines & replacing inefficient cook stoves would be a relatively cheap & easy way to reduce warming to give us a bit more time to implement ghg reduction.

  17. Thanks for this Video its good to see that people finaly get more into Green Living and producing less waste. First time i see a "almost" fair comparsion of the diffrent Car types

    There are a few Points that haven't been talk'd about and should be considered.
    – All Cars produce pollution with Rubber from the Tires and Breaking dust
    – How about Recycling possibilities? – i guess a lot of the Battery's can get Recycled and Re-Used.
    – Its not clear how much Pollution is produced by the BIG OIL company's by farming Off-Shore to make Gasoline and Diesel. (remember the Gulf of Mexico).

    Giant Ships (that are running havy fuel oil) transport it to Land and its getting reffined, where the last mile is mostly made with Trucks.

    I dont want to offend any one, but this research was not completed properly
    i love all the topic's you are doing.

    ps. According to this Source Ships are the worst polluting thing on our Planet – guess how the Offshore Oil comes to land….

  18. Best option of all (for those who enjoy cycling)… a Velomobile. You can't get much greener transportation (besides your own two feet)

  19. Great video, but it lacked two important things: the huge amounts of energy needed to extract oil from the ground, refine it and transport it; and, regarding hydrogen, more that 95% of it nowadays is produced from gas reforming, which produces huge amounts of CO2 – not to mention that hydrogen is way less efficient than electricity, considering everything that goes into delivering it to the car.

  20. Yep probably the key to sustainability in the long run is to reduce cars which will require our society to convert from automobiles to something else. But car sharing could probably be a useful intermediary step too.

  21. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates: "Seventy-five percent of people now live in places where driving on electricity is cleaner than a 50 MPG gasoline car. And based on where people have already bought EVs, electric vehicles now have greenhouse gas emissions equal to an 80 MPG car, much lower than any gasoline-only car available."

  22. Fuel cell vehicles are a necessary component for decarbonization. However their main advantage over batteries is that they scale really well. For large SUVs and for buses and trucks fuel cells are really the better option. Ultimately though fuel cells really depend on how the hydrogen is produced. There isn't really a reason we couldn't just build a few dozen massive molten salt solar arrays they just do electrolysis all day but unfortunately it'll always make more sense to use gas reforming instead. Thats why fuel cells and in fact most renewable technologies entirely depend on a carbon tax to be competitive.

  23. One of the most stupid short commings of battery EVs is that they still do not have switchable batteries. Once again like Tesla even though the technology doesn't make a lot of sense without a lot of EVs on the road thats really what you need before people will just get it thats the way to go. It solves both the battery weight issue because an appropriately sized battery is used for commutes vs trips and it also solves charge times because a battery switch can be done in under a minute.

  24. 3:20 And that's exactly why Tesla is building solar-powered factories. I didn't hear about any other car manufacturer who is doing this. That's also something you should factor in.
    What's the CO² footprint of a Tesla produced today (as long as I know they are not done yet)?
    What would be the CO² footprint of a Tesla produced when they are done and every Tesla is produced with renewable energy?

    3:35 Is it really like that in the US? Here in Germany, you can just choose a different plan and then your electricity (technically rather the amount of electricity you consume and not the actual electricity from your wall socket) is produced depending on your plan and not depending on where you live.
    I highly doubt that there is no way of choosing a green power plan in the US. If that's not possible there's really something going wrong.

    5:25 Hydrogen cars have a bunch of problems on their own. Real Engineering made a video where he compares battery cars with hydrogen cars

  25. No car at all is a good solution. But a bike often isn't an option because of the weather, your phisical condition (age, disability, illness) or something you want to take with you and public transportation still has its own carbon footprint (what doesn't mean any solution which isn't perfect isn't worth it). Also, with public transportation, you depend on their routes and time tables. You could improve that problem but it will never go away.
    So perhaps, smart self-driving on-demand cars you don't own yourself could be a solution for those cases where you would still need a car. As long as you could just use your bike or public transportation you do that. As soon as you need a car you take your smartphone, open an app and order a car that picks you up. When you're planning your vacation, which isn't so far you need to take a plane or you need a car for a longer period for any other reason then you can book a car early for a few days. That way you are always sure a car is ready for you, you can leave your stuff in the car and have the same flexibility as if it would be your own car.
    Since they are smart self-driving cars it's possible for them to communicate with other cars and they could drive so close to each other that they are practically a "car train". This way they are much more aerodynamic.
    So what I'm describing is basically a mix of taxis and car-rental. But that is still too expensive for most people to use it in a regular way. In a bigger scale where everybody uses it it would proabably much cheaper. I'm pretty sure car rentals are just overpriced. And it would be cheaper than taxis since you don't have to pay any driver.
    Of course, that would cost many people their job. But that's a completely different problem that shouldn't be solved by just not doing any of this automation stuff at all but with a better social system and a universal basic income in the long run. When all of the world is automated and nobody has to work anymore there still is enough wealth for everyone. Probably even more. We just have to make sure it's distributed in a fair way.

  26. I would like to see a video about electricity providers that sell renewable power (especially wind energy in Texas). If I pay for renewable power through the grid, am I actually lowering carbon emissions or am I just causing others who don't care how their electricity is generated to use a higher percentage of fossil fuel generated electricity?

  27. I own a 2014 Nissan Versa sedan. Would it be better for the environment if I was to sell this car and buy an EV, or keep it for a few more years, considering the emissions that go in to making a new car?

  28. Please please for the sake of climate, listen up hot mess, non-renewable isnt the key, fossil-free is the key.

    Include nuclear in the fight to combat climate change, just like the UN panel of climate change does and suggest we do in all scenarios of how to reach the climate goals in their summary for policymakers. Heck, nuclear even need to increase hundreds of % untl 2050 in relation to 2010s capacity.

    Accept nuclear in your communication already…

  29. Nuclear emissions are lower than most renewables, it is about 10 along with windpower, while solar and biomass are higher.

    So, when you make your visual gauge be inaccurate about this…

  30. The best car is no car. Even an electric car uses so much CO2 in it's production, it takes 20 years to mitigate that CO2!

  31. Something maybe worth mentioning, is that by buying an electric/hybrid car you are investing in the industry who’s job (and duty) it is to improve the technology used in these cars.

    We’ve got to think of the long game here. Hydrogen fuel cell cars would be amazing, but without major investment or funding through the years these technologies will stay out of our reach.

  32. What about if we also focus in reducing human population? Even China rolled back the population control. Ugh..

  33. You mentioned creation to grave for cars. I would like to see you address the disposal impacts of conventional vs. hybrid/electric cars because the carbon footprint is not the only environmental impact there is for cars.

  34. Whats the environmental impact of electric conversion? And what about the energy and resources needed in recycling?

  35. Pretty good summary. The only thing I would add which may have been mentioned elsewhere in the comments is EV "fuel" (electrons) will only continue to get cleaner as time goes by. ALL power generating entities are moving away from coal.

    That ALSO means the the creation of EVs will start getting cleaner too not only because the power needed to create them gets cleaner but also as new battery tech and formulas reduce processing. As it stands now new battery tech uses less cobalt. The company Tesla just bought is for creating cells in a dry fashion rather than the expensive wet creation that requires a lot of power to dry them in furnaces…but now we are getting into the weeds.

  36. "more carbon neutral and better for the environment than any other YouTube channel" challenge accepted! I'm going to go carbon negative!

  37. Here is a better suggestion, instead of getting an electric car, go and walk everywhere! Or get a bike! And what if you need to go somewhere far? Public transport!

  38. You mentioned in the beginning that one must consider not only the road time emissions but also manufacturing and post disposal. Please make a video on post disposal environmental effects.
    My feeling is – batteries do more toxic damage to the environment (soil, water and air contamination). Well environment is not only the air we breath.

  39. i just hope that america gets better public transport soon! rn i live in nyc, so i dont have to worry about getting a car. but after i graduate, i plan on moving to a small town out west, and i just really hope that i'll be able to rely on public transport to get me to the nearest city! one of these days i really oughtta learn how to bike lol, i hate driving and cars in general make me so anxious

  40. 4:20 so is this for 5 year olds – bars without data?

    And a whole show did not reference one single data for its claims, YT investigative journalism at its finest.

  41. Could you guys produce a video about the climate impact of shipping? Id be interested in both international and domestic

  42. If every car, was electric you would have to factor in the immense amount of electricity needed on the spot. For longer rides most people would want to fast chatge their car at a gas Station. And even for 10 people to fast charge their car at once, which wouldnt be a lot if everybody drove an electric car. The infrastructure we have today wouldn't manage to deliver all this electricity. So now you also have to factor in the newbuild structures to provide enough energy for everybody. I dont think electric vehicles are bad but we have just too much of a problem with distributing these amounts of energy. So i don't think this is going to work very well sadly

  43. Any resources for estimating the emissions of a hybrid vs conventional car in a given area? Providing some examples in the video of when a hybrid is better or worse than conventional would have been a lot more helpful than just saying "it depends".

  44. Nobody seems to think about how fossil fuels comes to the car. And concider how much emission that is responsible for…

  45. Its sad how underviewed this channel is. People really are not interested in learning about climate change. Some folks dont even accept climate change is real.

  46. what are you talking about ? Hydrogen cars are less efficiently then electric car
    Fist you need hydrogen but for get that you split wate oxigen and hydrogen Then you need contain it where is very cool tank

    You may think is Hydrogen cars are nore helpful to climate but You are wrong.

    And other hand you dont worry that in EV because if your city create electriciy from coal then make them turn to more green sources as like wind or nuclear or other types

  47. Can you talk to the Australian Government please. Our power comes from brown coal and they don't want to change

  48. Let's hear more about Hydrogen powered cars. I like that idea, it sounds like it should be interesting.

  49. Still doing the calculations on my 35 year old Volvo diesel that still averages 32 mpg. 460K miles and still going.

  50. OK, have not watched yet but feel obliged to point out that buying a new car does not decrease your carbon footprint even if you downsize from a Ram 3500 to a Tesla.
    Because the carbon footprint of production is so vast it takes years for your lower emmission vehicle to offset that footprint.
    IF you really want to decrease your footprint drive as little as possible and keep your current car as long as possible
    THEN trade it for a low emmission vehicle and repeat that paradigm.

  51. What's about the pollution produced by scrapping an EV compared with a normal one? You have compare also that, not only pollution derived by production and vehicle use.

  52. If everyone drove an electric car in the US? Well I'm not even sure if thats possible. You just said making an electric car uses a lot of rare resources, like neodymium, cobalt and many more. Is there even enough of these rare earth minerals? They're not called rare for nothing.

  53. Sorry this video wasn't as thorough as I was expecting. You should've compared different car models etc. Guess I did learn a few things however it wasn't what I expected

  54. 6:14 No, we built a COUNTRY that depends on automibles. Europe is far further along with their public transport.

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