Electric Cars May Not Be Ready To Roll
Three states have mandated the sale of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) beginning in 1998. In 1992 a research team was formed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to examine the environmental implications of these mandates during the life of the proposed vehicles. ZEVs are likely to be powered by lead-acid batteries at first, although other battery types or technologies not using toxic metals might be used in the future. The study findings indicated that producing and recycling these batteries would result in significant lead releases to the environment: total emissions 4 to 60 times higher than the emissions of comparable vehicles using leaded gasoline.