Is Tesla really sustainable as an EV?

Is Tesla really sustainable as an EV?

I recently got my driving license and decided to buy my first car. With more countries recognize that electric vehicles can reduce carbon emissions and enhance air quality to benefit society in response to global climate change. For example, the Hong Kong government is offering incentives to promote electric cars. As a result, my friend purchased a Tesla with a lower vehicle license fee and a free charging service in his apartment.

This leads to the question: is Tesla really sustainable? Given the controversies surrounding its vehicles and workplace practices, Tesla already violates several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and emits much more pollution than a conventional car during manufacturing. However, electric vehicles like Tesla emit only half the pollution of gas-powered cars at the end of their life on the road. Furthermore, Tesla succeeds at reusing spent materials from its waste operations, with approximately 70% of the batteries already being recycled. Overall, Tesla is more sustainable than a conventional car.

In summary, Tesla’s approach is environmentally limited. Buying a new car is undoubtedly more wasteful than using what you already have—purchasing electric vehicles and supporting large corporations are not the solutions to climate change, even though they may reduce an individual’s carbon footprint. Electric cars do play a role in the climate movement, but they must be combined with many other actions to achieve viable and lasting environmental change.

Would I eventually buy a Tesla? Listen to the podcast to find out what my first car will be.


Ahmad, S. (2020, January 15). The Lithium Triangle: Where Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia Meet. Harvard International Review.

Alvarez, S. (2019, December 8). Tesla’s former CTO JB Straubel is ramping up his stealthy recycling business. TESLARATI.

Timperley, J. (2020, March 18). How our daily travel harms the planet. BBC.

Togoh, I. (2019, December 17). Apple And Tesla Among Tech Giants Being Sued Over The Deaths And Injuries Of Child Cobalt Miners In DRC. Forbes.

Wade, L. (2016, March 31). Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think. Wired.