Are All Tesla Cars Zero Emissions?


Tesla is the largest electric car company on the market. Unlike some other car companies Tesla has only produced all electric vehicles. Tesla has held the top spots for electric vehicles for a long time and continues to do so. Even with their upcoming models they are sticking to their policy and keeping them all electric. Many more companies continue to switch to electric vehicles and Tesla continues to blaze the way in the field.

Are all Tesla cars zero emissions? Yes, all Tesla vehicles ever produced have been zero emissions vehicles. All of Tesla’s future plans including the Cybertruck, the Quad, and the Roadster 2 are also zero emissions vehicles. Zero emissions means that the vehicle has no tailpipe emissions from the power source of the vehicle.

Tesla has made a total of five vehicles currently. Four of these vehicles can still be found commonly while the fifth is out of production and is rare when compared to the other models that can be found. With the world continuing down the path of electric vehicles and lower emissions, this trend that can be found in the Tesla vehicle will probably start to be more prevalent in other companies. Some places have even made commitments to have zero emissions by a certain year. It is important to note that just because there are no emissions while the vehicle is in use, there are emissions created when the vehicle is in production. 

Are All Teslas Zero Emissions?

Tesla has always produced electric vehicles throughout their time as a company. This means that every Tesla that has been made produces zero emissions while it is driving. Because every Tesla that is on the road currently is powered completely by electricity, there are no byproducts, or emissions, when the vehicle is powered and put into motion by its energy source. In the long run these vehicles should have a net of zero emissions if they also use sustainable energy sources.

Some definitions of zero emissions would make Teslas a vehicle that does produce emissions. This is not because the vehicle itself produces emissions, but because the production and creation of the vehicles produces emissions. The mining of metals such as steel, cobalt, lithium, nickel, and others produces a large amount of emissions. Even more emissions are created when the materials are put together to produce the vehicle. Once the vehicle is created, it no longer creates emissions, unlike internal combustion vehicles that produce emissions even after they are created

Tesla currently has 4 vehicles in production, one discontinued, and three planned for release. Every one of these vehicles are all electrical and therefore do not produce emissions. The Tesla Roadster is the only discontinued vehicle that Tesla has, however it is planned to be one of the releases in the near future. The other release is going to be the cybertruck.

The cybertruck received a lot of media attention when it was first announced, but after being pushed back multiple times and some failed demonstrations there are mixed feelings about the truck. Regardless of the vehicles that are current or not, every one of these, once they are created and on the road, produces zero emissions while they are being driven.

The US Department Of Energy Definition Of Zero Emissions vs What Actual Zero Emissions Is?

The government tends to have slightly different definitions as to what things mean, and rightfully so since they have strict laws to uphold. As the world tries to push toward a more sustainable future the government has had to strive to do the same thing and create laws surrounding emissions. These laws can be found almost everywhere, from smog checks to policies on where and how you can dump certain kinds of waste. The government tends to support zero emissions, but this doesn’t mean they don’t allow emissions by their definition.

Because it is nearly impossible to truly have zero emissions the government has adopted a slightly different definition of zero emissions. Generally when the government speaks on something being zero emissions they are talking about net zero emissions. This means that to achieve their definition of zero emissions an equal amount of greenhouse gasses need to be taken out of the atmosphere compared to the amount that is put into the atmosphere. Generally this isn’t done by the same machine, this means that to achieve their definition of zero emissions a vehicle can produce a certain amount of emissions but if the environment is capable of absorbing those emissions then it will in turn have zero emissions.

This is a much more realistic definition of zero emissions as if we truly tried to create no emissions then it would be impossible to have the amenities and conveniences that we have today. Things like cars and energy would be nearly impossible to have and creating new structures and infrastructure would not be feasible. By the government adopting the net zero emissions definition the environment is able to stay steady while humans are still allowed to advance and live. Hopefully in the near future we will be able to achieve this definition and prevent the destruction of the environment through emissions and waste.

Is It Possible To Ever Have A Truly Zero Emission Vehicle?

A lot of effort and money has been put into reducing the emissions of not only vehicles but emissions from many different kinds of manufacturing. Sadly it is nearly impossible to make a truly zero emissions vehicle. By a vehicle being “truly” zero emissions that would mean that every step from the production of the vehicle to the use of the vehicle would have to produce no emissions. Even electric vehicles have emissions that are produced when the vehicle is in production. 

A major amount of the emissions that electric vehicles produce during production is from the batteries. The creation of the batteries used in electric vehicles creates some toxic byproducts. When the batteries also need to be disposed of, no good way has been created to recycle or dispose of the batteries in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Batteries are made out of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other metals. When made into a battery these materials become extremely difficult and costly to make them back into their raw forms. This means that most companies choose not to recycle these batteries until an easier and more cost effective way to recycle them becomes available.

Truly, electric vehicles do decrease the amount of emissions that are released into the atmosphere. Tesla even reports that because of the use of their vehicles and sustainable energy they were able to prevent 5.0 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from being created. This is applaudable as it is still a huge step forward in terms of decreasing emissions. In fact if we went by net-zero emissions we are getting closer to the goal with the use of electric vehicles, however there is still a very long way to go.

Do Certain Models Of Tesla Cause More Harm To The Environment Than Others?

There really isn’t a set in stone answer for this question as a large amount of research from every single step of the manufacturing process to the driving of a Tesla would have to be taken into account and that really hasn’t happened yet. We can make some assumptions about which vehicles may cause more harm to the environment just because of certain practices but there is no concrete answer.

This leads us to believe that no, no model of Tesla does a significantly higher amount of harm to the environment than another one does. Because all of the vehicles themselves have zero emissions, most of the emissions and waste from the production period would be what you would have to base it on and it is difficult to obtain that information in exactness for each model.

Some assumptions that could make a difference in the environmental impact of the model would be something like its battery size. If the battery size is larger than the materials needed to create the battery would be larger as well, in turn creating more emissions than a smaller battery.

Other things, like how many of that vehicle was produced, would also increase the emissions of that model. Even how it is charged could increase the emission mark for that vehicle as using solar energy to charge the vehicle would produce less emissions than using coal energy. This is independent of the vehicle however and really is just based on where you live and how most of the electricity in that area is produced.

Recent Posts