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New EV vs. old beater: Which is better for the environment?

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Earth Day was April 22, and its usual message—take care of our planet—has been given added urgency by the challenges highlighted in the latest IPCC report. This year, Ars is taking a look at the technologies we normally cover, from cars to chipmaking, and finding out how we can boost their sustainability and minimize their climate impact.

For many, buying an electric vehicle puts a stake in the ground—if I’m going to drive around town, I’m going to do it while reducing my carbon footprint.

“Gone are the days of burning toxic gasoline. A new age of electrons and instant torque are upon us,” you might say, standing next to your new vehicle and blue recycling bin.

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