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Topics Explored: Ecological and Economic Impacts of Mining, Ecological Footprint, Nonrenewable vs Renewable Energy Sources, Greenhouse Gases, Human Health Issues, Math

This case study explores the history of electric vehicles, and compares the environmental impact of the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to the electric vehicle specifically in the areas of sourcing materials, manufacturing, and charging/fueling the vehicle. Are we trading one set of environmental issues for another?    Answer key included.

Case Study: Electric Vehicles (EVs) (Teacher & Student Edition)

  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.*
    HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    5.9 Describe natural resource extraction through mining. Describe the ecological and economicimpacts of natural resource extraction through mining.
    5.11 Explain the variables measured in an ecological footprint.
    6.1 Identify differences between nonrenewable and renewable energy sources.
    6.3 Identify types of fuels and their uses.
    6.5 Describe the use and methods of fossil fuels in power generation. Describe the effects of fossil fuelson the environment.
    6.8 Describe the use of solar energy in power generation. Describe the effects of the use of solar energyin power generation on the environment.
    6.9 Describe the use of hydroelectricity in power generation. Describe the effects of the use ofhydroelectricity in power generation on the environment.
    6.12 Describe the use of wind energy in power generation. Describe the effects of the use of windenergy in power generation on the environment.
    6.13 Describe methods for conserving energy.
    8.14 Identify sources of human health issues that are linked to pollution.
    9.3 Identify the greenhouse gases. Identify the sources and potency of the greenhouse gases.

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues. 
    4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles. 
    5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:
    7.1 There is a range of different energy sources available to societies that vary in their sustainability,availability, cost, and socio-political implications. The choice of energy sources is controversial andcomplex.
    7.3 Mitigation attempts to reduce the causes of climate change.

    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®. 

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