The Disinformation Games

Your safe space for games and challenges related to misinformation and disinformation!

Case study: The Boom of Green Cars

"Dieselgate" was a turning point which had many people turn to electric vehicles as a more environmentally friendly option of driving around. But in some respects, green cars can be just as bad for the environment as traditional cars. So what can we make of this? Green cars don't emit climate-damaging greenhouse gases or health-harming nitrogen oxide. They are quiet when they run and are easy to operate. Electric vehicles seem to have a lot of advantages over cars that run on gasoline or diesel. Green cars offer a quick solution to two societal needs: reaching national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling air pollution in city centers. Nevertheless, the overall carbon footprint of a battery-powered car "is similar to that of a conventional car with a combustion engine, regardless of its size." This was the conclusion of a 2011 study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg. Controversy? Let us find out!

Green Cars

Recommended for: high school students, university students, adults

Available building blocks4

Tags: environment, sustainable development, cars, transportation, pollution

Tips for educators

Building block 2. Are electric cars possible solution to the future?

Each year we see more and more electric passenger cars being sold -- both pure battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Although sales are increasing rapidly in percentage terms, they still constitute a relatively small fraction of the total sales numbers. We estimate that only around 0.15 % of vehicles on the road are electric (2019). Or put in another way, just one out of every 700 passenger cars. One important country to mention is Norway, which leads the way in terms of electric car sales. Last year, around 34 000 new electric vehicles were sold there -- corresponding to one in five of all new cars.
Even though electric cars may be seen by many as a solution for the future´s environment protection, there are still some who see in electric cars more negative effects than benefits. When you visit the resources in this building block, you will find information supporting both views. Which one are going to add your voice to?

Suggested resources

1. In the article below you can find out about prediction of using EV in Australia in the future and what is a new government analysis forecast: [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

2. What actually is an electric car and what is the difference between clearly electric cars and a hybrid vehicles that work off both electricity and gas [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

3. Benefits of electric vehicles:  why are they cheaper to run, what are the benefits for the environment [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

4. What are the arguments of the opponents of electric cars? [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]
This article describes the other side of story and the arguments against electric cars that are, in their own words, „ hard to ignore“.

5. Here are some opinions of public email respondents as it´s also good to know what people outside the “professional car world” think about the option. [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

6. Researchers have no idea when electric cars are going to take over [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

1. Why is the future of cars electric

2. Advantages of electric cars

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes represent the competences which learners are expected to develop as a result of the training intervention:

1. The learner will be able to explain and understand the benefits and drawbacks of the e-cars
2. The learner will be able to differentiate between the facts and myths related to e-cars
3. The learner will be able to explain and understand the environmental impact that lithium battery production presents

Suggested teaching methods

> Data analyses
> Search of resources
> Discussion
> Consideration of information, assessment

Suggested learning activities

1,5 hours

> Icebreaker – green future – introduce worldwide concerns and efforts to eco-friendly future.

> Divide class in 2 groups – instruct the groups to find available resources about:
a) Advantages of electric cars
b) What are the arguments of the opponents to electric cars?
Bear in mind the impact they have on the environment.
- Battery production
- Electric power production (different types of production)
- Recycling of the batteries
List pros and cons to each issue.

> Start a debate. The main aim of the case study is to allow the students to learn how to work with information. Educator should stay neutral moderator of discussion. Compare the quality of listed arguments.
There are many aspects and available resources about electric cars. In this case study follow the topic of environment, we are not focusing on other aspects, otherwise we might get out of the main topic (e.g. problems of electric cars in different weather condition, not enough opportunities to get the the baterry charged, differences between types and brands).

> Summarise the debate. Direct attention to fact-checking and source-checking based on the Eggshell model. Each groups checks the resources of their opponents.

> Ask the group to re-evaluate their position and the arguments already used in the debate. Encourage self-reflection with focus on information/disinformation. In full group: enlist, explain, provide example to properties which may indicate disinformation or manipulation.


De Facto pillars

Frames and Framing: Discussion why are the e-cars considered to be the solution of world´s air pollution


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