We tend to think of electric cars as being completely environmentally safe, as a result of the fact that they have no tail pipes spewing CO2 into the air. The truth, however, is that like all manufactured products, there are environmental side effects.

According to Bloomberg, the average hybrid car contains 22 lbs of graphite, and electric cars usually contain about 110 lbs of the substance. Most of this graphite is mined in China, and the mining and processing of it is responsible for some nasty environmental problems. One is "graphite rain" which takes the form of a silver dust that falls from the sky near mines, and the processing leaves hydrochloric acid-laced water as a waste byproduct. 

As a result, China has cut graphite mining and processing, which could affect the prices of electric and hybrid cars. Hydrogen is starting to sound really great, at least until you look into the amount of platinum in a fuel cell and hear the side effects of platinum mining.

RELATED10 "Green" Vehicles That Are Actually Cool
RELATEDSaleen is Planning a Tuned Tesla Model S

[via Bloomberg