How green are electric cars?

Lesson plan overview


This upper-intermediate and advanced lesson plan looks into the topic of eclectic cars (EVs) and how sustainable they are. The lesson contains printable and interactive PDFs, as well as a separate set of conversation cards. Students will discuss sustainable products, will learn useful phrases to discuss electric vehicles, will talk about different aspects of EVs, and will learn linking words to contrast ideas (although, despite, in spite of, while, yet). You can combine this lesson with other lessons about sustainability, such as “Greenwashing”, or sustainable transportation and urban mobility: “Carpooling and carsharing”, as well as the worksheet “Phrasal verbs: the environment”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with a discussion about sustainable products, students’ experience with sustainable products, and the increasing demand for sustainable products. Then, students look at different products (Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, Solar Panels, Plant-based food products, LED Light Bulbs) and discuss whether or not they are more sustainable than their “traditional” alternatives.

Vocabulary: Students learn useful expressions to talk about electric cars and sustainability (e.g. life cycle analysis, a silver bullet, emission-free at the tailpipe, greenwashing, power grid) by looking at 6 sentences, and matching the expressions to their definitions. 

Speaking: To practise, students are asked to brainstorm advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles, using the expressions from the previous activity. Then, they engage in a pre-listening discussion, answering a few questions given.

Listening: Students watch a video called “How green are electric cars” and complete 2 activities.

Grammar: The language point in this lesson is about the linking words although, even though, despite, in spite of, while, and yet. After a short explanation, students complete 3 practice activities aimed at delving deeper into the topic of sustainability, sustainable transportation, and electric cars. Finally, students participate in a debate related to electric cars.

You can use the conversation cards to develop the topic further and to review the target vocabulary from this lesson.


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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

And so the price of a new car should fall significantly over the next few years, hopefully bringing the cost down to a level comparable with petrol and diesel vehicles.
Not enough charging points means longer distances to travel to top up and perhaps longer queues when you get there.
The UK, like other countries, is encouraging the installation of more charging points through the provision of grants to local authorities and to qualifying electric car owners.
Also, the electricity used to charge an electric vehicle may well not come from a renewable source.
And there are major benefits to the local environment of having non-polluting electric cars replacing the traditional internal combustion engine.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

Additional resources

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