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Electric cars don’t reduce CO2 emissions according to study


According to a German study, electric vehicles don’t necessarily help to reduce CO2 emissions.  Researchers highlight other more environmentally friendly alternatives to electric cars like natural gases. 

Electric car production and CO2 emissions

The Centre of Economic Studies in Munich, Germany has published a report on the 17 April 2019 looking into the effectiveness of electric cars and CO2 emissions.  Researchers have suggested that electric cars will struggle to reduce German road traffic CO2 emissions in the years to come.  According to the study electric cars emit between 11 to 28% more CO2 than their diesel counterparts.  This is due to the amount of energy used to produce electric batteries.  For example it takes between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2 to produce the Tesla Model 3 battery.  However, this amounts to 73 to 98 grams per kilometer, taking into account the battery’s 10 year lifespan and 12,000 mileage per year on average

Energy produced to recharge these cars has also been taken into account.  The same, Model 3 Tesla car consumes between 156 and 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which is more than a diesel vehicle of the same size!  This isn’t good new for Tesla, after having announced just a few weeks ago a new generation of super chargers.

Electric cars emit a lot of CO2 due to battery manufacture and the production of electricity for chargers!
Credits : Pixabay

Another transition resource

Researchers have also carried out detailed calculations regarding natural gas.  According to their research, total emissions of a combustion engine using natural gas is a third less than a diesel motor. Lead authors of the study therefore believe that natural gas could be an ideal transition resource before making combustion engines running on hydrogen and “green” methane more accessible.  The study suggests that hydrogen and methane have the additional advantage of storing excess wind and solar energy generated during peaks.  These surpluses are bound to increase in the future due to the growth of renewable energies.

European legislation has been singled out by the study.  The European Union currently allows electric vehicles to be included in “zero emission” CO2 calculations. As revealed in the study’s results, this legislation falsely implies that electric vehicles generate no CO2 emissions

Sources : Green Car CongressLe Soir

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