Even 'worst case' EVs pollute less than traditional vehicles, study finds

Even 'worst case' EVs pollute less than traditional vehicles, study finds
© Belga

A new study published by the European Federation Transport & Environment has provided data that an electric vehicle (EV) is cleaner than a classic one with an internal combustion engine (ICE). 

The study shows that an EV in Europe emits, on average, 2,6 times less CO2 than a diesel car and 2,8 times less than a gasoline car. An additional simulation tool also provides a comparison between vehicle emissions in an effort to "put to rest the myth" that EVs can be worse for the climate, regardless of battery origin or country of use. 

"Even in the worst-case scenario, an electric car with a battery produced in China and driven in Poland still emits 22% less CO2 than diesel and 28% less than petrol," the study shows. In the best-case scenario, an electric car with a battery produced in Sweden and driven in Sweden can emit 80% less CO2 than diesel and 81% less than petrol, it adds.

Using the tool to run a simulation on Belgium, a medium-sized car bought in 2020 has a 67% difference between the tonnes of CO2 emitted over the lifetime for a petrol car (57) and an electric one (19).

"This tool puts to rest the myth that driving an electric car in Europe can be worse for the climate than an equivalent diesel or petrol. It's simply not true," explained T&E’s transport and e-mobility analyst, Lucien Mathieu.  

Higher Performance

The higher performance is largely due to the fact that an EV is far more energy-efficient. “EVs only lose 10% of their energy due to the efficiency of the electric motor, whereas internal combustion engines lose up to 70%,” states the report.

‘Electric cars will reduce CO2 emissions four-fold by 2030 thanks to an EU grid relying more and more on renewables. If European governments are serious about decarbonising during the crisis recovery, they must speed up the transition to electric vehicles.’

The study confirms the results previously published in a Dutch study from Radboud University (Nijmegen), which concluded that electric vehicles are always more environmentally friendly as a whole. 

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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