Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Proof: EVs are much more environmentally-friendly, whatever the nasayers may say

Much of the push-back against electric vehicles, including from the automotive industry itself, is that, over the full life of the vehicle, from resources extraction and construction to end of life, EVs aren't much cleaner and environmentally sound than internal combustion vehicles. This has always sounded spurious to me, especially given that ICE vehicles have to be resourced and contructed too in much the same way, but I've never really had much evidence to support that feeling.

Now, though, there is a reasonably robust study that shows, even in countries with dirty carbon-heavy power grids, EVs are still a better option environmentally, and in more enlightened low-carbon economies they are MUCH better.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)  has produced a report that compares lifetime emissions of medium-sized EVs with their internal combustion engine equivalents, looking at the different cases of Europe, the United States, China and India, which between them make up about 70% of new vehicle sales globally, and which are pretty representative of most other countries not included in the study.

The studies results show that electric vehicles in Europe, which has a pretty clean electricity grid as regards carbon emissions, emit between 66% and 69% less carbon than ICE vehicles over their lifetimes. The equivalent figure for cars in the American market, with its slightly dirtier mix of power sources, is 60-68%. Even in China, with its increased reliance on coal, EVs work out to have 37-45% lower lifetime emissions, and in still dirtier India, EVs are still environmentally prefereable by a margin of between 19% and 34%. As countries around the world gradually reduce the carbon emissions of their electricity production, these comparisons will only improve.

So, don't let the naysayers bamboozle you with ill-researched and unproven claims: EVs are the way to go.


Still not convinced? A more recent study by Yale University shows that EVs are much more environmentally-friendly than ICE vehicles when only direct tail-pipe emissions are taken into account. But, if all indirect cradle-to-grave emissions are include - all the miningof raw materials, manufacturing, charging, etc -  then EVs are EVEN MORE preferable!

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