Data

Data: Do electric cars cause more pollution than fossil fuel alternatives?

Damian Kahya & Dr Doug Parr
License: All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

A report by a team of Norwegian researchers has suggested - that under some circumstances - electric cars may be bad for the environment.

The story was picked up by the BBC and is now being debated on Leo Hickman's Eco-Audit column. 

The report highlights the increased toxic waste from electric car manufacture and the risk that if electricity for your car is generated using coal than on a lifecycle basis (when you take into account the carbon emissions of manufacture and disposal) it is likely to generate more greenhouse gas emissions than an efficient petrol or diesel vehicle. 

Interestingly the report also included a link to data which suggested that even if you substitute coal for gas in electricity generation an electric car still fails to outperform an efficient diesel vehicle over its lifecycle. In a standard European mix, however, which includes clean energy - electric vehicles come out on top, in purely greenhouse gas terms.

This isn't the first time the issue has been raised so here are some of the other key points about electric cars and the environment:

1.   Ricardo research for LowCVP showed that the climate costs of the production of electric vehicles are significant, in particular in relation to the battery. Policy that ignores this could create perverse incentives.

2.    Electricity is a carrier of energy, not the primary energy itself. Once fabricated, running electric vehicles off a power system run by lignite will generate increased emissions rather than savings, and generally will off coal too.  

3.   Element Energy have calculated that in 2030, even with EVs representing three-quarters of the total car stock, the additional demands are less than 10% of forecast electricity demand at that time for all end uses.

4.    It remains an environmental imperative to conserve scarce resources like the minerals and rare earths necessary for battery fabrication. Saving CO2 does not justify laxity on mining standards or waste management.

5.    The importance of electric vehicles – and hydrogen-fuelled ones - is that they provide a way of moving away from a hydrocarbon based transport system. Electric vehicle development and mass-production cannot just be switched on and off overnight. So EVs can be supported if there is a broad consensus that decarbonisation of the power system will take place, and a strong implementation plan  in a country.

6.    However the longer term options of technology change should not obscure the fact that in the short term most of the emissions savings in transport will come from better efficiency of petrol and diesel vehicles. Emissions standards for cars and vans, as are being discussed in Europe and member states this Autumn, are the most important measure for reducing emissions over the next decade. Changes in vehicle technology and production that these standards require will generally be helpful in making EVs a more attractive commercial proposition.

In short. Electric cars are vital - but they need an infrastructure that makes them work and they need a power system that is, as far as possible, carbon free. Trying to 'decarbonise' transport before power would lead to some very perverse results. 



Comments Add new comment

Thanks for the article.It was very informative.I understand that if
efficiency is taken into account,diesel engine grabs the first spot.But
that doesnt mean that electric vehicles are of lesser importance when
compared to diesel engines.I have been wondering as to why hydrogen
isn't being used as a fuel.I understand the high risk and complexity
involved but instead of trying to improve electric cars,the designers
should probably pay more attention to hydrogen fuel based vehicles.

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Thanks for the article.It was very informative.I understand that if
efficiency is taken into account,diesel engine grabs the first spot.But
that doesnt mean that electric vehicles are of lesser importance when
compared to diesel engines.I have been wondering as to why hydrogen
isn't being used as a fuel.I understand the high risk and complexity
involved but instead of trying to improve electric cars,the designers
should probably pay more attention to hydrogen fuel based vehicles.

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It is quite obvious that electric car are a boon for the automobile industry but there are some particular points that has sufficient reasons to tell electric cars are as not advantageous as thought of . The electric vehicle runs with the help of electricity which is generated from coal which is also a natural resource. Using coal as source of electric energy creates a lot of pollution and environmental disorder. The article is quite helpful in knowing about different faults in using of the electric vehicle.

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This is a very good information for the car users, electric cars are create more gas emission than the diesel or petrol vehicles.In electric cars once the electricity fabricated then the vehicle in off power postion creat more emission.In introduce with new technology vehicles the electric car is more polluted than the diesel or petrol car.

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This is a very good information for the car users, electric cars are create more gas emission than the diesel or petrol vehicles.In electric cars once the electricity fabricated then the vehicle in off power postion creat more emission.In introduce with new technology vehicles the electric car is more polluted than the diesel or petrol car.

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The report highlights the increased toxic waste from electric car
manufacture and the risk that if electricity for your car is generated
using coal than on a lifecycle basis (when you take into account the
carbon emissions of manufacture and disposal) it is likely to generate
more greenhouse gas emissions than an efficient petrol or diesel
vehicle.

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Electric
cars are more efficient than the general fuel cars. Also it never affects the
environment like fuel cars, because these electric cars are not smoky. Electric
cars are long lasting compared to fuel cars. An eclectic car is very safe. Maintenance
cost is very low.

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I dont think that the topic that electric car creating more pollution then the fuel cars is not at all true from any issues and sides also. Because the thisd car is the new invention of automobile sector and also it helps poeple to manage the vehicle in less amount of money as well to manage their car in a better way. Some people used to think that this type of car might put them in some problem but from my own experience i get to know that this is so far better than the fuel car.

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Electric vehicles are better than fuel vehicles because of less pollution. Fuel vehicle causes more   pollution to our enviornment due to lot of smoke. Electric vehicles are far better than the fuel vehicle  when comes to the safety of our environment or eco-system because electric cars are not smoky.

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One of the main contributors of air pollution is vehicle exhaust. Pollution
is getting worse day to day due to lot of factors, but the main factor is the
smoke of the vehicle. These things should be taken into consideration seriously
for the safety of our environment. Motor company should try to introduce more
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Pollution is getting worse day to day because of the smoke of the vehicles. Electric cars are better comapred to fuel car because there is no smoke in electric vehicles. This type car is environment friendly. Vehicle riders should prefer electric cars for pollution free environment. http://www.christensenperformance.com/maintenance.html

 

Electric car the fossil fuel car that removes pollution from our society is really a good blog for discussion purpose. This type of blogs helps us to improve our knowledge and information about the different fossil cars mostly the electric cars. http://monacomotors.com/services.htm If you compare the fossil car ad the electric car then you find the more additional effects from electric car rather than the fuel one.

 

 

I do think no electric cars are not doing that much pollution like fuel cars because fuel is made from many components and also so many chemicals are there in that but in case of electric car it is fully made of the natural resouces that is not atall harmful for environment. Also in electric cars the % of pollution is very negleigible because the gas coming from those type of vehicles are not harmful for air.

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Oh. I am really socked after reading this post. Now what we can say an alternative for us to control the environment pollution. we all have dependent a lot on electric cars but as it suggest it produce more green house gas then petrol/diesel vehicle it is going to be a headache for us. How to stop environment pollution that caused because of vehicles emission? is a big question then and now the same question still stands like a tower and our car makers have to put much more effort to get out of this universal problem.

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Yes, this is a major part to concern that we are using electric cars to minimize the pollution level of our environment. The environment gets polluted because of the carbon dioxide gas executed from the cars when they run. So, we are using electric carsso that no burn of petrol and diesels are ther so no pollution of environment because of cars. But, as here mentioned the electric we get for our cars come from the coal so it also produce more environment pollution as compared to the diesel and petrol vehicle produce. So, we muust have to find out an alternative for such issue so thatr we can minimize this pollution of environment because of the vehicles.

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The question electric cars cause more pollution than the fuel cars is some how a topic to think about it but according to me electric car is a new invention from the automobile sector . And if people thinking that it is creating more pollution then it is not a truth because its running through electric energy so the chances of creating the effected gas are very negligible than the fuel car. But you need to maintain the car properly. For proper maintenance details you can visit to http://www.randallsauto.com/ for further details.

From this post we are able to know the actual fact behind electric cars. To minimize the pollution level of our environemnt the car makers were supposed to make one car that is environment friendly and the result was Electric car but as we get information from this post I thoink it is not an alternative, it is an addition to the old cars as it is producing more carbon dioxide gas as compared to the old ones. So, it is a high time for us as well as for the car makers to think of a cra that is environment friendly completely and will reduce our headache.

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Since coal is one of the source of producing electricity. Tonnes of coal are used to produce some amount of electricity. Since coal is a non-renewable resource so we need to preserve oit for the future. Once the coal exhausts what will happen.?? Have you ever thought. One source of electricity will stop. Since electric vehicles use electricity to charge their batteries, they consume too much of electricity. Now this can be a loos to the environment. So we should discuss about the matter and find any other source of power generating source in vehicles. The idea behind this is very good but we have to think about the upcoming future.

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Electric cars are the most popular and the most demanding cars nowadays as
it reduces the tension of filling of gasoline again and again. It is very good
that due to the electric cars, we are saving gasoline for future. Electric
cars are run by battery which does not produce smoke which is very good for the
environment. But the question arises do electric cars really does not create
pollution? Have we ever thought that the battery which is being charged by
electricity, from where it is being produced. By burning tones of coal some
amount of electricity is produced, this produces lot of smoke in the factory
where electricity is produced. So let’s have a discussion about it and find
some new source of not creating pollution.

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