No, charging an electric car doesn't produce more carbon than driving a regular one
- A study found that in the US electric
carsproduce 60% to 68% fewer emissions than gas-powered ones.
- EVs quickly recoup their higher manufacturing emissions and are more sustainable than traditional cars.
- The study says lawmakers must shift from combustion engines to avoid the worst impacts of
No, electric vehicles do not produce more greenhouse gas emissions throughout their life cycle than a gas-powered car - whether through digging up the metals to create the car's battery, manufacturing the vehicle, or disposing of it.A new study debunks a common theory that was used to argue against innovators like
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During its lifetime, an EV in the US releases about 60% to 68% fewer carbon emissions than a traditional vehicle. Even in China and India - countries that rely heavily on coal-power - electric cars produce between 37% to 45% and 19% to 34% fewer greenhouse gases, respectively.The researchers estimated emissions from mid-sized EVs that were registered in 2021 in the countries that make up 70% of the new car sales in the world - the US, Europe, India, and China. The report analyzes the life-cycle of vehicles under current political policies (energy initiatives that are likely to shift over time) and assumes vehicles will be on the road for about 18 years.
recycling the electric car batteries could bring manufacturing emissions down in the future, as the batteries are mostly responsible for the higher emissions during manufacturing.
The study's results lend impetus to the drive toward EVs, as well as the decarbonization of power grids, ICCT's managing director of Europe Peter Mock said in a press release.
"Our aim with this study was to capture the elements that policymakers in these major markets need to fairly and critically evaluate different technology pathways for passenger cars," the study's author, ICCT researcher Georg Bieker said. "We know we need transformational change to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and the results show that certain technologies are going to be capable of delivering deep decarbonization and others are clearly not."
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