Electric cars emit less CO₂

Electric cars in the EU emit, on average, almost three times less CO2 than equivalent petrol or diesel cars, according to a new online tool developed by Transport & Environment (T&E) that allows the public to compare the lifecycle emissions of an electric vehicle (EV) to fossil-fuelled vehicles.

Including the additional emissions created by manufacturing batteries, it takes about one to two years of driving an electric car to reach parity with diesel and gasoline, T&E notes. That time decreases to less than a year for vehicles powered by the cleanest grids, such as those in Sweden or France, using batteries produced with low-carbon electricity. 

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

The tool draws on the most up-to-date data to allow users to compare the vehicles in several different scenarios based on vehicle segment, where the battery was produced, and in what country the car was driven. The tool also allows users to compare cars driven in 2020 and 2030, when the EU electricity grid will be even cleaner.

Source: T&E News, 21 April 2020.

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