Electric cars have lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions: Study

Electric cars have lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions: Study

Electric vehicles have been gaining popularity as governments across the world have set strict emission standards for future. Electric cars are more environment-friendly than their equivalent conventional gas-powered vehicles, a new study reiterates and confirms. It is but natural for electric vehicles (EVs) to be friendlier to the environment simply because they don’t create any tailpipe emissions, unlike internal combustion engine-equipped vehicles.

Still many EV distracters continue to argue that the even EVs harm the environment through the energy needed to produce them. They often point out that EVs are more polluting through the electricity they use to charge their battery packs if the electricity is not generated using renewable resources of power.

Dispelling the persistent myth that electric cars pollute as much as conventional gas-powered cars because of ‘dirty’ grids, and due to mining for materials required in battery making.

In the new study, a group of researchers at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) dispelled the myth by making a global comparison of the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from combustion engine and battery-powered electric passenger cars.

The researchers looked at the entire life cycle -- from sourcing of the battery materials to the production of both internal combustion engines and battery-powered electric passenger cars, and then compiled driving data in diverse markets to get their average life-cycle emissions. The researchers than used the electricity mix of different regions (China, India, Europe, and the United States) to develop average lifetime emissions. They found that battery-powered electric cars are responsible for far fewer emissions than gas-powered cars in all markets:

The newly published study states, “Results show that even for cars registered today, BEVs have by far the lowest life-cycle GHG emissions as electricity mix continues to de-carbonize, the life-cycle emissions gap between BEVs and gasoline vehicles increases substantially when considering medium-size cars projected to be registered in 2030.”

According to the findings of the study, carbon emissions over the lifetime of average BEVs registered today are already lower than equivalent gasoline cars by 37–45 per cent in China, 19–34 per cent in India, 66–69 per cent in Europe, and 60–68 per cent in the United States.

In short, the study reiterated the fact that electric cars are significantly less polluting and more efficient than their conventional gas-powered counterparts throughout their entire life cycle despite pollution through grids and battery material mining. Thus, electric cars are superior at trimming down carbon emissions and combating climate change.