We thought that even EV skeptics would have figured this out by now that this is a myth, but the argument comes up regularly, so we had to talk about it again: ‘EVs don’t help lower CO2 emissions because the power is generated from fossil fuels. Some of it, yes; but EVs do help. And just to be clear: we don’t get any money to post this article.
Let’s take the UK example. In 2021, an average of 214 g/kWh was involved in generating and sending power through the network. Including, for the fuel component, its drilling and distribution. On windy, sunny days, CO2 emissions are lower because of all the wind and solar energy; in the dark and without wind the fossil part will increase. So charge your car when it’s windy at night.
So, how clean is an EV?
Well, on 1 kWh a normal EV can drive about 5 kilometers, real, including the losses you incur when charging. So 214 g/km divided by 5 km/kWh makes 43 g/km of CO2. The share of green energy will increase in the coming years, so this value will only continue to fall.
No combustion engine car even comes close. Don’t count PHEVs, because they only beat EVs if they use electricity in addition to their fuel; and during that part it’s EVs.)
An economical petrol car does 92 g/km
A hybrid Toyota Yaris very occasionally achieves 1 in 30, which comes down to 92 g/km. Most of us use gasoline in the real world, not WLTP, about 7 l/100 km, which means 160 g/km. And that is tank to wheel† However, a biocomponent is now added to petrol that well-to-tankpart a little more friendly.
In short: how clean is an EV if the power comes from fossil fuels?
So: all things considered, an average EV emits about a quarter of the CO2 of an average fuel car. And that is decreasing. By the way, don’t you want to switch to an electric car yet, but still want to be green? Then drive a little longer with your current petrol car – that also saves a lot of CO2.
#clean #power #fossil #fuels