Electric cars currently on average emit less than half of the CO2 their petrol counterparts do, even when production and energy consumption is taken into account, according to a study by Eindhoven University of Technology on behalf of the Greens in German parliament.

The Green politicians in Germany asked for this study due to a major debate about electric cars in the country, according to NOS. There are claims that electric cars actually emit more CO2 when the production of the battery and the electricity to charge them are taken into account. One report claimed that a Tesla Model 3 emits more CO2 than a Mercedes C-Class with a diesel engine. 

But according to the Eindhoven researchers, even if the emissions from the factory to build electric cars and their batteries and from the coal or gas power plant to keep them charged are taken into account, electric cars are still comparatively cleaner than their fuel counterparts. An electric engine requires on average four times less energy than a gasoline engine. And energy, especially in Europe, is rapidly becoming greener – and as per climate agreements, that is set to continue. 

Electric cars area already cleaner in all cases, even if you take into account the production of the battery and the power consumption while driving, the researchers concluded. And that will only get better as energy becomes greener. “The ultimate goal is electric driving in an energy system with predominantly renewable electricity. This will lead to electric vehicles that emit at least ten times less CO2 than cars that run on petrol, diesel or natural gas,” researcher Auke Hoekstra said to NOS. “And a Tesla Model 3 currently emits 65 percent less CO2 than a Mercedes C-Class.”

The researchers also found that the lifespan of electric car batteries are longer than expected. The predominant assumption is that an electric car’s battery is flat after 150 thousand kilometers, but the researchers found that this is actually at least 250 thousand kilometers. Many modern batteries lose less than 20 percent of their capacity in the first 500 thousand kilometers. There are also studies that claim that 2 million kilometers is possible with current technology. 

Extracted in full from: https://nltimes.nl/2020/09/01/electric-car-emissions-less-half-petrol-counterpart-eindhoven-study