ELECTRIC CARS: THE BETAMAX OF GREEN TRANSPORT

Categories: Energy Policy, Policy

Querying the claims of zero emissions made for electric cars (EVs); this unpublished article looks at how that claim has been taken on face value by the establishment.

It is explained why electricity is the dirtiest form of energy using official figures. The EV is then compared with the internal combustion engine based on how much carbon is produced per kilometre travelled. Further complications arise in considering when the renewable and fossil fuel generating sources feed the national grid. These skew the official carbon figures as the time of day that most EVs are charged coincides with the heaviest fossil fuel profile on the electricity grid.

Of course, every vehicle comes with a carbon footprint relating to its production and the electric car is compared again with the internal combustion engine. The EV comes out worst in this regard. Further studies over the lifetime of the vehicle show that the electric and petrol cars are not that far apart when it comes to CO2 emissions.

Other countries, such as China, have a dirtier electricity generating fleet than Europe and have found that the rise in electric and hybrid car registrations have actually increased pollution as they prove to be more polluting than petrol driven cars.

Given the problems of intermittent and unreliable renewable energy in the form of solar and wind, can hydrogen production offer a different car fuel for the future?

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