Electric cars cleaner than diesel cars even when powered with dirty electricity

Smart City Chirine Etezadzadeh

Even when EVs are not powered by renewable energy, they are more environmentally friendly than vehicles running on diesel. Image source: Shutterstock (#707119258).

A lifecycle analysis from VUB University (Brussels) and Transport & Environment (T&E) has concluded that, even when powered exclusively by the most carbon intensive electricity in the world, plug-in electric cars still have a smaller greenhouse gas footprint than their diesel counterparts.

“Even in countries with the highest GHG intensity of electricity generation — Poland and Germany — the EV performs better on a lifecycle basis (including the emissions in manufacturing the battery and vehicle) than the diesel car. Using the Polish average, an electric vehicle emits 25% less CO2 over its lifetime, while in Sweden an EV emits 85% less. Meanwhile, EVs’ sustainability will improve further with battery technology advances and as more batteries are re-used for electricity storage or recycled,” the press release provides.


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