For all their potential to revolutionize the transportation sector by making it more eco-friendly, electric vehicles have come under a fair amount of criticism for supposedly resulting in higher carbon emissions. However, new research has clarified that this is nothing more than a myth.
In spite of electric vehicles demonstrating a lower carbon footprint as compared to their petrol-chugging counterparts, a conventional viewpoint has been that such vehicles aren’t as green as they claim to be. Proponents of this viewpoint usually point to the emissions resulting from the production and generation of electricity, since these processes rely on fossil fuels like coal to a considerable extent.
In a recent study conducted by the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge in the UK, and the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, it has been concluded that electric vehicles in the majority of places around the world result in fewer overall carbon emissions, even when fossil fuels are utilized in electricity generation.
To be specific, the study found that in a whopping 95% of the world, an electric vehicle is better for the environment than a fuel-based car. The only glaring exception is Poland, where the majority of electricity is generated by coal-based power plants.
So how much better is an electric car for the environment anyway? According to the researchers, the average lifetime carbon emissions of electric vehicles are up to 70% less than petrol-powered cars in countries such as Sweden and France where electricity is generated via renewable resources. And even in nations where fossil fuel usage dominates, such as in the UK, an electric vehicle still contributes 30% less carbon over its lifetime.
The study goes on to state that by 2050, every second car in the world will run on electricity, and that this development will reduce carbon emissions by a tremendous 1.5 gigatons annually. Of course, this could end up happening much sooner if more developed countries around the world start adopting policies such as the ones being considered by the UK, which is aiming to “electrify” every new car launched from 2035 onwards.