Electric vehicles produce less CO2 than petrol cars

Electric vehicles produce less CO2 than vehicles that use petrol as fuel. This shows a new study recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability. This contradicts the view that electric vehicles are more polluting than those with a thermal motor.

The finding is a boost for governments, including the UK, which is seeking to switch to net zero carbon emissions. This will result in the massive expansion of the electric car fleet, according to the most likely scenario.

Globally all vehicles along with domestic heating produce almost a quarter of pollutants while consuming fossil fuels. On the other hand, electric vehicles should make a substantial contribution to reducing overall emissions.

However, how clean an electric vehicle (BEV) is also depends on the way it generates electricity, the efficiency of the power supply and the performance of the vehicle. This has made some individuals and governments question whether these technologies deserve expansion.

Thus, a team of scientists from the universities of Exeter, Nijmegen and Cambridge carried out the necessary assessments. The results were subversive since even when electricity production involves significant amounts of fossil fuels there is a great deal of CO2 savings compared to conventional cars.

Electric vehicles produce less CO2 than petrol cars

According to the study, it was found that in 53 of the 59 regions, which make up 95% of the world, electric vehicles and household heat pumps produce less CO2 than cars or boilers with fossil fuels. The only exceptions are countries that are heavily dependent on coal, such as Poland.

Of course, in countries more advanced in energy production such as Sweden the advantage of electric cars is even greater. This is because these countries produce clean energy from renewable sources. Thus, the advantage of electric cars is 70% compared to conventional counterparts.

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At the moment savings in the UK are close to 30%. However, the power generation system is constantly improving and in combination with more electric vehicles on the roads impressive results are expected in the removal of CO2.

As far as heat pumps and various heat exchange systems are concerned, which effectively take good use of the difference between the outside and the inner air, the findings are very positive. According to the study, they could reduce global carbon emissions by up to 0.8 gigatonnes per year by 2050.

Florian Knobloch of Nijmegen University in the Netherlands, who led the study, said:

The idea that electric vehicles or heat pumps could increase emissions is essentially a myth. There’s misinformation. We have a definitive study that can dispel these myths.


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