When does an electric car stop polluting the environment ?

The electric car as you may already know does not pollute the environment to the same extent as a conventional car. But what did the result of the investigation carried out on behalf of Reuters by the internationally renowned Argonne National Laboratory research center based in Chicago, USA?

The credibility of this center is non-negotiable as this is what the US Environmental Protection Agency trusts, among other things, in its environmental studies, in particular carbon dioxide emissions. The model developed by the Argonne National Laboratory includes thousands of parameters from the types of metals in an electric vehicle battery, to the amount of aluminum or plastic needed to produce a car.

Read also : Electric vehicles produce less CO2 than petrol cars

Jarod Cory Kelly, the project’s chief analyst, pointed out that electric cars require more carbon dioxide than conventional technology in the process of extracting raw materials and production!

Kelly was quick to clarify that the “repayment period”, the “break-even” i.e. for electric models depends on a variety of factors such as the size of the vehicle, the batteries it uses but mainly from which sources it is powered by electricity. So does it come from renewable sources or not?

The study used two cars as samples: a Tesla Model 3 and a Toyota Corolla. In the first scenario these two models circulate exclusively in the USA where 23% of the electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. In the second scenario, Model 3 and Corolla move to Norway, where almost all electricity in the country is produced from renewable sources (hydro-power plants).

In case the electricity comes in almost all of the carbon then with the Model 3 you need to exceed 80,000 km in order to equalize the footprint of the Toyota Corolla! On the contrary, in green Norway, you will need as the owner of a Model 3 just 9,000 km for the famous “break even”!

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Analysis of the findings of the investigation has shown that the production of a medium-sized EV requires 47 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile during the process of extraction of raw materials and production or more than 8.1 million grams before the car is delivered to its first customer.

On the other hand, a gasoline vehicle produces 32 grams/mile, or more than 5.5 million grams until fully prepared. Michael Wang, director of the Evaluation Center in Argonne’s Energy Systems department, said: “An electric model emits much less carbon in a 12-year life cycle. Electric cars reach a parity of pollutant emissions with conventional technology equivalents after 30,000 km.

It’s not a rule, but it can be considered a safe price. However, it always depends on the country and the climatic conditions in which the electric car moves and, of course, on the sources that recover its electricity.”


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