Electric vehicles not much better than gas on overall emissions

Electric vehicles aren’t nearly as environmentally friendly as once thought because manufacturing them produces much more carbon emissions than traditional cars, primary due to the batteries.

Even if the electric car is driven for 90,000 miles and the owner stays away from coal-powered electricity, the car will cause just 24% less carbon-dioxide emission than its gas-powered cousin. This is a far cry from “zero emissions.” Over its entire lifetime, the electric car will be responsible for 8.7 tons of carbon dioxide less than the average conventional car.

That 8.7 tons of emissions costs a mere $48 on the European carbon markets, so if the entire lifecycle of an EV is considering, including manufacturing, they it appears they may not be that much cleaner.


  1. Sorry, but if you want to start counting things like manufacture, you need to compare apples to apples. For the EV, they compare the “green-cost” of making an EV vs a gas car, and note that for some EVs the cost is higher on the EV side. They then compare the cost of generating electric, and getting it to the car, but FAIL to add in the cost of drilling, pumping, refining, and transport of the gas a fuel-based car uses.

    Even with this failed computation, the EV won by 25%. Show me one gas car on the road that can produce 25% less emissions without incurring more cost (green or otherwise) on the manufacturing side. You can’t, because they don’t exist.

    One other thing to consider: A gas car ALWAYS uses gas. An electric car can use electric from any source, from dirty coal to something much cleaner like wind or tidal.

    • Good points. I don’t necessarily agree with everything I post, but because I think it’s interesting.

      The big problem with EVs has been there since the first EVs appeared in the 1890’s – range and charging time.I think hybrids are the future.

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