They have been designed and developed as a greener transport alternative, but a new study claims electric cars are a bigger environmental burden than conventional petrol and diesel cars.
There’s no question once it’s on the road, a Nissan LEAF is greener than say, a VW Golf, but the criticism surrounds how the vehicle itself is produced.
The study, published by the Norwegian University of Science, claims that electric car factories emit more toxic waste than conventional car factories.
Production of EVs is “more environmentally intensive” in nearly all impact categories when compared to how vehicles driven by Internal Combustion Engines are produced.
It says the potential for global warming was roughly doubled when producing EVs compared to regular petrol and diesel cars.
The report also takes issue with electricity production methods saying that greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal was used to produce the electricity.
“It is counterproductive to promote EVs in regions where electricity is produced from oil, coal, and lignite combustion,” it reads.
However, the study did say that electric cars made sense, in some cases.
It seems strange that the Norwegians should spout such criticism of EVs.
Just yesterday, we told you about how Norway was leading the way for EV sales with hugely attractive incentives and advantages laid on by the government.
Maybe they’ve changed their minds…
John has been writing about cars since the start of 2011, with a particular fondness for models with USB connectivity and a serious distaste for steering wheels with too many buttons. Can often be found trying to seduce 1.0-litre engines. When away from things that go brum, apostrophe snob John can often be found making noise with varying degrees of musicality.
I test drove a renault Twizy last week. It ticks a lot of boxes, it isn't any bigger than I need to commute to work, it's not very big or heavy so doesn't use as much energy in it's production, it's cheap enough to purchase, and if I could recharge it from solar oanels it would be almost perfect.
But the batteries are expensive to lease, it is bigger than I need - there is only me, I usually cycle the 15 miles each way at least one third of the year and it can be picked up & stolen by a few big blokes!
Electric cars to my mind are commuting vehicles and should be designed to do just that, otherwise you are just using excessive amounts of energy to move a lot of car that you don't really need - we have to remember that all energy comes from somewhere and shouldn't be wasted, even if it is a lot cleaner than fossil fuels.
It's nice to see such big strides in electric cars, but I think it will be quite a while before the dinosaur fossil fuelled cars die out.
October 09, 2012
Electric cars are awesome! I managed to build my own (well actually it was my dad) and it's great. I save so much money it's unbelievable. This site - http://green-energy-at-home.com/wp/build-your-own-electric-car tells you how to do it.
October 06, 2012
That the generation, storage and distribution of electric power applied to motorised transportation is much less efficient than the use of modern petrochemcial alternatives in both environmental terms of pollution and carbon footprint has been long etsablished.
This should not be a surprise. The use of mineral origin petrochemcials including refined crudes, shale and natural gas, LPG's, CNG's, Coasl Diesels and Oceanic Methyl Hydrates will be the most environmentally friendly and cost effective for many thousands of years to come.
October 05, 2012
It's not so much that they have change their minds but that in most scandinavian countries, the source of electricity is hydro which therefore makes them cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
October 05, 2012
Thanks for the post and links. But you are probably wrong to say that 'the Norwegians' are criticising electric cars: I have no information that the other five million-odd Norwegians share the views of the one Norwegian* among the four authors of the study.
*Guess based on the authors' names.
October 05, 2012