Electric Vehicles Are Greener, All Things Considered

Andy Johnson, Executive Director

While it’s true that electric vehicles generally cost about half as much to drive in fuel compared to gasoline/diesel … We often get asked “are they really better for climate and the environment, given that fossil fuels still dominate electricity production, and batteries have a significant impact too?”

The Union of Concerned Scientists has repeatedly demonstrated the lower fuel-related emissions of grid-powered EVs relative to gasoline vehicles in every region of the country. The latest version of their study is here, and their online tool for you to compare your own vehicle and grid region is here.

Now, the International Council on Clean Transportation has released an analysis entitled A Global Comparison of the Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Combustion Engine and Electric Passenger Cars, that includes battery impacts. The verdict? “Life-cycle emissions … of BEVs registered today are lower than comparable gasoline cars” in every region studied (dramatically so in Europe and the US); “BEVs entirely powered by renewable energy correspond to 81% lower life-cycle GHG emissions than gasoline cars”; and “The registration of new combustion engine vehicles should be phased out in the 2030-2035 time frame.”

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