What makes electric cars better for the environment than conventional cars?
Electric vehicles (EVs) use is growing very strongly across the Globe (approx. 30% growth in 2016). It is forecast that by 2040, 55% of all new car sales globally will be EVs.
The carbon emissions of driving 10,000 miles:
Average Electric Vehicle 0.96t CO2e *
Average Petrol Car 2.99t CO2e
Average Diesel car 2.88t CO2e
* vehicle charged from UK mains electricity
Grants and Incentives available for EVs and hybrids
- £2,500 - £4,500 grants available for hybrid / EVs
- 20% grants available (up to £8000 maximum) for vans
- Up to £20,000 grants available for vehicles over 3.5 tonne weight
Infrastructure - Where are the Charging Points ?
What difference does the country you live in make?
Countries that generate electricity from predominantly renewable energy (e.g. Paraguay, Iceland etc), charging EVs from the mains will have a much lower carbon footprint.
However for countries which have high usage of coal in generating their electricity, the carbon emissions from using electric cars are much higher, and in some cases actually exceed that of petrol and diesel vehicles.
What about end life emissions?
As technology progresses, EV batteries will last longer and may have a second life as domestic storage batteries, so reducing the overall environmental impact.
What other emissions are caused by cars?
Air pollution is a major global issue which is causing premature deaths and illnesses throughout the world. The majority of air pollution in developed countries is caused by traffic which is especially prominent in towns and cities due to the congestion. Air pollution associated with conventional vehicles includes Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Particulate Matter (PM10) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) which are emitted from exhausts due to the burning of fuel. Diesel emits four times the amount of NOx and 22 times the amount of PM10 that the average petrol vehicle. The example cars in this article are Euro 6 standard, the strictest standard for emissions and the quantities of NOx and PM10 emitted can be seen below. EVs do not produce any exhaust emissions unlike conventional vehicles and are clear winners in reducing urban air pollution.
Note: Your EV emissions will be covered by your electricity use when you charge from your National Electricity Grid.