Are EV’s Good for the Environment?

November 10, 2018

Pretty impressive breakdown of environmental impacts from EV vs ICE vehicles.

9 Responses to “Are EV’s Good for the Environment?”

  1. ecoquant Says:

    Note that the top-of-line batteries are only 70% higher than Carbon impact of manufacturing.

  2. indy222 Says:

    Tessum et al 2018 published in PNAS, finds that total life cycle emissions and pollution costs of EVs vs. the gasoline car they replace, shows that off the standard grid charging, the EV provides only a tiny advantage in total life cycle emissions, and a significantly worse pollution beyond GHG’s Obviously, charging your EV off of rooftop solar will be much better and the obvious choice. The point is, for now, EVs aren’t providing the benefit many may think. Not to criticize going towards EV’s, so please don’t confuse me with FF apologist!

    • Gingerbaker Says:


      Just glanced at it, but abstract says FF ICE even with ethanol *raises* environmental air quality problems by 80%, while EV’s *reduce* it by 50%.

  3. Keith McClary Says:

    He says sell your FF car, but then someone else will be driving it. For example, my 16 year old Toyota with 200,000 km might go another 100,000 km (might sell for ~$1500 ?). I would save many tons of emissions by scrapping it instead. But then, fewer cars on the market might lead to more FF cars being manufactured.

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    As some in the YT comments have pointed out, there is no estimate of the carbon profile of the gasoline before it goes into the tank. To move those molecules, you need pipelines and tankers and pumps (Oh my!).

  5. renewableguy Says:

    Then there is the long range thinking of buy pure electric and demand clean energy where ever you are. As we grow in numbers, the market demand itself changes the utilities.

  6. Craig Toepfer Says:

    Grossly underestimates the environmental benefits of a pure EV. The video should have been subjected to peer review. Although the misconceptions are extensive, 4 stand out.

    Manufacturing cost – my BMW i3 weighs 1000# less than a comparable ICE or the Nissan Leaf derivative design. The weight savings come from the high energy manufacturing/machining of thousands of parts in the engine/transmission – high performance steel and aluminum. No radiator or exhaust system to reject the extensive waste heat. Extensive use of sustainable materials – hemp interior panels, recyclable plastics, carbon fiber unibody. Did i mention the i3 is 95% recyclable and manufactured in a 100% wind and solar powered assembly plant. Charging – it is false to assume that an EV will be charged from the grid and not 100% from consumer owned solar panels. The average American vehicle travels 37 miles/day. My i3 gets 4+miles/kWh or 10 kWh to travel 40 miles. A 3.5 kW solar array the size a one car garage or standard parking space will produce more than 12 kWh/day everywhere in the US – I’m doing it in Michigan. Emissions – the i3 app on my smartphone receives data from the onboard electronics and one of the data points is CO2 savings over an ICE when charged with solar with a toggle to compare with grid power charging. the fact is my i3 saves 4.78 tons of CO2 compared to an ICE. If I charged from the grid the CO2 savings over an ICE would be .8 tons of CO2 or 83% less. Maintenance – brakes last 10 times longer due to region and the primary service items are windshield wipers and tires.

  7. petersjazz Says:

    Refining oil to petrol is not in this calculation. Or is it included in the car emissions?

  8. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    When an EV battery fails it is often only one or two cells that fail. Tesla make replacing those one or two cells much more dificult than it should be. 1:Make the battery packs repairable.

    When battery packs loose capacity to the point they are not viable for a car they still hold a very significant charge. If these used battery packs were added together they would make an exceptional household storage system. 2: Use old car packs domestically.

    Where pollution levels are concentrated, battery vehicles keep pollution out of the city centre. 3: Reduced congestion taxes for EV’s.

    ICE cars suffer there worst wear and tear and use the most fuel in those first few miles after a cold start. People like me who drive less than five miles, turn if off let it get cold, then drive five miles home and repeat a few times a day should be encouraged to EVs.

    The cost of Uber and other ride share are now, for many people, much cheaper than owning a car.

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