The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has busted a myth for good — Electric vehicles pollute as much as Internal Combustion Engines. Many believed that although electric vehicles do not cause tailpipe emissions, the mining for materials needed to build batteries, build cars, and ways of generating electricity caused equal if not more pollution.
The ICCT’s study, “A global comparison of life-cycle GHG emissions from passenger cars” reveals otherwise.
The ICCT looked at various aspects, the entire lifecycle of producing a car, from sourcing raw materials to make the battery to manufacturing a car, for both EVs and ICEs. They then compiled driving data for different markets, including India, to get the average emission of the vehicles. ICCT then used the electricity mix of each region – Europe, USA, China, and India – to get an average lifetime emission. The result — Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) have far fewer emissions compared to ICE-powered cars in all regions.
Even for India and China, which are still heavily reliant on coal power, the life-cycle benefits of BEVs are present today,” said Peter Mock, ICCT’s Managing Director for Europe. He added, “The results highlight the importance of grid decarbonization alongside vehicle electrification. The life-cycle GHG performance of electric cars will improve as grids decarbonize, and regulations that promote electrification are crucial to capturing the future benefits of renewable energy.”
The difference in reducing emissions also improves as countries use more renewable sources of energy to generate electricity. However, implementing this may not be fast enough, and most markets will need to speed up the process of implementing renewable sources to draw power. This, however, does not change the fact that BEVs are cleaner than ICEs and contribute significantly towards preserving the air.
Take India as an example, the study shows that BEVs registered in the country are currently emitting 19-34% lower emissions compared to traditional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
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