Media reports have questioned if electric cars are really “greener” once emissions from manufactures and electricity generation are counted. *
Electric vehicles produce less carbon dioxide emissions than petrol cars across the vast majority of the planet, disagreeing to the claims of some critics, who have claimed that the CO2 emitted in the production of electricity and their manufacture overshadows the benefits.
The finding is a boost to governments, including the UK, seeking to move to net zero carbon emissions, which will require a massive expansion of the electric car fleet. A similar benefit was also found for electric heat pumps.
In the UK, transport is still one of the major contributors to the climate crisis even with more cars of the road due to the corona virus. For a large percentage of the country, homes and business have been fixed on heating their property’s with natural gas instead of using more renewable alternatives.
Across the planet, road vehicles and household heating generate about a quarter of all emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Encouraging the use of electric vehicles and more renewable energy heating systems is essential to reducing overall emissions.
Scientists from the universities of Exeter, Nijmegen and Cambridge conducted lifecycle assessments on electric vehicles, showing that even where electricity generation still involves substantial amounts of fossil fuel, there was a CO2 saving over conventional cars and fossil fuel heating. They discovered that in 53 out of 59 regions, electric vehicles and domestic heat pumps generate less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel powered cars or boilers, with exceptions to countries that are heavily coal dependent.
The study also looked at electric household heat pumps, as they found that they too produce lower emissions than fossil-fuel alternatives in 95% of the world. Heat pumps could reduce global CO2 emissions in 2050 by up to 0.8 gigatons per year, according to the researchers.
The researchers said the idea that electric vehicles or electric heat pumps could increase emissions is effectively a myth. There has been a lot of discussion about this recently, with lots of disinformation going around, they said.
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