Claim: EVs not the best option for reduction in on-road CO2 in Germany given power mix

Posted: April 20, 2019 by oldbrew in Analysis, Emissions, Energy, Travel
Tags: , ,

Even assuming CO2 reduction to be a worthwhile policy, which is far from certain, electric vehicles may be far from an ideal option despite vast investments in the technology by many car firms, as Green Car Congress reports. Part of the supposed problem of course is that much electricity still comes from fuel-burning power stations.

According to a new study published by the ifo Institute Center for Economic Studies (CESifo) in Germany, EVs will barely help cut CO2 emissions in the country over the coming years, as the introduction of electric vehicles does not necessarily lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions from road traffic given the current power generation mix.

The researchers carried out their calculations based on a Mercedes-Benz C 220 d diesel and the new Tesla Model 3.

According to the study, natural gas combustion engines are an ideal technology for transitioning to vehicles powered by hydrogen or “green” methane in the long term.

Considering Germany’s current energy mix and the amount of energy used in battery production, the CO2 emissions of battery-electric vehicles are, in the best case, slightly higher than those of a diesel engine, and are otherwise much higher, according to the study by Christoph Buchal, professor of physics at the University of Cologne; Hans-Dieter Karl, long-standing ifo energy expert; and Hans-Werner Sinn, former ifo president and professor emeritus at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

In addition to CO2 emissions from battery production, the team looked at alternative energy sources for electricity in order to calculate the impact electric vehicles have on CO2 emissions.

They report that even with today’s technology, total emissions from a combustion engine powered by natural gas are already almost one-third lower than those of a diesel engine.

In their study, the authors criticize the fact that EU legislation allows electric vehicles to be included in calculations for fleet emissions with a value of “zero” CO2 emissions, as this suggests that electric vehicles do not generate any such emissions.

The reality is that, in addition to the CO2 emissions generated in the production of electric vehicles, almost all EU countries generate significant CO2 emissions from charging the vehicles’ batteries using their national energy production mixes.

Full report here.

  1. Gamecock says:

    The objective of climate scare is totalitarian government.

    Telling you what kind of car you can have is totalitarian.

    Game over.

  2. oldbrew says:

    “It’s Gonna Be A Long Runway” – American EV Makers Face Major Problems
    Apr 19, 2019

    As a proportion of total sales, electric cars and hybrids accounted for 2 percent last year, at 361,307, according to Inside EVs.

    Projections for the future are not overly optimistic, either. “It’s going to be a pretty long runway,” Reuters quoted an analyst from Autrotrader, Michelle Krebs, as saying.
    – – –
    What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?

    In 2018, about 4,178 billion kilowatthours (kWh) (or 4.18 trillion kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States. About 63% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases). [bold added]

  3. oldbrew says:

    From Whence Comes The Power To Drive Electric Vehicles?
    Posted on Fri 04/19/2019 by PA Pundits – International

    By Dr. Jay Lehr ~

    The Laurence Livermore Laboratory of the Department of Energy states that the current electrical generation capacity of America is 11.4 trillion kilowatt hours, and that the total energy used for transportation is 8.5 trillion kilowatt-hours. Currently solar and wind generate only .7 trillion Kilowatt hours, which is only 6% of what our cars would need if all ran on battery power from renewable resources required by the Green New Deal. We would need to construct new solar and wind farms having a total electric generating capacity of 16 trillion kilowatt hours, or 22 times the current capacity in operation. We have neither the economic resources nor the land area to come close to meeting this total.

  4. Phil Salmon says:

    According to this new German study, electric cars produce ~25% more CO2 per I’m km than diesel cars:

    Manufacture of the electric battery alone releases 10-15 tons of CO2. That’s before it’s even driven out of the show-room.

  5. Phil Salmon says:

    Correction – “per km”

  6. oldbrew says:

    Phil – that’s the same study quoted in our post.

    Since CO2 due to man is at most 0.01% of the atmosphere and its supposed effects are unproven, there seems little for sensible people to be bothered about anyway.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Self immolating Teslas: China edition…