According to the latest news, a new study has tried to bust one of the decade-old myths about EVs that electric vehicles are not cleaner than internal combustion vehicles. The research found out throughout the timeline, right from digging up the materials needed to build it to eventually laying the car to rest, the car will emit comparably lower greenhouse gas than a gas-powered car. Interestingly, the analysis is true globally irrespective of the fact that the car is analysed in Europe or some developing country.
As fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis, governments from California to the European Union have proposed phasing out internal combustion engines by 2035 but still, there are some people who claim EVs are as clean as the cars they run now.
Georg Bieker, a researcher at the non-profit research group the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said “We have a lot of lobby work from parts of the automotive industry saying that electric vehicles are not that much better if you take into account the electricity production and the battery production. We wanted to look into this and see whether these arguments are true.” ICCT has published the report we are talking about.
The report estimated the emissions from medium-sized EVs registered in 2021 in different regions like India, China, the US, and Europe. The study found lifetime emissions for an EV in Europe is 66 to 69 per cent lower than a gas-guzzling vehicle. For the US, it is 60 to 68 per cent, for China, it is 37 to 45 per cent, and for India, it is between 19 to 34 per cent.
The study made some important assumptions before moving on to evaluation. Some of the assumptions are: the vehicle is registered in 2021, and the vehicle will be on the road for around 18 years.
In the conclusion part, the study acknowledged that the researchers faced some difficulty in predicting how much the world’s energy infrastructure will change. The study mentions few situations for such difficulty. It laid out the case of the US where President Joe Biden has set a goal of getting 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035 but is yet to pass any policies to make that happen.
It is to be noted that the study does not take account of non-climate related environmental effects involved in the process such as during construction, mining, or waste.
Bieker believes with this study, policymakers would be able to make more informed decisions while framing policies for future transportation. Bieker said “Combustion engine vehicles of any kind are not able to deliver the greenhouse gas reductions we need to live with climate change. That’s a global finding, therefore we need globally to phase out combustion engine cars.”