German think tank Ifo has concluded a new study that has revealed that the electric vehicles might be creating a significant amount of CO2 emissions during their battery production and charging. We don’t have to remind you that the single most compelling factor for buying an electric vehicle is to reduce the CO2 emission.
Ifo’s release says, ‘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.’
The study conducted by Ifo has estimated that driving a Tesla Model 3 in Germany is responsible for 156-181 grams of CO2 per kilometer. That is a higher amount as compared to the diesel-powered Mercedes C220d that produces only 141 grams per kilometer. The study by Ifo also critically analyzes the EU legislation that is pertinent to electric vehicles. The authors have argues that electric vehicles should not be touted as ‘zero’ CO2 emission vehicles.
They say this because CO2 emissions take place during the manufacturing of electric vehicles and furthermore all of the EU countries are generating rather significant CO2 emissions when they charge the batteries of these vehicles by making use of national energy production mixes. The authors of the study by Ifo has also argued that technologies including hydrogen-powered electric vehicles or vehicles that feature combustion engines that are powered by green methane are much better alternatives but ignored in favor of EVs.
Hans-Werner Sinn, former Ifo president, and professor emeritus at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München said, ‘Methane technology is ideal for the transition from natural gas vehicles with conventional engines to engines that will one day run on methane from CO2-free energy sources. This being the case, the German federal government should treat all technologies equally and promote hydrogen and methane solutions as well.’
This study by Ifo is not the first study to have been critical of EVs and originating from Germany. German automotive consultancy Berylls Strategy Advisors also issues a warning along the same lines last year in October where it was stated that the electric vehicles are not the environmental heroes that they pretend to be. Dr Jan Burgard, the managing partner at Berylls, said, ‘From well to wheel, they do not really improve the situation. After all, electricity generation – including for electric cars – is still strongly dependent on fossil fuels in many EU countries. The climate does not care whether carbon dioxide comes from the exhaust pipe or whether it is released when lignite is burned to generate electricity or in energy-intensive battery production.’
Germany is the third largest producer of electric cars with US and China being second and first.