Do EVs Really Have Zero Emissions?

The surge toward electric vehicles (EVs) as a greener alternative to traditional gas-powered cars often sparks debates about their actual environmental benefits. While EVs do not live up to the zero-emissions tagline due to emissions generated during production and charging, they undeniably hold a significant advantage in reducing overall carbon footprint over their lifetime compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.

Producerea bateriilor litiu-ion, o componentă esențială a vehiculelor electrice, implică utilizarea de minereuri care necesită combustibili fosili pentru extracție și procesare. În consecință, producția unei mașini electrice poate genera semnificativ mai multe emisii (cu aproximativ 80% mai mult) în comparație cu producția unei  mașini pe benzină .

The energy sources used for charging Evs also make the difference. Regions powered predominantly by clean energy, such as Norway with its reliance on hydropower, witness EVs operating with minimal carbon footprints. Conversely, areas predominantly using coal-generated power may not showcase as drastic emissions improvements,

Yet, EVs still outperform gas cars in carbon emissions.

Over their lifetime, gasoline cars emit over 350 grams of CO2 per mile, hybrids emit around 260 grams, while fully electric vehicles produce just 200 grams. Furthermore, projections indicate a promising trajectory for EVs. As more countries transition to cleaner energy sources, the comparative advantage of EVs is projected to increase.

Source: MIT