|Nissan Leaf. All electric vehicle at charging station.|
Electric vehicle buyers have a new reason to feel conflicted about their forward-thinking purchases, thanks to a recent study which suggests EVs are potentially more polluting than their gas-powered counterparts.
According to The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the environmental ramifications of EVs from well to wheel are significant. The study took into account all factors along the lifecycle of an electric vehicle, from the toxic battery ingredients like nickel and copper to the energy sources which power the grids that ultimately charge the cars' batteries. "The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles," one part of the study concludes, indicating that energy developed from lignite, coal, or heavy oil combustion makes it "counterproductive to promote electric vehicles."
One part of the finding suggests that EVs driven in Europe have an environmental advantage over other global communities. "Electric vehicles powered by the present European electricity mix offer a 10 percent to 24 percent decrease in their global warming potential relative to conventional diesel or petrol vehicles," the study says. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche echoed that sentiment. "According to our results, a battery electric vehicle, with electricity produced by the power generation mix we currently have in Europe, compares favorably in the magnitude of 10 percent or so with diesel," he told the BBC.
by Basem Wasef | popular mechanics