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If you think you’re saving the environment by driving a Tesla, well, let me let you in on a bit of a secret: You could perhaps emit less carbon if you went with a diesel car.
The findings of a new study by a group of German scientists seem counterintuitive at first. They found that electric vehicles in their home country accounted for more emissions than those smoggy diesels.
Zero - Emissions - Vehicles - Emissions
Until, that is, you realize that “zero emissions” vehicles aren’t really so zero emissions.
“When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix — in which coal still plays an important role — are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich,” the Brussels Times reported.
Mining - Lithium - Cobalt - Manganese - Batteries
“Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy,” the report said. “A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2.
“Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.”
Energy - Batteries - Grams - CO2 - Kilometer
When you factor in the energy needed to charge the batteries, this ups that total to 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
The study’s authors recommended that instead of pushing for the adoption of “zero emission” electric cars, European officials should instead move toward other sources of power for automobiles — namely methane, “whose emissions are one-third less than those of diesel motors.”
Way - Study - Cars - Proponents - Claim
This, by the way, is hardly the only study that’s questioned whether electric cars are really as environmentally friendly as their proponents claim.
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