British Report Decimates Electric Cars

Bad news for the electric and hybrid car industry. Ironically, the analysis was commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, a group funded by the British government and the car industry, seeking to accelerate the shift to low-carbon vehicles. Unfortunately the report has shown what many of us suspected: that promotion of hybrid and electric cars is one of the greatest scams of our generation.

Problems with Industry Specs

When the European Union (EU) tests vehicles to determine how much CO2 is emitted from the tailpipes of passenger cars, several control factors are used, including:

  • Based on the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) which tests urban and extra-urban driving speeds, which consist of lower speed limits.
  • Temperature was about 25°C, which is higher than the average temperature in England.

Due to these conditions, and the difference between the test atmosphere and the real world, the study indicates that tailpipe CO2 could actually be 15-40% higher than noted. So conclusion number one is that the fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions listed on the vehicle at the dealership are actually significantly higher.

Vehicle Life Cycle

The vehicle life cycle contains four parts: production, fuel production, in-use (the ownership period) and disposal. From the onset, CO2 emissions from the production of a hybrid or EV vehicle are much higher than the emissions from a normal gasoline vehicle. Just 23% of the lifetime CO2 emissions (a little over 11,000lbs) are spent during the production of a mid-size gasoline vehicle. That number jumps to 31% of initial emissions for a mid-size hybrid and 46% for a mid-size EV.

That initial amount of CO2 emissions has been argued by environmentalists as being okay because it’s just a one-time expenditure. Fine, but that’s a big expenditure. Considering that a person would have to drive at least 80,000 miles before producing a net saving in CO2 emissions, and given that it’s incredibly likely that you will need a new battery for the car (remember the initial expenditure, add another 24% to the lifetime CO2 emissions).

It’s true, EREVs and EVs do produce less CO2 than a standard gasoline-powered car, about 11,000lbs less, but when everything else is factored in (emissions from coal-powered electricity grid, the extra care needed to recycle the battery, the fact that the battery will need to be replaced) and you’re not looking at much – if any – CO2 emission savings.

The Bottom Line

A hybrid or EV car costs at least $6,000 more than a standard gasoline-powered vehicle. The average yearly cost of gasoline is about $1,200. ((Link, please)) The average yearly cost of gasoline for a hybrid is about $1,000. That’s a difference of $200 a year. At that rate, it would take over 30 years for the vehicle to be financially viable.

With this new study suggesting that a hybrid will save very little, if any, CO2 emission savings, then the vehicle makes very little sense environmentally.

While an EV fairs better with CO2 emissions, one has to take into account the fact that the car is being plugged into an electric grid which runs on, what now? Yes, coal, which also produces CO2.

Hopefully this study untangles the spin. If people want to drive electric vehicles, they are free to do so, but we should not be deceived into thinking it is the economically or environmentally correct choice.

Please Share Your Thoughts

12 thoughts on “British Report Decimates Electric Cars

  1. Does this study take into account all of the CO2 emissions produced by all of the battleships, tanks, jeeps and jets used in the wars to police oil?

    • Clint – let’s pretend that batteries powered everything. Do you think the materials needed to produce batteries might be policed? …that some might scheme to control them or have to take up arms to protect them or to insure access to them?
      Try to get past your ideological fanaticism next time…there’s a world of information that you are closing yourself off from.

  2. I would like to know who is backing Heritage Action for America. This sounds like a big oil backed mis-information propaganda article. The majority of the facts in this article are simply not accurate.

    • Jesse – learn about Heritage…pleeeeease! And you also might want to cosider that the fact in this article are taken directly from the study That’s it…just the study. BTW…can you provide any reference material that contradicts this study, or should we all just take your word for it?

      • Way to go Steve!
        And BTW Jesse, I back Heritage Action for America! Yep, guilty as charged. I have contributed a whopping $25 to their cause of truth. And the dirty secret of my connection to oil ….I keep Olive Oil in my kitchen.

  3. Wow, I don’t know where to start.
    I have read the report on which this article is based and I refuse to waste more time on both.
    The report lacks just about everything scientific research requires. There are no direct reference for claims made in the report and the references that are mentioned at the end of the report are 90% publications by car manufacturers.
    Even for a biased hack job it is horrible copy paste production and so obvious made to make EV’s and hybrids look bad. It is even an insult to a slightly educated person.
    Do mail me when you have spend more than a day to write a report. I can’t wait! (SARCASM)

    • “There are no direct reference for claims made in the report and the REFERENCES THAT ARE AT THE END OF THE REPORT are 90% publications by car manufacturers”
      Well, are there references or are there not?? OK you admit that there are… It turns out that 7 of the 17 references cited came for auto makers and traders…is that surprising In a study about cars??? How about Carnegie Mellon, Committee on Cllimate Change, and other enviro groups that are cited…are they in cahoots with ‘big oil/auto?
      It’s amazing how condescending you can be while making a complete ass of yourself!! To pull off both at the same time must be the biggest accomplishment you’ve made all year!!

  4. What Hogwash! With all the excess electricity being produced now a million evs wouldn’t even scratch the surface. The excess price is coming from “Big Auto”
    who don’t want evs to spoil their golden goose. The
    same 100 yr. old technology.

  5. Folks…that’s about as even-hended an analysis of what is in this report as anyone could hope for. If you read the report – and it’s conclusions – you will find that the authors are not acvocating, and did not intent to advocate for, gas powered vehicles. They want ALL OF THE DATA about economic impact of all cars to be a part of the equation. Clearly many of you want to keep the blinders on so you can pat yourselves on the back for ‘saving the planet’…You may choose to ignore reality and attack those who hand it to you on a platter, but most of the rest of us recognize who you are and the damage you can do.

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