- Electric Cars -

:: Posted :: 2020-02

UK government wants to wean us off petrol & diesel. OK.

It would be nice to believe that forcing manufacturers to abandon petrol- and diesel-engined cars would make a large contribution to the battle against global warming. That's certainly how it's being presented, but is it true?

The latest data I have comes from the European Parliament in 2014-2016. Here's the picture they present - All forms of transport accounted for 'nearly 30%' of EU CO2 emissions. Cars account for 61% of that, i.e. 18% of all emissions.

Manufacture of all cars produces a significant amount of greenhouse gas (actually, electric car production produces 30% more). However it's the CO2 from daily vehicle use where we stand to gain, assuming all electricity comes from renewable sources. It doesn't.

The 2014 'mix' of EU electricity generation was sufficient to 'save' only 22% of total lifetime CO2 production per vehicle. That's 22% of 18%, a grand total of ... 4%! Not a lot of gain for all that upheaval.

Rail transport (let's ignore HS2) contributes 0.5% of total EU CO2 emissions. Investing in a marked increase in the use of rail freight - now that might be a proper environmental strategy.

European Parliament data

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