Electric Cars Do Have Fewer Emissions Than Gas Ones, According to Study

If you need proof that electric vehicles (EVs) are cleaner and environmentally friendlier than their gas-guzzling cousins, here it is: a survey has found out that electric cars produce half the global warming emissions of the average gas-powered vehicle. This is true even when the pollution resulting from the battery manufacturing process is taken into consideration.


The study, which was done by the Union of Concerned Scientists, took a close look at the emissions produced by electric cars and traditional gas vehicles throughout their life cycle. The researchers found out that electric cars produce more emissions during the manufacturing phase since they need lithium-ion batteries (which are require lots of energy and materials to be produced). However, this changes once the EVs are used and driven by their owners (the operation stage). This comes from the fact that electricity is generally a cleaner source of power than gasoline, so charging an EV’s battery produces fewer emissions than driving a gas-guzzling car.


This difference in emissions remains constant until electric cars and gas vehicles reach the end of their lives. When they arrive at this stage, the latter produces two times the pollution produced by an equivalent EV.

The Union of Concerned Scientists also points out that the emissions spewed by electric vehicles differ from one state to another. This comes from the fact that the amount of emissions produced by EVs depends on the type of electricity that powers its batteries.


In upstate New York, for example, electric cars have fewer emissions (equivalent to a traditional car that has a fuel economy of 135 miles per gallon) because the area uses mainly renewable energy. In Kansas, on the other hand, EVs have more emissions and are equivalent to only 35 miles per gallon since the state relies mainly on coal and other types of fossil fuels, which are known to produce high amounts of pollution.

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