When it comes to the CO2 emissions of electric vehicles, the world seems to be divided between those defining these cars either as “zero-emission” or “very low emission”, and those who deepen the debate considering the entire life cycle of a car. How does it work though? How many emissions do gasoline cars produce compared to BEV cars?
To help us numerically understand electric car’s footprint, the study on “The Emission Variables of the Electric Car: Charging, Use and Driving Styles,” by Caracciolo’s Foundation (ACI Study Center) and the Care – Center for Automotive Research and Evolution at the University of Guglielmo Marconi, analyzes electric car’s environmental impact by assessing its entire life cycle.
For this reason, “Life Cycle Assessment” takes into account specific users’ types of real driving cycles on national territory. Ranges include a business manager with a home equipped of photovoltaic system, or a family household who recharges on public soil.
Knowing this helps us to assess electric car’s carbon footprint in our ecosystem. What in English is known as carbon footprint, is humanity’s demand for natural resources unit of measurement. This parameter can be used to estimate the amount of gas emissions produced by our organizations, events, products and services on the environment.
It is expressed in tons of CO2 and is used to determine the environmental impacts that emissions have on human-generated climate change. Making critical corrections in data would mean taking action to adapt to the environment and to our needs, improving our quality of life.
What produces CO2 in an electric car?
Besides the extraction of materials for battery construction, among the biggest CO2-producing factors there is the energy mix deriving from electric cars construction and assembly.
As far as charging is concerned, whether domestic or public, low-power or high-power, its impact is fairly contained, this is because the average efficiency of the various charging systems is quite similar to one another.
In general, in their complete life cycle from production to disposal, electric cars can achieve emissions ranging from a minimum of 5.5 g/km, thus very close to actual zero, to a maximum of 155 g/km for an electric Smart car. While, in the case of a Tesla Model 3, it ranges from a low of 10.1 g/km to a high of 263.8 g/km.
A post-pandemic gasoline car’s database on carbon footprint emission has not yet been compiled. A study conducted by a branch of the U.K. Department for Transport, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), has gathered information highlighting the footprint in the various route cycles, urban and suburban. Research shows that a gasoline car can produce on average a minimum of 84 g/km and a maximum of 380 g/km.
Lowering, to eventually eliminate, emissions has been a major challenge for humans since forever.
Every small daily action produces CO2 emissions, and reducing them is one of today’s industry main goals. For example, the long-standing issue of the greenhouse effect and the consequent anomalous temperature changes we are experiencing these years.
The Internet offers a plenty of websites to calculate the carbon footprint of a variety of gestures, from the smallest one to the most considerable one, giving us a rough idea of the amount of carbon dioxide we generate even when brushing our teeth.
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