EV Production Not That Eco Friendly?

A somewhat controversial new report from the London based LowCVP organization claims that although a significant amount of harmful gases are emitted during the production of electric cars – reportedly more than gasoline versions even – overall the green vehicles have a smaller carbon footprint than standard cars.

Technology firm Ricardo prepared the study, which found that roughly 46% of lifetime carbon emissions from an electric vehicle are produced during the manufacturing process, and 43% of those pollutants come from the battery system alone, like in lithium-ion models.

image via Etox

Ben Webster, a writer for The Times, has interpreted the study to suggest that green cars would need to drive over 80,000 miles before being equal to regular vehicles in terms of net carbon savings, something at least one, admittedly rare, Tesla Roadster driver has come to close to in only two years.

LowCVP has issued a statement [PDF] saying they believe the article was misleading, but had to admit that electric vehicles needing a battery replacement would significantly decrease their environmental friendliness, perhaps dampening plans of companies like Better Place whose business model is built around a switchable service. The full report is available for download [PDF].

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.

1 Comment

  • Reply June 27, 2011

    Patrick Kelly

    it’s definitely misleading because it does not account for other factors that would decrease the EV’s carbon footprint even farther, such as an increase in clean sources of electricity.

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