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British Study: Electric Cars Not So Green

By Doug Powers  •  June 13, 2011 04:44 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The past few days have been a one-two punch to the eco-friendly market. First we heard that biodegradable products are not nearly as environmentally friendly as advertised, and now this:

ELECTRIC cars could produce higher emissions over their lifetimes than petrol equivalents because of the energy consumed in making their batteries, a study has found.

An electric car owner would have to drive at least 129,000km before producing a net saving in CO2. Many electric cars will not travel that far in their lifetime because they typically have a range of less than 145km on a single charge and are unsuitable for long trips. Even those driven 160,000km would save only about a tonne of CO2 over their lifetimes.

The British study, which is the first analysis of the full lifetime emissions of electric cars covering manufacturing, driving and disposal, undermines the case for tackling climate change by the rapid introduction of electric cars.
The study was commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, which is jointly funded by the British government and the car industry. It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.

Global warming may well end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. If a greenhouse gas problem didn’t exist going in, it sure might after Al Gore & Company are finished saving the world from it.

**Written by Doug Powers

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