5 Oct 2012

Electric cars harm the environment more than petrol cars

Petrolheads can now say, rather smugly, that their hydrocarbon burning, noise making, CO2 producing, taxed to hell, 'environmentally unfriendly, socially unacceptable petrol cars are more environmentally friendly than electric cars.

Yes, you read that right.

Electric cars pollute more than petrol or diesel powered cars.

That is according to the BBC (who are normally biased in favour of environmental issues) who report on a Norwegian study that found that greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal fired power stations were used to produce the electricity that electric cars use (in the main they are) and that electric car factories emit more toxic waste than factories making conventional cars.

The co-author of the report, Prof Anders Hammer Stromman, said: "The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive....The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles."

Yes, he said "twice".  And there's more:

"In addition, producing batteries and electric motors requires a lot of toxic minerals such as nickel, copper and aluminium.  Hence, the acidification impact is much greater than that of conventional car production."

And you know what?  There's more.  It gets better:

"Across the other impacts considered in the analysis including potential for effects related to acid rain, airborne particulate matter, smog, human toxicity, ecosystem toxicity and depletion of fossil fuel and mineral resources, electric vehicles consistently perform worse or on par with modern internal combustion engine vehicles, despite virtually zero direct emissions during operation,"

The report goes on to say that in regions where the main source of electricity production is by burning coal or heavy oil then electric cars offer no environmental benefits and do more harm.

The report says that in areas where greener electricity is produced the benefits of electric cars start to improve (no sh*t) but that with the continued advance of efficient conventional engines the difference between the two diminishes.

They then make a rather disastrous statement: "A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel,"

Which, as any motorcyclist who has followed a diesel bus or taxi will know, is wrong.  The report conveniently ignores the particulates that diesel vehicles emit and which we bikers feel in our eyes when following these disgusting oil burners.

So, we say - Motorists, buy a petrol car and with as much glee as you can relish tell those pious electric vehicle driving do-gooders that they are damaging the environment.

And don't forget that with your environmentally friendly petrol V8 you can replenish the energy source by going to the petrol station and filling it up with petrol.

Spare a thought for those electric car owners who have to wait all night so they can get enough charge to do 100 miles.  And kill the environment in the process.

You can download the report here if you want to.