Data Driven? Or Ideology?

20 October 2023

A recent article in the EV online publication The Driven raised an interesting perspective on the overall Co2 emissions from EVs. 

In the article, Driven journo Joshua Hill picked up on a new analysis by independent energy research firm Rystad Energy that concluded battery-powered electric vehicles are “simply better for the environment” than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, even in a grid dominated by fossil fuels.

The Rystad Energy analysis found battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) contribute at most half the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of ICE vehicles across their lifespan, regardless of the country of operation.

The report says, “Despite incurring higher emissions in the manufacturing process of electric vehicles and an enduring reliance on fossil fuel power generation in many countries, the positive environmental impact of switching to a BEV over the vehicle’s lifetime is unmistakable.”

I often hear a contrary view that if you take all of the mining, manufacturing, running costs and disposal of EVs into account, then EV Co2 outputs are worse than ICE vehicles.

But it doesn’t matter. We are going there anyway. 

The arguments are many, with reports on both sides of the Co2 outputs argument published weekly. 

The argument around EVs is only partly one of technology. It’s more about ideology and often irrespective of where the power source comes from or the actual utility of the vehicle. 

Range and queuing anxiety, lack of local infrastructure and a lack of nationally consistent incentives and rules for EVs trump the entire Co2 argument.  

How about we get a national EV policy and incentive plan in place and let this help drive a Co2 reduction plan?

Words: VACC CEO Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 20 October 2023.

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