Thursday, January 21, 2021
News EVs Need To Travel More 50,000 Miles To Match ICE Carbon Footprint:...

EVs Need To Travel More 50,000 Miles To Match ICE Carbon Footprint: Report

This report, commissioned by some automakers, shows that driving EVs is not enough to lower our carbon footprint


  • Building EVs still produces far more CO2 than building internal combustion engine vehicles.

  • Manufacturing Lithium-Ion batteries is especially energy-intensive.


The debate as to whether or not driving electric vehicles is truly the best way to reduce our collective carbon footprint is not new and rages on. A recent report has shown that it takes a while and quite many miles driven before the average EV matches the emissions created by the average internal combustion engine-equipped vehicle.

The report has confirmed that an electric vehicle must travel 48,000 miles before its carbon footprint matches that of an ICE. In other words, until that distance is covered, the EV will have “polluted” more than the ICE. The report, shared by The Telegraph (subscription required), specifies that this is based on a European electricity mix, or based on how the electricity is produced.

2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS IZEV Program
Nissan LEAF | Photo: Nissan

The report was commissioned by automakers such as Honda and McLaren and calls for greater transparency on behalf of the industry over actual CO2 emissions produced by EVs. Decarbonizing the sources of energy used in the production of EVs is a detail that cannot be overlooked.

Matt Western MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Motor and Electric Vehicles, said: “We need to address the decarbonization of both vehicle and fuel to have any real hope of meeting our CO2 reduction ambitions.”

Andy Eastlake, managing director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, stated: “We need to do more than just electrify the fleet. We are still selling diesel and petrol cars, the engines of which could play out until 2050, so we have to look at decarbonizing fuel.”

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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