New German Study Shocks Electric Cars: “Considerably” Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars, Up To 25% More CO2!

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Germany’s Stuttgarter Zeitung here reports that electric cars are in fact pretty bad for the climate, it turns out. So, once activists are done banning fossil fuel powered vehicles, then electric ones will soon follow.

According to a new German study, electric cars have “significantly higher CO2 emissions than diesel cars”, and especially the Tesla Model 3 “performs particularly poorly” as it emits over 150 grams of CO2 for each kilometer it travels!

Up to 28% more CO2!

According to a study led by Christoph Buchal of the University of Cologne released by the Ifo Institute in Munich, when one takes into account Germany’s current energy mix — where the share of coal and gas still remains considerable — and the amount of energy used for electric car battery production, CO2 emissions by electric cars are higher than comparable diesel powered cars.

Co-authors of the study were energy expert Hans-Dieter Karl and renowned economist Professor Hans-Werner Sinn.

Citing the results of the study, the Stuttgarter Zeitung writes that when the production of the batteries is accounted for, an e-car “burdens the climate 11 – 28% more than a diesel car”.

Dirty e-cars: emit up to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer!

The study also found that it takes great energy to extract the lithium, cobalt and manganese needed to produce the batteries, a process that entails the emissions of 11 to 15 tonnes of CO2 for one Tesla model 3 battery. The study found that the Tesla electric car in reality emits on average between 156 and 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which is “considerably more than a comparable diesel Mercedes.”

The Ifo Institute compared the Mercedes C 220 diesel cars and the new Tesla Model 3 in terms of diesel and electricity consumption and used the German electricity mix from 2018 as the basis for calculation.

The study also criticizes how the EU legislator likes to consider electric cars as being “zero-emission” vehicles, thus giving the impression electric cars do not cause emissions and have little impact on the environment.

Methane powered cars the cleanest

The Ifo Institute researchers found that other technologies, however, offer great potential, for example hydrogen electric cars or combustion engines powered by “green” methane.

According to the study, the methane-powered engine is the cheapest and is almost a-third lower in CO2 emissions than the diesel engine.

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13 responses to “New German Study Shocks Electric Cars: “Considerably” Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars, Up To 2513 More CO2!”

  1. John F. Hultquist

    Interesting.
    Note the continued vilification of Carbon Dioxide.

    However, the more people learn about the damage and inefficiencies of green energy the sooner serious folks will start to ignore the Klimate Kult.

    The Extinction Rebellion kids want zero carbon emissions by 2025.
    What will happen when, in 2025, world wide emissions of CO2 are higher than now? Will their heads explode?
    They can’t reduce their personal emissions by half in that time without moving into a cave and eating leaves and bark.

    Any serious anti-emission person will have to advocate for nuclear power in its current (best practice) form.

  2. Steve

    Some people are making a hell of a lot of money out of the AGW scam.
    It will eventually seen as complete folly.

    1. Dave Ward

      “It will eventually seen as complete folly”

      I really hope so, but how long (and how much consequent damage to the world economy) will it take?

  3. Rudolf Huber

    I have seen the news feeds on this study and damn, it produces quite some backlash. Renewable and EV enthusiasts are literally foaming at the mouth about it and no sensible debate is possible. But their desperate counter strikes reveal their insecurity. They know that in the longer run, they wont be able to conceal the facts. And another significant detail – gas vehicles are best according to this study. Time to put money where the mouth is.

  4. Martin

    This study has already received widespread criticism in Norway with several factual errors scewing the results in a large way towards Diesel.

    Among the bigger errors in the study are the following:
    – Electric batteries in EVs have a considerable longer lifecycle than 10 years. None of the battery makers today have a 150.000km/10 year limit on their batteries. In addition the batteries can be reused for other purposes (e.g. powerwalls) after.
    – Diesel consumption for the Mercedes C220D uses the old NEDC standard and not the newer more correct WLTP standard. Average consumption for the Mercedes C220D is about 42% higher based on consumer reports from Spritmonitor.de.

    1. Zsolt Biró

      Hi Martin, This is good to hear. I was in a heated debate with some engineers over this study and I could really use some strong arguments against it. Could you point me to that Norvegian site?

  5. German Institute Delivers Bad News On CO2, E-Cars: “Electric Vehicles Not A Panacea For Climate Change”

    […] few days ago here we wrote about how a team of German scientists at the Munich-based ifo Institute released the results of a […]

  6. jake

    Generally speaking, el. cars mostly relocate emissions from the exhaust pipes to the stacks of fossil fuel burning power-plants. A small-to-mid-size electric car produces 23 Mg of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 Mg for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars, however, are some 50 % higher for their light metal contents and for the batteries being made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require more energy for processing. Reprocessing old batteries is costlier than making them from scratch. See:
    http://www.masterresource.org/electric-vehicles/energy-usage-cost-gasoline-vs-electric/

  7. Martin

    This is the same Ifo that has previously been commissioned by the German car lobby to warn about the loss of jobs if fossil cars are banned… https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-emissions-idUSKBN1A319I?il=0

    I would raise serious doubts about this study’s independence and as often before in these studies I question whether apples are being compared with oranges.

    But even if it were absolutely true, already when using a really poor energy mix, EV:s are at the same level as fossil cars that have been developed for a century. Imagine how much cleaner EVs will be when you combine a more sustainable energy mix with the large efficiency improvements that can be expected with EVs in the coming years, whereas there is no significant development of EV:s.

    It is actually quite sad to see the number of people willing to first deny that we even have a climate problem and then spend so much energy combating those that try to solve the situation. Your grandkids will be so proud…

  8. Electric Cars Emit More CO2 Than Gas Motors - Survival Update

    […] “The Ifo Institute compared the Mercedes C 220 diesel cars and the new Tesla Model 3 in terms of diesel and electricity consumption and used the German electricity mix from 2018 as the basis for calculation,” reported NoTricksZone. […]

  9. Sanne

    For those interested, here is the original article (in German):

    http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/sd-2019-08-sinn-karl-buchal-motoren-2019-04-25.pdf

    I noticed two other things that bother me about this study:
    Firstly, the study compares the emission of diesel cars and production of the diesel with the production of batteries for electric cars, but forgoes to include the differences between motors.
    Secondly, the ‘Energy expert’ Hans-Dieter Karl is an expert in the ECONOMY of the energy. He’s an economist just like the other three. (See his list of publications:
    https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/45279769_Hans-Dieter_Karl )

    1. Sanne

      *He’s an economist just like the other two.

  10. Xhmeia

    According to the article, the assumptions for the study were

    1. Germany’s current energy mix — where the share of coal and gas still remains considerable — and
    2. the amount of energy used for electric car battery production

    The 2 might remain the same should the battery technology remains the same. However the 1 is expected to change.
    It would be more interesting and constructive the study to calculate at what RES penetration in Germany’s energy mix, electric cars would be more beneficial to the climate than conventional cars.
    A study should target to the future and not to the current status…

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