Electric cars seemed like a god-sent regarding the environment not so long ago, but did you know the second most climate-destructive thing anyone is likely to buy is a new electric vehicle.
The journal Nature Sustainability published a new report that estimates the manufacturing of the average electronic car produces about 12 tons of carbon emissions.
To put that into perspective, it would take a UK family home 15 and a half years to produce that same amount of electricity usage. You would theoretically have to turn off everything in your house from the lights to the washing machine etc. for the next 15 and a half years before you would have saved enough carbon to justify buying an electric car.
A report estimated that the embedded carbon in electric vehicles was 30% more on average globally than for the standard equivalent sized internal-combustion engine.
However, it is also reported that in the UK, if you include the electricity used to power the EV, then over its lifetime, it will also save you 30% on both manufacturing and its usage. So the first worst thing someone can buy climatically this year is a new fossil-fuelled car.
For too long now the government have praised the benefits in carbon savings of EVs. Shockingly, the report reveals that EVs could cause up to 9% of total global carbon emissions by 2050.
There are roughly over 1.5 billion motor vehicles on Earth today. With the way things are going, this number is looking to be doubled by 2040. Incomprehensibly, to replace even today’s global fleet, at an average of 11.7 tons per vehicle, would emit a staggering 17.5 gigatons of CO2!
A report from the International Panel on Climate Change in 2018 estimated that humanity only had a limit of 26 gigatons available on our carbon budget. This limit gives us a probability of a two-thirds chance of not breaking the 1.5C temperature rise.
Surely we shouldn’t give the motor industry this much of a chunk of our budget? That would seem rather stupid.
The NS also highlights in its report the obvious fact that bigger luxury cars use much more energy than economy sized cars. A luxury highbrid in the UK will produce significantly more emissions, at 144g/km, than an economy (110g/km). Compressed gas comes at 85g/km and advanced diesel cars come in at 90g/km.
The report also found that efficient petrol cars outperform an electric vehicle (an average one) in 43% of current global markets.
NS report’s publications generated a plethora of positive media headlines for EVs. Now, EVs are usually less dirty than equivalent ICE cars, but are still unfortunately part of the dirty brown economy. This economy is taking humanity and nature to the edge of uncertainty, all in the name of money.
This means, that for all transport of urban origin other than for disabled people, a ban in all cars with the replacement of walking, cycling, pedicabs and renewable sourced electric or hydrogen powered public transport. However, all these switches comes with its own complications which is another article to come.
For some rural communities, small numbers of EVs will be justifiable. Although, they need to be largely reserved for public transport, emergency vehicles, delivery trucks and other essential means of vehicles.
On the lighter side, this will not only reduce carbon emissions by a substantial amount, but it will also result in far healthier populations, especially in large cities.
Also, in light of Covid-19, the decline in transport has seen less crowded streets concerning vehicles, resulting in better areas for children to play.
All the areas you can think of that are hijacked by mass car ownership of the world, can be transformed into green landscapes, maybe even some edible landscapes. Thus, not only looking better, but with viable, local and organic food produce. Another thing (food) that needs to dominate global food production in this climate crisis.
EVs are a desperate attempt by the motor lobby to continue business as usual. It is time to call it out for the lie that it is.
It is time to finally commit to local transport solutions that save humanity, not destroy it.
Credit: Donnachadh McCarthy – The Independent