Some of the CO2 savings made during the use of low carbon vehicles is offset by increased emissions created during their production. However, overall electric and hybrid vehicles still have lower carbon footprints than normal cars.
This is according to a new report released conducted by Ricardo, a multi-industry engineering provider, for LowCVP andaims to demonstrate the importance of measuring whole life carbon emissions.
Ricardo Chief Technology & Innovation Officer and Chairman of the LowCVP, Prof. Neville Jackson, said: “There is an emerging consensus that we need to move towards a more holistic analysis of whole life CO2 emissions in order to make more informed and better long term decisions on future technologies. As a wider range of electric, biofuel and potentially hydrogen vehicles compete with petrol and diesel models in the future, it will become essential to compare vehicles on a whole-life carbon basis.”
According to the study, a typical medium sized family car will create around 24 tonnes of CO2 during its life cycle, while an electric vehicle will produce around 18 tonnes over its life. For a battery EV, 46% of its total carbon footprint is generated at the factory, before it has been out on the road.
Greg Archer, LowCVP Managing Director, said: “This work dispels the myth that low carbon vehicles simply displace emissions from the exhaust to other sources. However, it does highlight the need to look at reducing carbon emissions from vehicles throughout their lifecycle.”