The proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) is a powerful weapon in the fight against global warming, but its effects vary greatly from one nation to another and in some places pollute the environment more than petrol models.
According to data compiled by the research consultancy Radiant Energy Group (REG), in Europe, where sales are growing the fastest in the world, electric cars in Poland and Kosovo emissions because networks are so carbon-intensive, Reuters reported. In other parts of Europe, however, the picture is better, although the relative CO2 savings depend on what supplies the networks and at what time of day the vehicles are spent.
According to the study, Switzerland with nuclear and hydropower outperforms gasoline-powered vehicles with 100 percent CO2 savings, followed by Norway with 98 percent, France with 96 percent, Sweden with 95 percent and Austria with 93 percent. Hungary is in the middle with over 70%
Cyprus (4%), Serbia (15%), Estonia (35%) and the Netherlands (37%) are lagging behind. The largest European carmaker in Germany, which relies on a mix of renewable energy sources and coal, saves 55% of the greenhouse gas savings of an electric car driver
In countries such as Germany or Spain, where solar and wind power plants the lack of renewable energy storage means that the amount of CO2 saved by EVs depends to a large extent on day and wind are more present – EVs save 16 to 18 percent more carbon than night-time charging, when the grid is more likely to be fed with gas or coal.
ENTSO-E Transparency Platform for European Transmission System Operators and Analysis based on public data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) ahead of the COP26 summit on Wednesday
The analysis has shown that the ability of the automotive industry to reduce emissions depends on finding better ways to decarbonise electricity networks and store renewable energy. These challenges have not yet been resolved in many European countries. Lithium-ion batteries can only store energy at full capacity for about four hours, which means that even countries that produce significant amounts of solar and wind energy during the day have difficulty storing it at night
Until uniform, low-carbon energy is available in the region, electric car drivers and engineers planning charging infrastructure must take these inequalities into account, German and US researchers have said
. According to EEA data, the CO2 intensity of new petrol cars registered in Europe fell by an average of 25% between 2006 and 2016. One-fifth of vehicles sold in the last quarter were electric, and sales of zero-emission models are expected to surpass those of internal combustion vehicles in Europe in absolute terms by 2028.
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