Electric Vehicles In Germany Emit More Carbon Dioxide Than Diesel Vehicles

Discussion in 'CO2, Bag Breathing' started by HumanLife, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. HumanLife

    HumanLife Member

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    Electric Vehicles in Germany Emit More Carbon Dioxide Than Diesel Vehicles

    A study by the IFO think tank in Munich found that electric vehicles in Germany emit 11 percent to 28 percent more carbon dioxide than their diesel counterparts. The study considered the production of batteries as well as the German electricity mix in making this determination. Germany spent thousands of euros on electric car subsidies per vehicle to put a million electric vehicles on the road, but those subsidies have done nothing to reach the country’s greenhouse gas emission targets. This is just the latest example of government programs expecting one outcome and getting quite another, instead. To some it is ironic; to others it is funny. At IER, we believe it to be sad, as it is a waste of time and money that could be better put to use solving real problems.

    The researchers compared the carbon dioxide output for a Tesla Model 3 (electric) and a Mercedes C220d sedan (diesel). The Mercedes releases about 141 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven, including the carbon emitted to drill, refine, and transport its fuel. The Tesla releases between 156 and 181 grams, including battery production. Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt, and manganese used for batteries consume a lot of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Given a battery lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometers, 73 to 98 grams of carbon dioxide are emitted per kilometer.

    Germany’s growing reliance on coal for electricity generation was also considered in the study. The country relies on coal when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. As a result, charging a Tesla in Bavaria releases about 83 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven.

    The European Union also provides benefits for manufacturers of electric vehicles, by allowing them to claim zero emissions under its strict emissions limits. Not all European countries may emit more carbon dioxide from electric vehicles than from diesel or gasoline vehicles, however. In France, for example, electric vehicles may emit less carbon dioxide than diesel vehicles because France gets the majority of its electricity from nuclear power. But in many other European countries, that is certainly not the case.

    Other Alternatives

    According to the German researchers, the European Union target of 59 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2030 corresponds to a “technically unrealistic” consumption of 2.2 liters of diesel or 2.6 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers. The researchers believe it would be preferable to look at other sources of power for automobiles—for example, methane engines, “whose emissions are one-third less than those of diesel motors.”

    Other Studies

    A study in 2017 by researchers at the University of Michigan found that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by electric cars varied wildly by country. The study found that an electric car recharged by a coal-fired plant produces as much carbon dioxide as a gasoline-powered car that gets 29 miles per gallon, which is a slightly higher efficiency than the 25.2 miles per gallon that is the average of all the cars, SUVs, vans, and light trucks sold in the United States over the past year. If the electricity comes from a natural gas plant, recharging a plug-in electric vehicle is akin to driving a car that gets 58 miles per gallon.

    Using the U.S. electricity mix, which is generated mainly be fossil fuels (about 64 percent), the researchers at the University of Michigan found that the average plug-in vehicle produces as much carbon dioxide as a conventional car that gets 55.4 miles per gallon. In China, which has been pushing widespread adoption of electric vehicles, the cars emit as much carbon dioxide as a car that gets 40 miles per gallon, due in large part to their heavy dependence on coal.

    Note that the above findings are optimistic for electric vehicles because the researchers at the University of Michigan did not take into account the additional substantial carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing batteries, as did the German study.

    A different study from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that, depending on the type of plug-in being built, manufacturing a battery-powered car generates 15 percent to 68 percent more carbon dioxide emissions than a conventional gasoline-powered car because of the energy intensity of manufacturing batteries.

    Conclusion

    The above studies indicate that the terminology “zero emission” is a misnomer when referring to electric vehicles. Also, lawmakers should be cautious about subsidizing electric vehicles when their electricity is generated mainly by fossil fuels because they are not lowering the carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles by doing so. The old saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” may well apply to many of the gimmicks and work-arounds advocated by whatever group is popular with a political and media elite at any given time. Germany’s lessons should be a case study for political leaders everywhere.


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    I think the EMFs from cars would be a bigger problem...
     
  2. paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    lol interesting
     
  3. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    Yes but this is comparing a relatively nascent technology to a well-established one.

    When mobile phones were launched, they weren’t very good and didn’t threaten computers or television. Today, phones are used more than computers as access to the internet and for consuming media.

    Our ability to capture, store, and use solar and wind power will increase exponentially over the next 5-15 years, and the cost will go in the opposite direction.

    If you decided upon whether to create something new based on the efficiency of that newly-launched technology compared to an established one, then you’d never launch anything new.

    Coal production efficiency will stay flat, while renewable production efficiency will go up by factor of 10+
     
  4. aquaman

    aquaman Member

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    From Generative Energy by Ray (my bold added):

     
  5. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    CO2 - .04% of our atmosphere. And how much of the CO2 is man-made? 3% Much ado over nothing. And Ray Peat talks about how CO2 used to be a higher percentage of our atmosphere in earlier times.

    Why aren't they comparing carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide?
     
  6. LeeLemonoil

    LeeLemonoil Member

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    Germany‘s ecological politics, spearheaded by estrogenic, pufa-loaden zealots of the German Green Party and their well-off snowflake-voters in the cities (also estrogen-poisoned bunch) are a disaster mostly.
    Germany’s electricity prices for private household are the highest in all of Europe while the emissions are so high due to the unnecessary exit from nuclear plant - energy.

    Offshore and landscapes are plastered with wind turbines that kill billions of insects and millions of birds and disturbs marine life.
    Rapeseed monoculture for so called biofuels kills biodiversity even further. Now CO2-Emission is about to be taxed for private consumption also, hitting low tiers of society the most while the typical green-voter enjoys three holidays by plane a year.

    And due to massive and continuouing immigration, championed by the greens as well, every day sees soil and space getting cemented, built upon or exploited for agriculture/farming even more, leading to cramped cities fueling even more cortisol/estrogen driven political behavior.

    If you want to observe serotonin and cortisol in action, look upon Germany.
     
  7. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I would hardly call solar, wind etc a "ground breaking energy source".

    What's truly a groundbreaking energy source is Fusion and Antimatter, with the increased power generation to show for it, not to mention Fusion is 100x cleaner than Fission, which also alleviates any "Tree Hugger" complaints. Wind,solar,electric all that is just a boring smokescreen which isn't actually advancing technology, or even really helping the environment either in a meaningful way. Fusion is the future. These two power sources will power the machines of the future, like manned space craft that go to mars and beyond.
     
  8. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    Well, phones never threatened computers, and they certainly don't today. It's the other way around. Computers threatened phones. Computers got smaller and more portable, and the things that most people call "phones" today are really advanced, portable computers. This jump really happened when Apple introduced the iPhone. I don't think most people would consider Apple a "phone" company at any point in it's existence.
     
  9. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Have a cousin who recently got a stint in Berlin. He says the summer is hot, and air-conditioning isn't allowed. He's happy to have an electric fan. In Germany?
     
  10. Herbie

    Herbie Member

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    Elon Musk said he made the electric cars to prove that he could produce an electric production car to compete in the market. He explicitly said that wasn't doing it for the environment but its this green cultural movement which associates the electric vehicle with saving the planet.

    Its dumb of the green people to believe because its got a heavy lithium battery in the car that its good for the environment. Mine the lithium use it for 100000 miles dump it back in the ground again. Charge the car off the coal coming in from the grid etc.

    If the governments want to usher in the fully electric cars and load the grid up with them charging every night then they have to invest in huge renewable energy infrastructure. So I guess it will take a long time to stop using fossil fuels or coal to produce energy for combustion.

    They would also have to figure out how to stop all the traffic in the cities because its a huge waste of time, energy and pollution.

    The electric cars are good for city people's health because the carbon monoxide and aldehydes will become lower and they are quiet. Who cares about co2 seriously. But its only good if they can make batteries out of silicon and use fully renewable energy somehow.
     
  11. LeeLemonoil

    LeeLemonoil Member

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    Air condition never became widespread in Germany.In some buildings installing AC is even not allowed due to safety or other reasons, yes. And it is a bit frowned upon in general. Or better, my compatriots like to take a condescending stance in the line of: „look at them Americans: AC all day, light on all day, driving around in too big vehicles“
    All good and fine and I’m not in favor of wasting resources and pollution but I’m against self-righteous and spiteful instrumentalisation especially when you shut down your own nuclear plants and reopen coal-plants.
    Germany generates surplus energy by wind and solar on many days but there is still no way to store it.
     
  12. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    You're quite right about the US. My sister and her family moved from Napa California to Houston Texas! Now her new well-insulated home is built to have 24x7 AC and her electricity bills have never been lower!

    Electricity in California is high. I remember an article that talks about how the political elites who live by the cool coastal cities would tax electricity so much just because they don't have a need to use AC where they live. So, while they have low electricity costs due to low usage due to not having to cool or heat their homes throughout the year, the people in the inland countries have to pay a lot more. This just goes to show how out of touch the California political elites are with the people they serve.
     
  13. managing

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    This is a great case of taking a solid study with limited scope (all studies are limited in scope) and projecting into confirmation bias.

    Here is what the study did not address.

    1. Tesla Model 3 is made overseas and imported. This is a huge contribution to initial carbon load.
    2. Lithium batteries are a bridge technology.
    3. Germany should be moving more aggressively away from coal (or toward carbon recapture technologies).
    4. The more miles an EV is driven, the lesser the carbon emission per mile is.

    Europe needs domestically mass produced EVs. They are coming.

    Solid state/precious metal free batteries are coming.

    #3 is self explanatory. But the knee jerk interpretation is EV's are shite. The real takeaway should be a criticism of the state of Germany's energy infrastructure, especially their dependence on Russia.

    The real gift of Elon Musk is not an upscale EV. The real gift is (in his own words) a "proof of concept". EV's are superior technology. (Much) fewer moving parts. Quicker. Lighter. Better handling. Cheaper to operate.

    But he has never touted "carbon emissions" as an EV benefit. When properly scaled, they will be massively less polluting period (whether you believe in global warming or not). But "carbon emission" is a good standard by which to judge Germany's power infrastructure and a lousy one by which to judge EVs.

    And in this, Musk is right.
     
  14. LeeLemonoil

    LeeLemonoil Member

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    True. Except for the Russia bit. There is nothing wrong with getting pipeline-gas from Russia. They’re are a reliable supplier. The alternative, fracked LNG from the US is much more expensive and and ecologically harmful. The US are also more likely to use energy supply as a political leverage than Russia. So why Russia‘s supply would be „especially“ a reason for critique is complete nonsense. Give me Russian gas over domestic coal-plants or LNG transported across the Atlantic any day.
     
  15. achillea

    achillea Member

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    How about the cost of war and all the CO2 expended

    Afghanastan
    Lithium is a vital metal that is mostly used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops and electric cars. It is believed that Afghanistan has plenty of lithium. The country's lithium deposits occur in dry lake beds in the form of lithium chloride; they are located in the western Province of Herat and Nimroz and in the central east Province of Ghazni.[47] The geologic setting is similar to those found in Bolivia and Chile. The deposits are also found in hard rock in the form of spodumene in pegmatites in the north-eastern Provinces of Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Nuristan, and Uruzgan. A pegmatite in the Hindu Kush Mountains in central Afghanistan was reported to contain 20% to 30% spodumene[45]
    Marble[edit]
     
  16. managing

    managing Member

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    I don't disagree as far as you go. And LNG is much cleaner than coal at least. Its just a geopolitical issue to be dependent on a source controlled by an oligarchy/autocrat. Germany desperately wants to break that dependence. Its actually a reason they have remained so coal-centric. But that is the conundrum in which they find themselves.
     
  17. managing

    managing Member

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    An interesting angle. But Afghanistan is a very minor producer. Australia, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, and China supply the vast majority of the world's lithium.
     
  18. DrJ

    DrJ Member

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    I remember reading quite a while ago about the rare earth metals used in the Prius drive train and how devastating it is to mine those metals (basically strip mining) and one was seeing lots of articles like this: Your Prius’ Deepest, Darkest Secret. There were a lot of articles discussing the Prius to be actually more environmentally devastating due to the energy intensive mining and destruction caused in obtaining its materials with a huge up-front energy cost outweighing the long-term energy savings.

    Lots of environmentalists were arguing that it was better to just keep driving your 10+ year old Honda Civic that was delivering 30+ miles per gallon since the materials were already mined, were not exotic, and fuel efficiency was quite decent. Taking a truck from 6 to 12mpg is a massive improvement in decreasing fuel use, but taking a car from 30 to 35mpg is not all that big of an improvement.
     
  19. managing

    managing Member

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    Misinformation.

    A prius gets 54mpg (plugin even higher). So you aren't talking an improvement from 30 to 35mpg. In fact, going from 30 to 54 is quite similar to going from 6 to 12 percentage wise. Except its still more than 4x better.

    Of course driving an older, still fuel efficient model, will net less carbon in the short run. Its not that fuel efficient (and EV) should replace already efficient cars. They should replace wildly inefficient cars.

    The only "environmentalists" saying not to buy a Prius were the ones on the energy company payrolls. Or the really forward thinkng ones who were holding out for EVs instead of Prius.

    And I say again carbon is FAR FROM the only reason to buy and drive and EV.
     
  20. achillea

    achillea Member

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    From the Independent: Donald Trump eyes Afghanistan's $1 trillion mineral reserves to pay for reconstruction after 16 years of war
    Afghanistan, some reports say, even has the potential to become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”, thanks to deposits of the raw material used in phone and electric car batteries.
     
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