Factbox: Lifetime Carbon Emissions of Electric Vehicles Compared to Gasoline Cars


(Reuters) – Reuters analyzed data generated by a model from the Argonne National Laboratory to determine when a typical electric vehicle (EV) becomes cleaner than an equivalent gasoline car in terms of its lifetime carbon footprint.

Based on a series of assumptions, the data showed that a Tesla Model 3 in the United States, for example, would have to travel 13,500 miles (21,725 ​​km) before doing less harm to the environment than a Toyota Corolla.

Here are the assumptions Reuters built into the Argonne model to produce different equilibrium scenarios, depending on how the energy used to charge an EV is generated.

MEDIUM SEDAN

Tesla Model 3 (EV) vs. Toyota Corolla (gasoline)

Miles traveled during the life of the vehicle: 173,151

Fuel economy (gasoline): 33 miles per gallon (US)

Curb weight: Model 3 – 3,582 lb (1,625 kg), Corolle – 2,955 lb

EV battery life: 300 miles

EV battery type: Lithium-ion

EV battery size: 54 kilowatt hours (kWh)

EV battery cathode material: nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA)

Power scenario 1: 100% hydroelectric

Break-even point: 8,400 miles

Electricity scenario 2: Average US energy mix (23% coal, plus other fossil and renewable fuels)

Break-even point: 13,500 miles

Power scenario 3: 100% coal

Break-even point: 78,700 miles

INTERMEDIATE SIZE SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE (SUV)

Tesla Model Y (EV) vs Honda CR-V (gasoline)

Miles traveled during the life of the vehicle: 183,363

Fuel economy (gasoline): 30 miles per gallon (US)

Curb weight: Model Y – 4,416 lb, CR-V – 3,337 lb

EV battery life: 300 miles

EV battery type: Lithium-ion

EV battery size: 60 kWh

EV battery cathode material: nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA)

Power scenario 1: 100% hydroelectric

Break-even point: 9,200 miles

Electricity scenario 2: Average US energy mix (23% coal, plus other fossil and renewable fuels)

Break-even point: 14,800 miles

Power scenario 3: 100% coal

Break-even point: 89,000 miles

(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by David Clarke)

About Mohammed B. Hale

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