Will Cleaner Electricity Production Help Electric Vehicles?

Will cleaner electricity production help electric vehicles?
Will cleaner electricity production help electric vehicles?

While slowly but surely the electric vehicle market is addressing a number of issues from motorists and environmentalists, one issue which seems to attract the widest array of opinions is whether electric vehicles are on the whole more environmentally friendly than their gasoline counterparts. This particular argument centres round the production of electricity and whether indeed powerplants are as environmentally friendly as many would have you believe.

The results are quite startling and there are some very basic figures which seem to indicate electricity is becoming more "environmentally friendly" with the impact of electric vehicles upon the environment being but a fraction of that of their gasoline counterparts.

Report into environmentally friendly travel

If you look back in history you will see a number of reports which seem to suggest electricity is a "dirty energy", while others believe that electric vehicles are the way forward. A report in 2007 by the Electric Power Research Institute highlighted the fact that on the whole EVs were at the time comparable with the best and most efficient gasoline counterparts. While this was obviously a positive comparison for electric cars it did not exactly put them ahead and shoulders above gasoline vehicles.

Since then, the argument seems to have moved on and official US data confirms that there has been a significant reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide between 2005 and 2012. Indeed the reduction per kilowatt hour of electricity is down by 15% and 60% respectively which, when you bear in mind the 2007 report (which took two years to conclude), stated at the time that electric vehicles were even then comparative with the most efficient gasoline cars.

What does this mean?

There is growing evidence that the electricity industry is going "green", which is reducing the amount of dangerous emissions and therefore increasing the environmentally friendly aspect of owning electric vehicles. Sceptics will have you believe that this is just a sham and the figures mean nothing, although in reality this is not the case.

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There are some very interesting development in the world of EVs with rumors of new technology, more focus on charging stations and a promise of an affordable EV from Tesla within 4 years. With this in mind when do you expect to see full EV market penetration?"

It is no coincidence that the U.S. authorities are now pushing electric vehicles harder than they ever have done, investing more money than ever and also offering significant incentives. The reality is that while the oil industry still has a grasp of the U.S. economy this is beginning to slip and the government of the USA may well have found its escape route from overdependence upon foreign oil. However this will not happen overnight, it will take time and there will be ups and downs and controversies along the way.


There is now growing evidence that even when taking into account "dirty electric" the environmental impact from electric vehicles is but a fraction of that of its gasoline counterparts. Official U.S. data, coinciding with a major push for electric vehicles, confirms that electricity companies and their respective power stations are now pumping out less and less carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide per kilowatt hour of electricity.

Yet another positive aspect to take into consideration is the fact that green power, i.e. clean electricity, still has some way to go before it reaches its maximum efficiency. So it looks as though electric power stations around the world will be pumping out less and less harmful emissions in the years to come, making electric vehicles more and more environmentally friendly.