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 Can electric vehicles help us to reduce warming in the long run?

Can electric vehicles help us to reduce warming in the long run?


Electric Vehicles (EV) have been introduced worldwide with the idea that there will be a decrease in Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) and carbon footprints that will reduce air pollution and global warming in the long run.

According to official data, there are 1,39,945 registered electric vehicles in Delhi as of March 21, 2022. This year electric vehicles accounted for more than nine per cent of all vehicles registered in the national capital, up from nearly three per cent in 2018.

With the rise in the registration of electric vehicles, environmentalists have raised doubts whether the transition to EVs will actually help fight the global climate crisis in the long run.

Electric vehicles have a smaller carbon footprint than petroleum cars.

EVs have no tailpipe emissions. Generating the electricity used to charge EVs, however, may create carbon pollution. The amount of emissions to generate electricity varies widely based on how electric power is generated.

If EV batteries are charged with power generated from renewable sources like wind or solar the GHG emissions could be significantly reduced.

Even accounting for these electricity emissions, research shows that an EV is responsible for lower levels of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) than an average new petroleum car.

The greenhouse gas emissions associated with an electric vehicle over its lifetime are typically lower than those from an average

petroleum-powered vehicle.

Over the lifetime of the vehicle, total GHG emissions associated with manufacturing, charging, and driving an EV are typically lower.

Recycling EV batteries can reduce the emissions associated with making an EV by reducing the need for new materials. While some challenges exist today, research is ongoing to improve the process and rate of EV battery recycling.


Using renewable energy sources can make the use of electric vehicles more eco-friendly. The electricity cost can be reduced further if charging is done with the help of renewable energy sources installed at home, such as solar panels.

Electric vehicles can convert about 59%–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional petrol vehicles can only convert almost 17%–21% of the energy stored in petrol to power at the wheels. Even CNG engines are not entirely clean as they emit ammonia and produce particulate emissions.

Studies in Europe have shown that petrol or diesel vehicles emit 3 times more carbon dioxide than an equivalent electric vehicle, even when considering the carbon footprint of charging.

India has ambitions to achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by the year 2030.

India has committed to having 175 GW of installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity by 2022 and up to 450 GW by 2030. The current weighted average emission factor of the country for the national grid has been nearly constant over the past few years at 0.82 tCO2 / MWh (as of 2018-19).

As the share of renewables increases and dependency on coal decreases, the overall emissions from electric vehicles use will also decrease further.


https://e-amrit.niti.gov.in/busting-common-electric-vehicle-myths https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/electric-vehicle-myths https://greet.es.anl.gov/ https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=48896

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