That is true if you don’t use your car, but wrong if you do!

It is true that CO2 emissions during the production of an electric vehicle are higher than for a combustion engine vehicle, but this is largely compensated during the vehicle life cycle. The exact number of kilometers is difficult to calculate, as CO2 emissions vary in the manufacture of a vehicle, its battery and its use, depending on production and material location and on the energy mix during usage.

The Bloomberg article “The Lifecycle Emissions of Electric Vehicles” shows the results of a study of total CO2 emissions from combustion vehicles and electric vehicles produced in 2020 and driven for 250,000 km. The following graphic shows the CO2 emissions emitted during the construction of the vehicles, battery production, and usage.

“The lifecycle CO2 emissions of medium segment battery electric cars produced in 2020 and used for 250,000 km would be between 18% and 87% lower than those of equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles in the five countries included in this report. The breakeven point is far sooner in France at 25,000 km, compared to 153,000 km in China. By 2030, all countries will see this emissions breakeven point occur far earlier.” *

*BloombergNEF (2021): The Lifecycle Emissions of Electric Vehicles

If you want to check yourself, you can use the CARBONCOUNTER developed by the MIT Trancik Lab to make your own simulation with your current or future vehicle.