While electric cars have zero-tailpipe (or tank-to-wheel) emissions, there are upstream emissions from manufacturing the battery and from electricity generation. But analyses of full life cycle emissions show that electric cars in Europe emit, on average, almost three times less CO2 than equivalent petrol/diesel cars.
In the worst case scenario, an electric car with a battery produced in China and driven in Poland still emits 22% less CO2 than diesel and 28% less than petrol. And in the best case scenario, an electric car with a battery produced in Sweden and driven in Sweden can emit 80% less CO2 than diesel and 81% less than petrol.
We also see that electric cars will reduce CO2 emissions four-fold by 2030 thanks to an EU grid relying more and more on renewables.
Battery cell manufacturing today is largely in China and South Korea but, as the market expands, so does production into Europe where the electricity is less carbon intensive.
Find out more about electric vehicle lifecycle and raw material availability in our report below.