The following just goes to show how badly we are in need of real and independent figures about total emissions.
A recent study by a German research organisation worked out, somehow, that a Tesla electric Model 3 had slightly higher emissions than a Mercedes C-Class 220 diesel overall.
The organisation, ifo Schnelldienst, compared the total emissions of both cars (including manufacture). It said the amount of energy used in battery production meant the Tesla’s emissions were slightly higher than those of the diesel engine but could be “much higher” depending on energy sources.
The ‘Wall Street Journal’ published details of the report. Then some ‘experts’ claimed the ifo Schnelldienst study missed important points.
Then there was another study, using what it claimed to be more relevant data. It purported to show an electric vehicle emits fewer CO2 emissions than a diesel overall.
The research, by Volkswagen, involved two versions of the Golf: the TDI and electric e-Golf.
The lifecycle assessment (LCA) meant going right back to the start, to the emissions involved extracting raw materials – all the way to end-of-life recycling – in other words, the total emissions expended on producing the cars.
The e-Golf’s production phase emissions came to 57g/km. Battery production accounted for a lot of that. The Golf TDI involved only 29g/km. But when they took driving into account, the diesel’s numbers rose to 111g/km while the e-Golf’s were just 62g/km.
Volkswagen says the 62g could plunge to 2g/km if the electricity used was from renewable sources.
It is all too confusing; we need lots more independent facts to give us a clear picture.