Plug-in EVs produce 78g/km
09 July 2010
Author: Tristan Young
The Nissan Leaf
A leading automotive engineer has warned that plug-in electric vehicles are not the most cost-effective way to cut emissions. Dave Greenwood, project director of advanced technology at engineering firm Ricardo, believes sticking with cars equipped with internal combustion engines, particularly diesels, will account for the majority of CO2 cuts in the next 20 to 40 years.
Greenwood, speaking at the SMMT's recent automotive summit, revealed that despite journeys of less than 25 miles accounting for 93% of car trips in the UK, this
did not mean switching to electric cars would cut CO2 by the same amount. There are two reasons for this, according to Greenwood. Firstly, the sub-25 mile sector currently accounts for less than 60% of vehicle CO2 production. Secondly, EV mileage must be assumed to produce 78g/km of CO2 for a small family sector car because that's the calculated average for UK power stations.
The current CO2 output for a Focus-sized diesel car is 134g/km, but is expected to be less than 90g/km by 2020, giving little difference between diesel and electric cars at this point.
"Development of the internal combustion engine offers the most effective short-term route to CO2 reduction," said Greenwood.
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