The Volkswagen Group is betting on Electric Vehicles (EV’s), unveiling their plan to produce 29 million EV’s in the coming 9 years, whilst also announcing significant 2019 results.
Full disclosure… I drive an EV much to the amusement of my energy knowledgeable friends, who like to say: “you drive on coal now” (I charge at home and my utility promises me 100% wind power at a small premium).
Therefore, I would like to ask you to please help me put the debate on what has a lower carbon footprint, a Diesel or an Electric car, to bed. Before jumping to conclusions, it is not as clear-cut as you might think. The same Volkswagen Group estimated in 2019 that the carbon footprint of an E-Golf starts to be less than the carbon footprint of a Diesel only after 120,000km. This is mainly because of the battery production, which counts for 43% of the footprint.
Of course, this also depends on where the energy for charging the car comes from. The Volkswagen Group addressed this issue too. Hence my previously mentioned wind power contract.
When I am being made fun of, I start to stumble things like: “what about air pollution, and noise reduction”, and “battery production will become much more energy-efficient”.
Emissions Analytics, a consultancy, argues that hybrids are the best means for emission reduction and paving the way for EV’s, once battery supply chain issues have been alleviated.
Auke Hoekstra from TU Eindhoven comes to rescue.
There are reasons for a more optimistic perspective on EV’s, like the overestimation of battery production emissions and the underestimation of battery lifetime. Another thing to note is the importance of the energy mix, current and in the future. The French model, for example, includes a considerable amount of nuclear and hydro energy.
On the other hand, with high EV penetration will we have enough charging infrastructure? Will the grid cope? Or will peak renewables smartly be utilized to charge EV batteries collectively and become a virtual power plant?
Considering the EU automotive original equipment manufacturers are betting on EV, we will see a lot of them in the streets. What I want to know is how to stand my ground at these parties. Please do not tell me I need to go back to a mild hybrid.
Clean Tech Delta has knowledgeable members and partnerships. Should you have the final word on this, even if it does not support my case, please let us know.
There is a price.
Fred van Beuningen