Cradle to Grave Comparison Between Battery Powered Electric Vehicles and Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles 10 Recent experience in the USA and Germany is that expensive attempts to electrify public transport has quickly resulted in fleet withdrawal³1. Following extensive research, the technology potential chart provides an indication of the potential use of battery power for a range of transport requirements. The immediate benefit of battery power for infrequent and short journeys is evident; but as the range, loading and frequency of journeys increases, the challenges mount. With care and careful planning though, that can often be managed – a family outing in the car would be the perfect example. But for commercial, haulage and public transport, the barriers are self-defeating from the outset. Above: Chart illustrating the technology potential of the utilisation of battery power for a range of transport requirements The CO ² Cost For Electric and Internal Combustion Powered Vehicles Manufacturing an average battery-powered electric car will create approximately 20 metric tonnes of CO ² compared to six tonnes for a midsized modern conventional ICE vehicle. If you divide that CO ² consumption over the realistic lifetime distance of 150,000 kilometres (for both battery and internal combustion powered vehicles), the figures show the battery-powered electric vehicle generates 130 grams per kilometre, and the internal combustion engine vehicle releases just 40 grams. If the life expectancy of the majority of conventional ICE cars is extended to the current UK average of 13.9 years, then that figure could theoretically be much less than 25 grams. For older vintage and veteran conventional vehicles, the figure is negligible as the CO² tariff from the point of manufacture will have been entirely paid off many years ago. We are constantly informed that batterypowered electric vehicles have zero emissions – even though it could take 70% more energy to construct than a much lighter conventional ICE vehicle of comparable size. The reality is that for each kilowatt hour of electricity generated in the UK, as much as 400 grams of CO ² are created, with an average of 188 grams depending on the energy source used to generate the power. A battery-powered electric vehicle that utilises a 100 kWh battery requires approximately 120 kilowatts to fully charge – but this only takes account of charging losses. There are another 25 kilograms of CO ² released at the power station, plus power transmission losses across the grid which can be as high as 59% of the original power output (although that could be as low as 34%). The overall efficiency of a battery-powered vehicle – from the power station to the wheels – could be as low as 59% of the original power output. This means that a 100kWh battery-powered vehicle actually requires 244 kWh to be generated at the power station rather than the 120 kWh noted above. When it comes to the carbon impact from a battery-powered EV, there is one important dimension which needs to be fully appreciated,