Cradle to Grave Comparison Between Battery Powered Electric Vehicles and Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles comparable modern conventional vehicle⁹. 4 the replacement battery simply does not arise: l We can also show that battery-powered replacement or repair of engines is well- electric vehicles do not have a lower CO ² proven so their life is readily extended until impact than internal combustion-powered the ultimate end-of-life recycling. vehicles. l Experience suggests that the CO2 l So, for this reason alone, pursuing the created in making and using a battery- electrification of everything – including road powered vehicle is unlikely to be ‘paid off’ transport – is a needless exercise that suggests in full over its lifetime, because its practical virtue signalling has greater relevance for the life is determined by the battery that has Government than the economic well-being of to be replaced at considerable financial and the nation. And this will harm energy security, environmental cost. One study estimated it by increasing our reliance on foreign energy would take up to 380,000 kilometres for a sources, as well as incurring vast expense. purely electric vehicle to break even with an internal combustion engine vehicle ⁷&⁸. l A battery-powered electric vehicle that has a 100 kilowatt hour (kWh) battery requires l Our research shows that manufacturing approximately 120 kilowatt hours to reach an average sized battery-powered electric the charging efficiency level of 83.3% – which vehicle creates approximately 20 tonnes of releases 25 kilograms of CO ² at the power CO2 compared to as little as six tonnes for a station, depending on what is used to generate the electricity. l Investigations show it is also a l Far greater CO ² output from the power station will occur if the source of power misconception to think that a battery-powered needed to ‘top up’ the gap at the grid is from electric vehicle requires only as much as one gas or coal. There’s potential for as much as third of the energy compared to the best fuel 20% power loss between the car’s battery and economy achieved by internal combustionthe wheels, which further raises the CO ² ‘cost’ engine vehicles. of the battery-powered vehicle. l If the CO ² used to manufacture an l Unless the always on-demand capacity electric car is divided equally over the of the National Grid is expanded by tens of distances travelled in its lifetime of, for gigawatts, there won’t be enough power to example, 150,000 kilometres - this shows that accommodate the proposed growth in battery- the battery-powered vehicle generates 130 powered electric vehicle ownership, if we grams of CO ² per kilometre. want to maintain anything like the current freedom of movement. l The same calculation for a comparable internal combustion-powered vehicle releases l The Cambridge University-led FIRES between 40 and 70 grams of manufacturing report Absolute Zero clearly stated that by emissions per kilometre throughout its 2050, the grid would only have 60% of the operational life; although this varies according capacity required if the current number of to the manufacturing and geographic location vehicles on the roads were all electric¹⁰. in which the vehicle operates. Comparing like-for-like demonstrates beyond doubt that l The costs of expanding the generating the CO2 ‘debt’ of the battery-powered vehicle capacity of the National Grid to include cannot be repaid within the lifetime of the local networks and charging points that can battery, as shown in Appendix 1, Table 1. accommodate the proposed volume of street and driveway parked battery-powered electric l In this review we can show that internal vehicles is astronomical¹1. combustion-powered vehicles require fewer resources and have a lower carbon impact l Very conservative estimates back in to build. So, on a cradle-to-grave basis, they 2019 considered the much-quoted £3 trillion to are far more sustainable to build and operate be a significant underestimate even then. It’s and are the most environmentally-considerate clear to us that Government estimates of the option during their extended lifetime on the likely capital and on-costs of grid expansion road. and the costs of trade-in of all thirty-five