Cradle to Grave Comparison Between Battery Powered Electric Vehicles and Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles 8 to the UK, families and industry, rather than When considering the whole-life discharge gamble the future sustainability of the UK on of CO ² from cradle-to-grave, there are many unrealistic and unachievable aspirations. issues to take into account – from the mining of raw materials through to the holistic timeline These are not rooted in sound science, but in of manufacture, utilisation and disposal; unaffordable, aspirational technology that will the longevity of the vehicle in both mileage deny the right of access to personal transport and years-of-life also plays a crucial part in to all except the most affluent. determining the environmental impact of the vehicle. We conclude that the best possible case for battery-powered electric vehicles is still not Japanese research clearly shows the average good enough in comparison with internal life of an internal combustion-engined vehicle combustion engine vehicles. is around fourteen years be easily extended significantly in a relatively The electorate cannot be expected to continue cheap process. paying regressive subsidies to uneconomic renewable technologies that are unable By 2020, the average age of a car in the UK had to survive unaided. Some form of financial increased to 13.9 years as a direct consequence encouragement should be granted to extend of Government policy (including ‘scrappage’ of the life of internal combustion-engine perfectly serviceable older vehicles) to promote vehicles. a move away from fossil-fuelled transport to what have so far been considered more We have demonstrated that an extended “environmentally friendly” vehicles. But this life internal combustion-powered vehicle is policy comes from a misunderstanding of both the most ‘eco-friendly’ option, so financial the science and the economics associated with incentives to prolong their life cycle are road transport. entirely appropriate and economically offer an unrivalled option. If we are wrong and the There are more than six million cars in the UK technology behind Net Zero and the ambition which are over the average 13.9 year threshold, to replace fossil fuels is so good, then the and there are over a million historic vehicles Government should stop subsidising it at taxpayers’ expense. registered, with a supporting industry that is valued in excess of £19 billion per annum If the technology can really meet the demands Those six million vehicles will have ‘paid of society in availability, sustainability and off’ their CO² debt many years ago. By using price, it can stand alone without market them, drivers continue to make a significant distorting cash handouts to either the more contribution to the Treasury and they are affluent or corporate fleet-owners that cannot generally the most environmentally friendly be justified. vehicles on our roads. The life of a battery-powered electric vehicle CO2 and Vehicle cannot be extended in the same way as an internal combustion engine vehicle, because its Longevity longevity is governed by the durability of the battery. Our research shows the assessed lifetime difference between the CO² output from an The power density of batteries is currently very internal combustion-engined vehicle and a poor, and research indicates the majority of car battery-powered electric vehicle is negligible batteries will be damaged beyond repair within to non-existent, depending on the operating 200,000 miles²1&²2. Well before that, a battery environment and vehicle type. will have degraded to a point where it can