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Gasoline and e-fuel better than e-cars?  Scientists have the answer

Gasoline and e-fuel better than e-cars? Scientists have the answer

Every kilometer avoided protects the environment, but if you need a car, an electric car is the best option.Image: Cornerstone

How climate friendly are electric cars really? This has been discussed for years. Key analysis now provides the answer.

Marcus Abrahamsik/T Online

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t online

Electric cars are better for the climate than cars with combustion engines – regardless of whether the electricity required is generated from fossil fuels or not. This one shows The current study was commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA).. The study primarily points to the higher energy efficiency of electric cars as a reason

Electric cars are significantly cleaner today

According to this, battery-powered cars are already on average 40 percent more climate friendly than petrol or diesel cars. Even synthetic fuels (e-fuels) cannot keep up: their production consumes a lot of energy and is therefore less environmentally friendly.

Not only cars were examined, but also light commercial vehicles and trucks weighing up to 40 tons. The result: even in larger vehicles, electric motors have clear advantages in terms of climate protection – even if these vehicles run on synthetic fuels. Many other studies have previously reached the same conclusion.

E-fuel has a poor energy balance

Comparing the efficiency of electric motor, hydrogen (fuel cell) and e-fuel (synthetic fuel) with 100 percent green electricity per 100 kilometers driven.

Comparing the efficiency of electric motor, hydrogen (fuel cell) and e-fuel (synthetic fuel) with 100 percent green electricity per 100 kilometers driven. Image: Swiss Movement

The new study was conducted as part of a large-scale three-year project at the Institute for Energy and Environment Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg.

“Battery production has become more climate-friendly on average in recent years.” He said Study leader Kirsten Beeman from Frankfurter Rundschau. In addition, the environmental balance of batteries could be improved, for example “through cell production in Europe and the use of innovative cell technologies with higher energy densities.” Using old car batteries to store electricity at home also improves your environmental balance.

Demand for combustion engines puts environmental impact at risk

However, the study also warns: If many cars with combustion engines, which may be newly registered, continue to be sold in the EU until 2035, the CO2 savings generated by electric cars could be at risk.

What also plays a role in this assessment is that green synthetic fuels will likely remain scarce and expensive for a long time. According to Beaman, it would be more realistic to make the electricity mix carbon dioxide-neutral more quickly – something electric cars would directly benefit from.

By the way: The environmental impact of car batteries is also better than often claimed. According to the study, it is only responsible for 15 to 20 percent of the total climate impact of an electric vehicle. In addition, current trends indicate that battery production will become more environmentally friendly in the future. Today's lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are more environmentally friendly than conventional lithium-ion batteries because they do not contain cobalt and have a longer service life. Future sodium-ion batteries will be more resource efficient.

The research team also emphasizes that in addition to expanding electric mobility, avoiding traffic is also important for climate protection: every kilometer avoided protects the environment.

Federal Environment Agency head Dirk Messner therefore calls for additional measures to promote electric cars: “In order to be able to achieve the federal government's target of 15 million electric cars in Germany by 2030, additional measures are necessary in the short term.”

Careful use of renewable resources and energies is also crucial to the so-called driving transformation: “Instead of ever larger and heavier cars, these need to be significantly more efficient and resource-efficient,” says Messner.

The 20 best-selling electric cars in Switzerland in 2023


The 20 best-selling electric cars in Switzerland in 2023

20th: BMW i4 (658 sales).

Source: BMW

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