Could battery cars speed up the pace of global warming? That’s the unexpected twist to emerge from a new study that warns that electric vehicle technology is far more energy-demanding during production and can actually result in more CO2 emissions during operation than conventional vehicles.
The results of the new study could enflame the debate over the value of electric propulsion – and the costly subsidies that governments around the world are offering. On the other hand, proponents, including many environmental groups, contend the new report and similar previous studies, overstate the downside of battery power.
“Electric vehicles consistently perform worse or on par with modern internal combustion engine vehicles, despite virtually zero direct emissions during operation,” wrote co-author Anders Hammer Stronman, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.