Electric cars and climate change

Electrogenic is inspired by design and classic beauty, but one of its core motivators is the sheer waste in creating an electric fleet (good), while junking lots of vehicles that are on the road already (not good).Recycling is an age-old concept and up-cycling is a modern take on it – the concept of taking something worn out and giving it a whole new lease of life by updating and improving on the original.  Electrogenic’s favourite decades for classic beauty are the 1960s and 1970s (though see our 1952 Hudson Commodore…).  The average life of a car in the UK is 7.8 years (9.4 in continental Europe).  So Bertie, our 1963 Beetle has already avoided the production of seven new cars.  To be fair though, Bertie has not been used as much as a new car in recent years….until now.  Now that Bertie is reliable and can mix easily with modern traffic, he is a daily driver once again – so truly an alternative to buying a whole new vehicle.Exactly how much of a benefit to the environment is a difficult thing to calculate, but Carbon Brief has just given it an in-depth attempt.  Carbon Brief has issued a report with details of its analysis, which you can find here. www.carbonbrief.org

The report compares the greenhouse gas (carbon) emissions associated with the manufacture of fossil-fuelled and electric cars, as well as the carbon emissions associated with the fuel burnt.  For fossil-fuelled vehicles this includes the carbon emissions from the production of the fuel as well as burning it in the car engine, and for electricity it includes the average carbon emissions from electricity produced for the national grid.  It’s a really interesting analysis, and Electrogenic has reproduced and then adapted part of its conclusions in the graphic above.  It shows a number of things.  Emissions for driving a Nissan Leaf for example are higher in Germany than in the UK, because although the Germans have a lot of renewable energy, they also have lots of brown coal and no nuclear.

For an Electrogenic car, you avoid most of the emissions associated with the manufacture of a new vehicle.  Aside from the batteries, which of course are the same as for a new car, we just add a motor and some electronics – the rest of the car is already there.  And if you charge your Electrogenic from your solar roof, or you buy green energy, then your motoring emissions fall to zero (or close to it).  So the creation and use of a beautiful Electrogenic classic emits less than 20% of the greenhouse gasses of that boring new petrol car you were thinking of buying….

Electrogenic – saving the world, one car at a time