New study debunks lifecycle myths and points to even greater benefits in years ahead

One of the arguments levelled by critics of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is that they offer relatively few CO2 emission benefits, when taking into account the full lifecycle of the vehicle. This view, which fails to consider the nascent nature of today’s EV technology, is sometimes used to justify delays in the transition of company fleets to zero emission mobility.

But, thanks to a major new lifecycle analysis1 by the European Federation for Transport and Environment2, this notion can finally be put to rest. Not only are EVs found to be vastly more CO2 efficient than their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) counterparts across the entire lifecycle of the vehicle, in the decade ahead, they will be even more so.

The study considers not only the carbon intensity of the electricity used to charge an EV over its lifetime, but also the CO2 emissions associated with the production of the vehicles and their batteries. Additionally, it considers the impact of various scenarios associated with the decarbonisation of the electricity grid (i.e. the use of renewable energy such as wind and solar). In every case, the study finds that EVs significantly outperform their diesel and petrol equivalents.

For example, in the most unfavourable scenario, where an EV battery is produced in China and the EV is driven in Poland (a country with a coal-rich electricity grid), the EV still produces 22% fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle than a comparable vehicle running on diesel, and 28% fewer than one running on petrol. At the other end of the spectrum, where the EV battery is produced in Sweden and the EV is also driven in Sweden (a country with high levels of renewable energy in the electricity grid), the EV will produce 80% fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle than a diesel, and 81% fewer than one running on petrol.

What’s more, these CO2 efficiencies are set to increase significantly over the next decade. The graph below shows that CO2 emissions from EVs will be up to four times lower across the lifecycle by 2030, while comparable efficiencies made by diesel and petrol vehicles are likely to be minimal.

This evidence provides a sound basis for businesses to make informed decisions about their fleets’ transition to zero emission mobility, especially those that are committed to intensifying their focus on sustainability in the post-COVID economy.

There’s never been a better time to ‘future-proof’ your company’s fleet by accelerating EV adoption!

Source: European Federation for Transport and Environment

“The evidence is clear: today’s EVs will keep getting ‘cleaner’ throughout their lifetime due to the decarbonisation of the economy,” Lucien Mathieu, European Federation for Transport & Environment

Any questions?
Feel free to contact your regular LeasePlan representative. We will work with you to explore your particular situation and provide you with a tailor-made EV solution that fits your needs.


2 The European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E) is a non-profit, independent campaign group. Its aim is to understand the real impact of transport on the climate, environment and health based on robust science-based evidence.

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