Delighted to announce that we have renamed pGrid Limited as Tranzparent Limited.
Are electric cars the new 'diesel scandal' waiting to happen?
A recent article by Bjorn Lomborg makes the case for Hybrid vehicles instead of electric ones. In this short blog I will explain the problem with that proposition in isolation. Other commentators are making related points they say
- “Personal cars account for just 7 per cent of global emissions”
- “We should be targeting bigger emitters of CO2 such as industry, agriculture and electricity production”
- Apparently, the IEA found that hybrid cars save about the same amount of CO2 as electric cars over their lifetime. Moreover, they are already competitive with petrol cars price-wise — even without subsidies — and, crucially, they don’t have most of the electric car downsides like on street charging infrastructure.
Tranzparent is an organisation trying to de mystify the pathways proposed to Net Zero, we do not have an angle in this other than we are founded in science and engineering. We don’t like breaking the First Law of Thermodynamics for example in that energy cannot be created or destroyed. We will launch a web application service later this year aiming to make these pathway debates transparent.
We need to look at the big picture and then consider the claims made here about cars.
Firstly, society has accepted that the science tells us, and we can see on a daily basis, that climate change is here, and we have a finite amount of carbon that we can release before quite bad things happen. COP26 underlined this, targets are being set fast. Not everyone agrees with this point but importantly the vast majority do. Therefore, we at tranzparent do not debate this one, we don’t have time.
“Personal cars account for just 7 per cent of global emissions” – True but irrelevant
My toaster accounts for one grain of sand on a beach of emissions but it will need to be decarbonised like the cars. There are many areas of society that will be very hard to decarbonise, cement for roads for example. So where a decarbonisation pathway is affordable and EV’s are becoming so then it must be taken to leave time for cement to work a plan out.
“We should be targeting bigger emitters of CO2 such as industry, agriculture and electricity production” – we are doing this so see above
“hybrid cars save about the same amount of CO2 as electric cars over their lifetime” – prove it
This is the kind of statement that tranzparent would like to understand, I’ll list a few assumptions that are involved
- What level of renewable power did you assume in calculating emissions from an EV?
- How much of the embedded carbon in extracting, transporting and delivering oil based fuels did you assume?
- Given the carbon finite limit you must have removed the carbon from the hybrid car emission somehow – so how and at what cost?
We would invite the IEA to publish these assumptions they are not difficult to publish.