Lifecycle Analysis of Electric Vehicles: Determining Factors and Improvement Potential

  • Project Duration: 04/2018 - 04/2019

How much greenhouse gas emissions do electric vehicles produce throughout their entire lifecycles? How do their emission levels compare with conventional vehicles? What are the key factors determining their carbon footprint?

In recent years, numerous studies have compared the lifecycle emissions of electric and internal-combustion vehicles. While many conclude that electric vehicles produce fewer emissions than conventional models, others have argued that when viewed across their total lifecycle, electric vehicles are not that green after all. These contradictory findings have sown uncertainty among consumers and have stymied public debates in Germany about more climate friendly propulsion systems.

In an effort to bring clarity to this issue, Agora Verkehrswende commissioned the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) to analyse existing studies in this field and put them into context.  Drawing on expert evaluations and its own assessments, the study also identifies the main factors that influence the carbon footprint of electric vehicles and describes where there could be potential to improve it.

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