Electric Vehicles May Not Be as Green as Many People Think

24/7 Wall St.

electric carElectric vehicles, whether all-electric or hybrid, enjoy subsidies and incentives in nearly every country where they are sold because they are widely believed to reduce carbon emissions by enough to justify the costs of those subsidies. But that assessment may not be true.

In an article in IEEE Spectrum magazine, a visiting scholar at the University of California-Berkeley says that moving from fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) “begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another.” That’s certainly not what the doctor ordered.

Part of the problem is that industry-sponsored university research into EVs often don’t ask the right questions. A research proposal on the efficacy of electric vehicles is far more likely to be funded than is a proposal to study the effects of reducing the weight of an EV by using aluminum rather than steel. Aluminum requires far more…

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