A recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur has called into question the widely held belief that electric cars are the most environmentally friendly option for the future of mobility.
The study, conducted in collaboration with a Japanese organization, focused on life cycle assessment (LCA) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of vehicles, comparing electric cars, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and cars with electric motors. conventional internal combustion.
Electric cars more harmful than Hybrid Cars
Contrary to popular belief, the study’s findings suggest that electric cars may not be as green as previously thought.
Professor Avinash Agarwal from IIT Kanpur, electric cars can emit 15-50% more greenhouse gases (GHGs) compared to other types of vehicles.
The study attributes this to India’s heavy reliance on coal-fired electricity, which contributes to higher carbon dioxide emissions during the charging process. As a result, the environmental benefits of electric cars are being questioned.
The study highlighted the higher costs associated with electric cars. When considering factors such as purchase, insurance and maintenance expenses, it was found that electric cars have costs per kilometer between 15 and 60% higher compared to hybrid and conventional vehicles. This cost disparity poses a significant challenge to the widespread adoption of electric cars, especially in developing countries where affordability is a critical factor.
Interestingly, the study suggests that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) emerge as the most environmentally beneficial option among the three vehicle categories analysed. HEVs were found to release the least amount of GHGs throughout their life cycle.
The study notes that the high taxes imposed on hybrid cars make it difficult for them to be used more widely. To promote cleaner technology, the report recommends equal taxation for hybrid and battery-powered vehicles.
EVs in India: Surprising Pollution
A study published in the journal Nature has sparked a debate by suggesting that electric vehicles (EVs) are not always as green as previously believed. Researchers, including those from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, conducted an analysis of 600 vehicles in India and found that electric vehicles can emit higher levels of pollutants compared to vehicles powered by internal combustion (IC) engines.
The study, which was a collaboration between Aramco, a Saudi Arabian oil company, and IIT Kanpur, has raised questions about potential bias and conflicts of interest. Since Aramco is involved in the production and distribution of petroleum-based fuels, some have speculated that the study may lean toward traditional internal combustion vehicles.
To clarify the matter, Aramco CTO Ahmad Al Khowaiter was interviewed to address concerns and provide insight into emissions differences between electric vehicles and internal combustion vehicles. While the study has generated controversy, it is crucial to critically assess the findings and consider various perspectives.
The study’s findings have sparked debates about the role of hybrid vehicles in achieving emission reductions in the short and medium term. It suggests that India, in particular, could benefit from the adoption of hybrid vehicles as a transition solution for faster environmental improvements.
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