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March 24th, 2021:

Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?

American Energy Coalition - March 24th, 2021

“The Wall Street Journal enlisted the help of researchers at the University of Toronto to examine this question. We began by comparing the environmental impact of two popular cars that are best sellers in their categories: a midsize sedan that runs on electricity and a more lightweight compact SUV that uses gasoline”, recounts an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal.

“Distance driven: 0 miles:”

“Building both a Tesla Model 3 and a Toyota RAV4 generates several tons of greenhouse gas emissions to smelt the aluminum, manufacture the components and assemble the vehicle.”

“But building a Tesla actually generates more emissions because of the metals needed for its lithium-ion battery.”

“Before it rolls off the assembly line, the Tesla has generated 65% more emissions than the RAV4.”

“Distance driven: 5,000 miles:”

“Once they hit the road, the tables start to turn”, says the Journal article.

‘The RAV4 burns gasoline, which is refined from crude oil extracted from wells around the world. At 5,000 miles, the RAV4 also needs its first motor oil change.”

“The Tesla refills with electricity, and doesn’t need motor oil changes. Generating electricity creates emissions, but the U.S. grid is getting cleaner each year, burning less coal and using more renewables and natural gas.”

“Distance driven: 20,600 miles:”

“For every mile driven, generating the electricity for the Tesla emits 34% of the emissions associated with making and burning the gasoline consumed in the RAV4 engine.”

“At 20,600 miles, the greenhouse gas emissions from building and driving the two cars are roughly the same, according to the University of Toronto analysis.”

“Then the Tesla pulls ahead”, reports the WSJ.

“Distance driven: 36,000 miles:”

“By 36,000 miles, the length of the RAV4 basic warranty, the Model 3’s overall lifetime emissions are lower.”

“Emissions will vary based on where the Tesla is charged. The abundance of hydropower in the Pacific Northwest makes the electricity there cleaner. We used a national average for our calculations.”

“Distance driven: 100,000 miles:”

“By the century mark, the lifetime emissions of the RAV4 are 77% more than the Model 3.”

“Their consumer value remains somewhat similar. The total cost of buying a RAV4, filling it with gasoline, maintaining it and then reselling it at 100,000 miles nets out to $33,500, according to Consumer Reports. For the Model 3? A bit more at $34,800”, according to the Wall Street Journal story.

“Distance driven: 200,000 miles:”

“By the time we get to 200,000 miles, the lifespan of a typical car, the emissions comparison isn’t even close.”

“Building and operating the RAV4 has generated 78 tons of greenhouse gases. The Model 3 has generated less than half: 36 tons.”

“The Model 3 also comes out ahead in Consumer Reports’s total cost of ownership, at $49,800 to $51,000.”

“Distance driven: 200,000 miles:”

“That is the tale of two cars. But how do those numbers translate over the next few decades to the environmental impact of the entire U.S. fleet, currently more than 280 million light-duty vehicles?”

To read the original Wall Street Journal story, go to:

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