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From the fountain of knowledge which is Wikipedia I recently read;

In February 2014, the Automotive Science Group (ASG) published the result of a study conducted to assess the life-cycle of over 1,300 cars across 9 categories sold in North America. The study found that among advanced automotive technologies, the Nissan Leaf holds the smallest life-cycle environmental footprint of any model year 2014 cars available in the North American market with minimum 4 person occupancy. The study concluded that the increased environmental impacts of manufacturing the battery electric technology is more than offset with increased environmental performance during operational life. For the assessment, the study used the average electricity mix of the U.S. grid in 2014.

In December 2014, Nissan announced that Leaf owners have accumulated together 1 Billion Kilometres (625 million miles) driven. This amount of electric miles translates into avoiding 180 million kilograms of CO2 emissions by driving an electric car in comparison to travelling with a gasoline-powered car. In December 2016, Nissan reported that Leaf owners worldwide achieved the milestone of 3 billion Kilometres (1.9 billion miles) driven collectively through November 2016, saving nearly 500 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.


As I have heard arguments in the past about how bad battery technology is for the environment etc and how cleaner fabs run from renewables are reducing that I wondered where the general direction is going as Kw-h ratings of EV's are going up and up?
 

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Battery manufacture adds significantly to the carbon cost of production. So bigger battery means a BEV needs to do more miles before the reduced emissions from using it pay off the extra to manufacture it.

That said the electricity grid is decarbonising rapidly. So the in use emissions are much much lower than 2014, or even the reference I posted above.
This effect is very significant in the overall life cycle calculation. Especially true since BEVs are often charged off peak when grid carbon intensity is typically at its lowest.
 

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Battery manufacture adds significantly to the carbon cost of production. So bigger battery means a BEV needs to do more miles before the reduced emissions from using it pay off the extra to manufacture it.
This is why efficiency is king. Ever increasing battery sizes to meet ICE mind-set for 600 miles car is totally stupid. High speed efficiency is number 1, battery size, low speed efficiency, short journey efficiency are all secondary and doesn't really matter when you can plug-in at end of your journey.

Cars like Leaf 62kWh are totally pointless. They need to work on the shape of the car and the motor/inverter drivetrain to get best out of energy at motorway speeds.

To push this, I wish Formula E would stop giving everyone the same cars. They should only give everyone same battery, but decrease by a small percentage each year, yet everyone still has to race the same distance.
 

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I saw somewhere yesterday that UK National Grid plan to be carbon neutral by 2025. There was no reference cited for that however. If that’s true then it makes huge difference. That would reduce the break even points (from a carbon perspective) to more like 5-10k miles even with bigger batteries.

End to End Efficiency is what keeps Hydrogen back. It’s interesting from an energy density point of view but it takes way too much energy to produce and compress.
 
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