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Discussion Starter #1
A search for “Life cycle” in this Forum didn’t bring up any results so a question.
Can anyone point me to an up to date report comparing life cycle costs (environmental and monetary) of a new EV versus a new ICE? With a new EV I know I’m going to have the inevitable discussions about environmental impacts of batteries versus oil. So forewarned is forearmed.
 

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Have a mooch around on the CleanTechnica website. I'm sure there's something there.

However I don't get involved in those pointless conversations which are driven by someone who assumes you are a tree hugging eco warrior and they can crush you by proving it runs on coal really.

I just say in response to whatever preposterous statement they are parroting "really? . I drive it because it's way better to drive than a petrol car, burns boy racers off at the lights and costs about 20% of a petrol car to run. "
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the various bits of info. Its quite good to get back to digging out and reading life cycle reports although my day job was for the built environment rather than vehicles.
There is an interesting report on life cycle of EVs versus ICE from the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA dated 2015. Generally, even with the relatively dirty USA electricity at that time, EVs were better than ICE vehicles on a life cycle basis. With cleaner grid electricity the advantage is getting better.
The full report is linked below and the Exec Summary is at
https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/defaul...er-Cars-from-Cradle-to-Grave-exec-summary.pdf
I've also found the average embodied CO2 per kWh for grid electricity in the USA was 0.439kgCO2/kWh in 2017 Assessing the evolution of power sector carbon intensity in the United States - IOPscience and the equivalent figure in 2018 for the UK was 0.281 kgCO2/kWh Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2018
The average for diesel is 2.65 kgCO2/litre on same basis from same UK report. So for my allegedly inefficient I-Pace at say 40kWh/100 miles thats about 11kg CO2 and a good diesel at say 60mpg thats about 20kg CO2. Lets ignore the other diesel emissions.
Of course if you have a fully green electricity tariff you could argue that you have near enough zero CO2 emissions depending on how you account for embodied CO2 in the transmission system and the actual power generation equipment.
 

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If you are in the UK, drving an EV is much cleaner than a combustion engine car. Remeber EVs don't emit NOx or CO.


The UK grid fuel mix is much cleaner than it was just 3 years ago. Coal plants are shutting down or converting to other fuels. Wind and solar are an increasing part of the energy mix. Another large off-shore wind farm just came on-line this week. THere is a thread on here somewhere

The UK grid gets almost no power from oil. There are(were) one or two oil fired plants that could be spun up in an emergency. We do get a tiny amount of power from diesel farms used to balance the grid.

FIrst quarter of 2018, the most recent reporting period:

Gas 36.3%. (CCGT)
Wind and Solar 19.2%
Nuclear 15.2%
Coal 8.3%
Bio. 6.2%.

The shift is dramatic. Coal was 28% Q1 2015

Electricity generation mix by quarter and fuel source (GB)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you are in the UK, drving an EV is much cleaner than a combustion engine car. Remeber EVs don't emit NOx or CO.


The UK grid fuel mix is much cleaner than it was just 3 years ago. Coal plants are shutting down or converting to other fuels. Wind and solar are an increasing part of the energy mix. Another large off-shore wind farm just came on-line this week. THere is a thread on here somewhere

The UK grid gets almost no power from oil. There are(were) one or two oil fired plants that could be spun up in an emergency. We do get a tiny amount of power from diesel farms used to balance the grid.

FIrst quarter of 2018, the most recent reporting period:

Gas 36.3%. (CCGT)
Wind and Solar 19.2%
Nuclear 15.2%
Coal 8.3%
Bio. 6.2%.

The shift is dramatic. Coal was 28% Q1 2015

Electricity generation mix by quarter and fuel source (GB)
Agreed.
Again from my world of the built environment, we can see the change in embodied carbon in electricity more than halving from that in SAP2012 https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/SAP/2012/SAP-2012_9-92.pdf and Table 12 page 225 (the answer is 0.519 kg CO2/kWh) to that being proposed for the next SAP (known as SAP10.0 - don't ask) which is 0.233 kgCO2/kWh in http://files.bregroup.com/SAP/SAP-10.0_24-07-2018.pdf on page 169, same table.
As you can imagine, this is likely to increase the use of electricity for heating and hot water as the emission factor for gas and electricity will be about the same per kWh although the cost isn't.
The differences in CO2 emissions for electricity in earlier post and this are due to different reporting conventions and time periods.
 

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As has been implied but not really directly stated - the nice thing about EVs is that they get "greener" as the grid CO2 intensity goes down (which is happening in most parts of the world).

Apart from a small improvement as the engine is initially "run in", any ICE only gets "dirtier" as it gets older and the ICE becomes less efficient (putting aside the small gains from "greening" of electricity used in FF production and distribution).

In fact, the CO2 intensity of fossil fuels overall increases as the years go by and less easily accessed resources are brought on-stream to maintain/expand oil production as "easily accessed" oil fields are depleted.
 
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Thanks for the various bits of info. Its quite good to get back to digging out and reading life cycle reports although my day job was for the built environment rather than vehicles.
There is an interesting report on life cycle of EVs versus ICE from the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA dated 2015. Generally, even with the relatively dirty USA electricity at that time, EVs were better than ICE vehicles on a life cycle basis. With cleaner grid electricity the advantage is getting better.
The full report is linked below and the Exec Summary is at
https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/defaul...er-Cars-from-Cradle-to-Grave-exec-summary.pdf
I've also found the average embodied CO2 per kWh for grid electricity in the USA was 0.439kgCO2/kWh in 2017 Assessing the evolution of power sector carbon intensity in the United States - IOPscience and the equivalent figure in 2018 for the UK was 0.281 kgCO2/kWh Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2018
The average for diesel is 2.65 kgCO2/litre on same basis from same UK report. So for my allegedly inefficient I-Pace at say 40kWh/100 miles thats about 11kg CO2 and a good diesel at say 60mpg thats about 20kg CO2. Lets ignore the other diesel emissions.
Of course if you have a fully green electricity tariff you could argue that you have near enough zero CO2 emissions depending on how you account for embodied CO2 in the transmission system and the actual power generation equipment.
The problem with all that is its all about CO2 which to me is a black hole of statistics.
In the meantime pretty much all our cities are at unsafe levels of NOx and CO. This is non disputable to all but the most moronic. There's no need to get into a global warming debate (the fall back even you "prove" EVs are better for CO2), its as simple as, the air we are breathing in is at poisonous levels from ICE which all of us are breathing in every day,. You dont even need a device to test it, you can taste it in the air sometimes.

Its getting bad enough even the Germans are waking up, even Frankfurt FFS is looking to ban all but the very newest diesels.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The problem with all that is its all about CO2 which to me is a black hole of statistics.
In the meantime pretty much all our cities are at unsafe levels of NOx and CO. This is non disputable to all but the most moronic. There's no need to get into a global warming debate (the fall back even you "prove" EVs are better for CO2), its as simple as, the air we are breathing in is at poisonous levels from ICE which all of us are breathing in every day,. You dont even need a device to test it, you can taste it in the air sometimes.

Its getting bad enough even the Germans are waking up, even Frankfurt FFS is looking to ban all but the very newest diesels.
There isn’t anyone sane who would argue that EVs don’t substantially solve the “point of use” pollution particularly in city centres.
I just have some argumentative friends who will focus on the other areas, hence the life cycle analysis question.
I’m pretty happy that the LCA data shows that the city centre benefits aren’t at the expense of either power station emissions or manufacturing costs.
And as said earlier, as the Grid gets cleaner so do the EVs.
It’s always good to know that the science and data backs up the beliefs. EVs as a religious belief isn’t really my thing :)
 
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