Relative Pollution Levels of Diesel And Electric Cars


By Paul Homewood

Rwoollaston left this comment, so I’ll throw it open for discussion:

With the recent suggestion from Sir Paul Drayson that diesel cars should be subject to a scrappage scheme to encourage drivers to switch to electric or hybrid vehicles, I started to wonder what the emissions of an electric vehicle might be when power generation emissions are taken into account.

Coal is around 900Kg/Mwh, while gas is around 500. Then there is nuclear, and of course solar, wind and biomass account for around 25%. Lets be generous and assume that biomass is indeed carbon neutral.

Lets assume the average CO2 emissions from generating 1 Mwh is 500Kg (=500g/Kwh). The best power consumption figure I’ve seen is for a Nissan Leaf at 34Kwh/100 miles. This means that the Leaf would indirectly cause CO2 emissions of at least 106g/km. However any dramatic increase in electric vehicle usage is likely…

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