My comments to “Are Electric Cars Really Green?”

[This is a draft, and slight changes might occur before final version]

“Are Electric Cars Really Green?”, that is the title on a video released by Bjorn Lomborg. Bjorn has his own reasons to take a rigid stand against everything that contests the blessings of fossil fuels [Spoiler Alert: he doesn’t like electric cars very much].

I had no interest in watching Bjorn’s video, but due to special circumstances (more on that in another post), I found myself wasting minutes of my life watching a YouTube-video (I kind of often find myself in that situation though…); this time on the perils of electric cars.

Since I already saw the video, I might as well share some observations. Here we go:

Lomborg starts with clarifying which base group he is pandering to in this video. Hint: It is not ‘Obama Lovers’.

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Screenshot from Lomborgs video.

 

It is hard to see the relevance of using a reference to President Obama here. Well, it might make sense, IF you are into the whole conspiracy mind-set and think that Obama is a secret jihadist conspiring to use a climate hoax to undermine the sovereignty of USA. On a second thought – it doesn’t really make any sense. But it gets even weirder:

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What the heck – Leonardo DiCaprio?!? Is he a climate-jihadist too? Who would have thunk it – it is mighty good we have Mr. Lomborg in the know…

 

the reason a large share of the total CO2 comes from production, is mostly due to the fact that the total emission is very low.

The video moves on to state that “More than a 1/3 of the lifetime CO2-emissions form an ELECTRIC CAR comes from the energy used to make the car itself”

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Lomborg is trying to scare you with ‘1/3’.

This is taken as an argument against the electric vehicle (EV). But, as Lomborg surely knows, the reason a large share of the total CO2 comes from production, is mostly due to the fact that the total emission is very low.

This figure might clear the fog:

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Comparison of vehicle lifetime carbon emissions (t CO2e) between a petrol and an electric vehicle. Blue area represents CO2 emissions from the energy used to make the car. Orange area represents CO2-emissions from using the car. Data are typical for ‘small family vehicle’: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Shades-of-Green-Full-Report.pdf

 

The figure above is a comparison of a petrol car and an EV. From these rough numbers, we see that about 1/10 of lifetime emissions from a petrol car comes from the energy used to make the car itself. The equivalent number for a typical EV is 1/3.

Note that in the relative scope of total emissions, the emissions from manufacturing are comparable in size (8 vs. 10.5 t CO2 respectively, Wilson, 2013). The reason ~30% of electric vehicle carbon emissions comes from production, is due to the fact that the total lifetime emission is low.

While it is true that 1/3 is larger than 1/10, the way Lomborg describes this, it sounds like we should be worried that the number is so high for the EV.  But this is just Lomborg being manipulative, because low emissions from driving the car, which is a good thing, will inflate Lomborg’s ‘scary high’ number. A high number could be, and in this case it is, a good thing.

Lomborg is right…, well at least he is not making a false statement…, ok – he is using a deceitful pretence.

In Lomborg’s defense, it should be noted that he has a difficult task. He is determined to persuade the public that EVs are bad. He has to use anything that differs between fossil cars and EVs to validate his unyielding devotion to fossil fuels (or at least the money deriving therefrom).

Take, for instance, the next statement in the video: ‘Lithium mining is NOT a GREEN activity’.

Figure 3: True, battery Lithium is not ‘green’ per se, but is has less environmental impact than for example Aluminium. Of course, Aluminium is also present in ordinary cars, so it wouldn’t work so well for EV-bashing. http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-01/documents/lithium_batteries_lca.pdf
Figure 3: True, battery Lithium is not ‘green’ per se, but is has less environmental impact than for example Aluminium. Of course, Aluminium is also present in ordinary cars, so it wouldn’t work so well for EV-bashing. http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-01/documents/lithium_batteries_lca.pdf

 

To underline his point there is even a (melo-)dramatic ominously ‘skull and bones’ rising behind the text.

Lomborg is right…, well at least he is not making a false statement…, ok – he is using a deceitful pretence.

There is currently no shortage of lithium. It even seems like it will be possible to extract lithium from sea water in the near future (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538036/quest-to-mine-seawater-for-lithium-advances/).

Lithium is less problematic that for example aluminium (http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-01/documents/lithium_batteries_lca.pdf). So why doesn’t Lomborg use Aluminium instead? Because Aluminium is also used in conventional cars – and his mission is to bash EVs.

He has to find something which is used almost solely in electric cars – and if there are no problems with the things he finds, he can always claim that the specific thing is ‘not green’. It is not directly a lie, but it is disingenuous.

No matter how Lomborg manipulates the data, he cannot escape the fact that, both in U.S. and EU, an EV has lower lifetime emission than a similar sized fossil car.

Lomborg moves to, once again (remember the ‘1/3!!’), state that it takes more energy to produce an EV than an equivalent fossil car.

Figure 4: The figures are difficult to validate, because there is no reference offered, and a large body of literature on the subject and many numbers are flowing around. According to Wilson (2013) a ‘reasonable’ figure would be 8 t CO2e and 10.5 t CO2e (17637 lbs and 23149 lbs) for petrol and electric cars, respectively.
The figures are difficult to validate, because there is no reference offered. There is a large body of literature on the subject and many numbers are flowing around. According to Wilson (2013) a ‘reasonable’ figure would be 8 t CO2e and 10.5 t CO2e (17637 lbs and 23149 lbs) for petrol and electric cars, respectively.

 

But three things should be noted:

1) It is the vehicle lifetime emissions that really matters (see discussion above);

2) The share CO2-intensive coal in the energy mix is declining both in the US and in Europe. Consequently, the emissions from production of the cars are declining accordingly and with it the relevance of energy cost of production; But unlike EVs, fossil cars will always produce CO2 from the use phase (that is, when someone drives them).

3) The reason electric car production is relatively energy intensive, is due to the processing/refining of raw Lithium for the battery. But, as production efficiency and recycling of batteries goes up the total emissions from EV-production declines.

Tesla’s Gigafactory expect to begin battery production in 2017 and when the factory reaches maximum capacity, it will produce more batteries in one year than produced worldwide in 2013. The Gigafactory will be powered by renewable energy – dramatically reducing the emissions from electric car production. https://www.teslamotors.com/gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory

No matter how Lomborg manipulates the data, he cannot escape the fact that, both in U.S. and EU, an EV has lower lifetime emission than a similar sized fossil car. And the difference will only get better in favour of the EV as coal is removed from the energy mix.

Back in 2011 Vinod Khosla said that “Electric cars are coal-powered cars”. But he was wrong then, and his quote is even further from the truth today.

It doesn’t help that Lomborg pulls out a quote from something Vinod Khosla said back in 2011: “Electric cars are coal-powered cars”. The original quote continues “Most electricity in USA and Europe is generated using coal-fired power plants”.

Figure 5: Back in 2011 Vinod Khosla actually said that “Electric cars are coal-powered cars”. But he was wrong then, and his quote is even further from the truth today.
Back in 2011 Vinod Khosla said that “Electric cars are coal-powered cars”. But he was wrong then, and his quote is even further from the truth today.

 

Just because someone says something, it is not necessarily true.  Lomborg uses Vinod Khosla’s quote again later in the video – and Lomborg has used Khosla’s quote numerous times in various settings. Since Lomborg relies so much on Vinod Khosla’s quote, he surely has fact-checked the quote, and found it valid.

So is it true that “Most electricity in USA and Europe is generated using coal-fired power plants”?

Luckily it is easy to check.

According to ‘Annual Energy Review 2011’, from U.S Energy Information Administration, coal generated less than half the electricity in 2011, and the share of coal in electricity production has steadily declined since then.

For Europe only 26% of electricity was produced from coal in 2011 – and yes, the number has declined ever since. http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Screen-shot-2012-02-10-at-10.31.32-AM1.png

So, Vinod Khosla was wrong in 2011 and his quote is even further from the truth today.

The question is then, did Lomborg never fact check his pet-quote (that would be stupid) – or did he find the quote was untruthful, but gambled that no one would notice (that would be dishonest)?

The fact is, that The US Department of Energy has assessed exactly how an EV stacks up against a gas car in any zip code in the country. With the US national average energy mix an EV emits only ~60% of a gas car’s emission overall. In ‘greener’ states, an EV’s well-to-wheel emissions is a quarter than that of a gas car. Even in heavy coal states, like Colorado, EV’s still emits significantly less CO2 than a gas car (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/).

 

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The official U.S. government calculator for fuel economy information. Here, a Tesla 85D in coal dependant Colorado.

 

 

Because energy production is more efficient in a power plant than it is in a car engine, even a car running purely on coal-generated electricity would be a significantly cleaner than the average U.S. petrol car (http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html).

“Hot explosions in cylinders pushing pistons back and forth to force metal bars to turn wheels and sending the resulting smoke billowing out of a pipe” sounds like an old-fashioned technology, and it’s just very odd that we’re still using it today. – waitbutwhy.com

Burning fossil fuel in a car engine waste more than 75% of the energy, which is dissipated as heat. A power plant is about three times more efficient than an internal combustion engine, and the heat generated is not necessarily lost, but could be used for other purposes – for example residential heating.

 

The actual difference in lifetime emissions between Tesla 85D and AUDI A7 Quattro is NOT 3-5 tons CO2 but rather a whopping 16 to 49 tons CO2.

Lomborg continues to misinform in his video, which is beginning to look like a parallel to similar ‘information’-videos from ‘flat-earthers’ (seriously, there is a relatively large group of people who feverishly argument that the earth is flat!)  or moon-landing deniers (that is a thing too…). Here are excerpts from his comparison of lifetime emissions:

Figure 7: According to US Department of Energy, the Nissan Leaf, driven 90,000 miles, has an emission impact in the range of 7.2 to 23.4 metric tons CO2, depending on which state you live in. I Europe the numbers would look even better for the EV. Only Bjorn knows how he arrived at an average of 31 metric tons of CO2 for the Leaf… http://www.fueleconomy.gov/
According to US Department of Energy, the Nissan Leaf, driven 90,000 miles, has an emission impact in the range of 7.2 to 23.4 metric tons CO2, depending on which state you live in. I Europe the numbers would look even better for the EV. Only Bjorn knows how he arrived at an average of 31 metric tons of CO2 for the Leaf… http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

 

First of all, why ‘its 90,000 mile lifetime’? The average U.S. car on the road is about 11 years old, and the average car is driven about 15,000 miles per year. Multiply those figures together and you’ve got an average car lifespan mileage around 165,000 miles. In the video, Lomborg himself cites a paper that use an EV battery life assumption of 160,000 miles. Other sources points out that the average lifetime of a modern vehicle is closer to 200,000 miles (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/automobiles/as-cars-are-kept-longer-200000-is-new-100000.html)

Of course, faking a short lifetime milage minimizes the difference in lifetime emissions between fossil and electric vehicles. Lomborg is not going to let facts or rationality obstruct his EV-bashing mission.

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Lomborg doesn’t explain how he arrived at the 49 tons CO2 for the AUDI A7. Let’s try to repeat the calculation.

According to the official fuel emission calculator from ‘U.S. Department of Energy, this AUDI model has a tailpipe/upstream emission of 444 grams CO2 per mile. Multiplied this with 165,000 miles and we get 73 tons of CO2. Then we add the 9 tons CO2 from production and our estimate arrives at 82 tons lifetime CO2 emission from the Audi A7 Quattro.

The same calculation and again using official data from ‘U.S. Department of Energy’ for a Tesla Model S 85D estimates a lifetime emission of 33 to 66 tons CO2 for New York (relatively ‘green’ state) and Colorado (not so much ‘green’), respectively.

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The actual difference in lifetime emissions between Tesla 85D and AUDI A7 Quattro is NOT 3-5 tons CO2 but rather a whopping 16 to 49 tons CO2.

The actual difference in lifetime emissions between Tesla 85D and AUDI A7 Quattro is NOT 3-5 tons CO2 but rather a whopping 16 to 49 tons CO2.

Using the average energy mix in the U.S. the difference in lifetime emissions between a fossil and an EV lands at 34 tons CO2, and that number will only increase as the energy mix is getting greener.

To get numbers that are somewhat within the range of Lomborg’s estimate, you would have to assume that you live in the most extreme coal dependent US state, AND you scrape your car after just 90,000 miles, AND the car is not recycled. With these worst case assumptions, our estimate on lifetime emission difference is about 8 tons CO2 – still more that 50% higher than Lomborg’s number

Here we haven’t even taken into account that fossil fuel cars are consuming more fuel in ‘real-life’ conditions than the official figures indicate.

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The study concludes that the divergence between real-world and official CO2 values of new cars increased from about 8 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2014 (http://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/ICCT_Real-worldFC-EUcars_28122015.pdf)

 

A report from ICCT (theicct.org) based on consumption values from ~600,000 cars, concludes that ‘that the divergence between real-world and official CO2 values of new cars increased from about 8 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2014

Since Lomborg so meticulously mentions anything that can be used against EVs, it would be honest of him to mention the gap between official and real world data on fossil cars.

Wrong on so many levels.

Lomborg pulls another stunt in the video, which proves that Lomborg won’t allow himself to be be dissuaded by logic or reason.

This is so absurd, that it would be funny - if the backdrop wasn't so dire.
This is so absurd, that it would be funny – if the backdrop wasn’t so dire.

 

Lomborg compares the artificial European Trading System (ETS) permit price with the costs of saving CO2 emissions from driving an EV. But that kind reasoning is wrong on so many levels.

We have already established, that the Tesla/AUDI difference in CO2 emissions is far greater than Lomborg’s 5 tons CO2. But that is not the most foolish issue here.

Lomborg states that ‘In Europe, on its European Trading System, it currently costs $7 to cut one ton of CO2’. That statement is outrageously stupid and a gross misunderstanding of what the European Trading System does.

ETS allows companies to buy and sell CO2 emission allowances. The permits are in surplus and given out for free, thus the low price, and there is a general understanding that ETS has not produced any result in lowering CO2 emissions.

Over time, the total number of ETS emission allowances will be reduced, and it is expected this will increase the price of emission allowances, which again will be an incentive for companies to invest in emission-saving projects. There are huge disagreements whether ETS eventually will work as intended or not.

It is not, never has been, and never will be, possible to pay ETS to ‘cut one ton of CO2’. You can only buy or sell an allowance to emit more CO2 than your given quota. https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/understanding-european-unions-emissions-trading-system

Yes, ‘Paying $7,500 for something you could get for $35 is a very poor deal’, but it is also ‘poor’ to make absolutely absurd statements.

It is hard to tell, whether Lomborg simply doesn’t understand ETS or he deliberately tries to mislead the public with his false statements.

Renewable energy subsidies are dwarfed by fossil fuels subsidies.

The benefits of electric cars are not limited to reduced CO2 emissions. For example, if a large share of cars were electric, it would potentially:

  • Buffer the balance of electricity production/demand, which reduces the need for idle backup power stations.
  • Improve air quality of large cities. Even in a clean city like Norways capital Oslo, the life expectancy is reduced by 6 months due to poor air quality.
  • Lessen the dependence of imported fossil fuels.

 

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Electric vehicles receives incentives

 

Even though Lomborg does not like it, there are many reasons, both social and economic, why incentives to accelerate the use of electric cars are beneficial for a nation.

Of course, Lomborg makes a point of ‘the billions’ subsidies. But Lomborg fails to mention, that the subsidies to green technology are dwarfed by subsidies to fossil fuels.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF, which is not known to be ‘green-biased’) recently made an estimate of fossil fuel subsidies – and the findings was, according to IMF, ‘shocking’.

Fossil fuel companies are getting $5.3 tn every year. That number is so high it is hard to imagine. It is comparable to $10 million every minute(!), every day of the year. $5.3 tn is more than the costs of total spending on the health sector, not just in the U.S., but the total spending of all world’s governments’ combined!

Renewable energy subsidies are dwarfed by fossil fuels subsidies.
Renewable energy subsidies are dwarfed by fossil fuels subsidies.

 

Since Lomborg is up in arms about the relatively small subsidies to EVs – it would have been honest of him to mention the gigantic fossil fuel subsidies as well.

 

when you think that he has no decency left to lose, no cynical manipulation left to explore…

Lomborg has misrepresented the facts and manipulated numbers to fit his agenda. But just as you thought that he couldn’t sink any lower; when you think that he has no decency left to lose, no cynical manipulation left to explore…., then Lomborg comes up with this:

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This statement is simply below any kind of decency.

“TWICH AS MANY DEATHS” due to electric vehicles – that is a shocking announcement. If it is true, then we should end all electric vehicle production instantly and replace all existing EVs with petrol/diesel cars – for the sake of our own survival! Really a ground breaking statement.

According to Lomborg, the argument goes like this:

  • If the U.S has 10% more gasoline cars in 2020, 870 more people will die from the additional air pollution.
  • If the U.S. has 10% more electric vehicles 1,617 more people will die every year from the additional air pollution.
  • 1617 dead people is about twice as many as 870 dead people. Thus, “TWICE AS MANY DEATHS!!!!”.

Where to begin… Personal note: Sometimes when dealing with drivel like this, I just feel like a want to puke into my laptop and go play with my kids in the garden instead. Then I remember, that kids have to live in the future we create now….

Ok, where to begin…

Figure 12: the study Lomborg refers to here, does not use “10% more EVs in 2020”. The article’s grid average ‘assumes a 2020 scenario, in which 10% of national miles driven are electric, powered by a 45% coal grid’. To get 10% electric miles requires not 10%, but 800% increase in the electric car fleet.
Figure 12: the study Lomborg refers to here, does not use “10% more EVs in 2020”. The article’s grid average ‘assumes a 2020 scenario, in which 10% of national miles driven are electric, powered by a 45% coal grid’. To get 10% electric miles requires not 10%, but 800% increase in the electric car fleet.

 

 

Firstly, Lomborg has misunderstood the basic premise for the whole study. The study Lomborg refers to here, does not use “10% more EVs in 2020”. The article’s grid average ‘assumes a 2020 scenario, in which 10% of national miles driven are electric, powered by a 45% coal grid’ (http://www.pnas.org/content/111/52/18490.full.pdf)

To get 10% electric miles requires not 10%, but 800% increase in the electric car fleet. Someone tell Lomborg to read the studies he refers to. At least when he uses the study to make outrageous claims.

10% or 800% why does it matter? It matters because it takes the unrealistic assumptions of 30,000,000 vehicles powered by powered by a 45% coal grid to get the 747 extra deaths (1670 – 870 deaths) from air pollution. Currently United States coal fraction is 38% and declining fast.

Using real world coal fraction values would most certainly tip the scale in favour of the EV. But the difference would still be so small, compared to the total deaths, that it would also be meaningless to use it as an argument for the EV.

Throughout the United States, air pollution causes about 200.000 early deaths each year, but the number is highly uncertain. A study from MIT found that the actual number of deaths from air pollution is within the range of 90,000–362,000 (90% C.I.). That is an ‘uncertainty span’ of 272,000 deaths. The 747 theoretic extra deaths from EV air pollution in 2020 does not have any statistical significance. The number simply drowns in the ‘uncertainty span’.

The population of the U.S. is 320,000,000  and a change that can be counted in the hundreds is the same as no change. The number is so minescule, relatively speaking, that it carries no meaningful consequense; it would be immeasurable.  The number definitely cannot be used to make statements like “Twice as many deaths”. Lomborg knows this. Stating “Twice as many deaths” anyway, is simply cynical manipulation taken to the extreme.

It is not uncommon or malpractice for a scientific study to make unrealistic assumptions to study a trends, as long as the assumptions are taken into account in the discussion of the result and the formulation of the conclusion.

It is malpractice though, to do like Lomborg and pick some numbers from the context of a larger study and present those numbers as the conclusion of the study.

Compare Lomborg’s “TWICE AS MANY DEATHS” to the conclusion of the actual study:

Consideration of potential climate change impacts alongside the human health outcomes described here further reinforces the environmental preferability of EVs powered by low-emitting electricity relative to gasoline vehicles.” (my underlining) (http://www.pnas.org/content/111/52/18490.full.pdf)

Lomborgs twisting of the study result, has led to the critique of the original authors, that they let their study open to misrepresentation. http://www.pnas.org/content/112/30/E3973.full

 

Figure 13: Assaf P. Oron points out that the findings of the study has been misinterpreted in the media by Bjorn Lomborg.
Assaf P. Oron points out that the findings of the study has been misinterpreted in the media by Bjorn Lomborg.

 

The critique has led the authors to underline and repeat their conclusion from their report:

EVs present an opportunity – the only opportunity we found in the scenarios we analysed – to substantially decrease the health damages from our transportation system”.   http://www.pnas.org/content/112/30/E3974.full

In other words;

Study concludes: “Going electric is the only way to decrease health damages from cars”
– which is quite the opposite of:  “EVs KILLS TWICE AS MANY”.

Study conclusion compared to Lomborgs take away from same study
Study conclusion compared to Lomborgs take away from same study

 

Even in the heaviest coal states, like Colorado, EVs cause significantly less CO2 emissions than a gas car – and the number will only get better.

Lomborgs last attempt to undermine the benefits of electric cars is to state that not much of the total electricity is renewable anyway, so why bother.

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Sources of electricity production

 

I guess that Lomborg, like most people, agree that we need to reduce CO2 emissions. 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions comes from the transportation sector. The only way to get an emission free transportation sector is to make it electric. http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources/transportation.html.

And, because petrol and diesel engines are so inefficient and wasteful, it still makes sense to electrify the transportation sector. Even in the heaviest coal states, like Colorado, EVs cause significantly less CO2 emissions than a gas car – and the number will only get better.

Lomborg probably knows that EVs have less CO2 emission even with today’s energy mix, but he makes these manipulative statements anyway. Let Lomborg himself sum up some of the lies and misrepresentations from this video:

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Lomborg mentiones some of his lies from the video.

 

If you have read this far, it should be clear that Lomborg and his statements are not trustworthy, but rather manipulative and unscrupulous deceitful.

Why does it seem like Lomborg could BE PLOTTING A MULTI-DOLLAR ASSAULT ON ELECTRIC VEHICLES?

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Oil is the core of the Koch business empire, and the company’s lobbyists and officials have successfully fought to defeat attempts by Congress to regulate greenhouse gases. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/koch-electric-vehicles_us_56c4d63ce4b0b40245c8cbf6 http://www.publicintegrity.org/2011/04/06/3936/kochs-web-influence?utm_source=publicintegrity&utm_medium=social_media&utm_campaign=twitter

 

Are somebody paying Lomborg to CAMPAIGN AGAINST ELECTRIC CARS?

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http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/koch-brothers-lobby-against-electric-cars/

 

No, it is impossible to believe that Lomborg would risk a future climate catastrophe just to get some extra cash. It is not like he needs money. After all, his nonprofit ‘Copenhagen Consensus Center’ pays Lomborg a decent salery ($775,000 in 2012) and the millions keep rolling in…. hey – wait a minute…

 

 

Registreringsafgift baseret på CO2-udslip

Der er mange grunde til at fortsat fritage elbiler for afgifter, men hvis man absolut skal indføre afgifter på elbiler, så bør afgiftssystemet virke hensigtsmæssig og relateres direkte til CO2-udslip.

Dansk afgift på biler er differentieret efter CO2-udledningen. Dette system blev indført i 2007 for at fremme køb af biler med lavt CO2-udslip. Det nuværende forslag til indførelse af afgift på elbiler er baseret på energiforbrug pr. kilometer som igen omregnes til et fiktivt brændstofforbrug.

Men det er ikke energiforbruget i sig selv, som skal reguleres af afgiften, men rettere CO2-udslippet, der skal reduceres. Derfor vil det være naturlig, at fortsat bruge tal på CO2-udslip som basis for registreringsafgiften.

Elbiler har ikke noget CO2-udslip når den oplagrede energi forbruges. Men produktionen af strøm er ikke CO2-neutral. Energinet.dk har oplyst en livscyklus (LCA) baseret deklaration for CO2-emission ved forbrug af 1 kWh el i 2014 på 298 g/kWh1.

Tabel 1 viser CO2 emission pr. km for forskellige elbil-modeller. Tallene er hentet fra U.S. Department of Energy (EPA)2.

Tabel 1: Energiforbrug og tilhørende CO2-udledning fra elbiler.
Tabel 1: Energiforbrug og tilhørende CO2-udledning fra elbiler.

For at sammenligne elbiler med biler, som kører på fossilt brændstof (fossilbiler) skal man, som med elbiler, se på CO2-udledning ved produktion og forbrug af den energi der bruges til transporten.

Produktionen af benzin er ikke CO2-neutral. Ifølge EU’s Joint Research Center (JRC) rapport om persontrafik, medfører produktion af en liter benzin et udslip på 422,8 gram CO24. For VW ’up! ’ (69 hk), som kører 24,4 km/l benzin, betyder dette et udslip på 17,33 gram CO2/km.

I modsætning til elbiler har fossilbiler også et CO2-udslip når den oplagrede energi forbruges. Ifølge de officielle tal fra VW har modellen ’up!’ et forbrugsudslip på 95 gram CO2/km3.

I alt udleder en VW ’up!’ 112 gram CO2/km.

VW ’up!’ er en af de mest benzinøkonomiske biler i Danmark og følgelig er registreringsafgiften tilsvarende lav. Alligevel har VW ’up!’ en CO2-udledning, som er over 80% højere end Tesla S70D.

VW up! er en populær og meget benzinøkonomisk bil, som udleder 80% mere CO2/km end f.eks. Tesla S70D.
VW up! er en populær og meget benzinøkonomisk bil, som udleder 80% mere CO2/km end f.eks. Tesla S70D.

 

Danmark har officielt et mål om at reducere CO2-udslip fra transportsektoren og registreringsafgiften bør fortsat differentieres i forhold til dette.

Eksemplet herover viser, at selv en Tesla S70D, med et relativt højt elforbrug, har betydelig lavere CO2-udslip end den meget benzinøkonomiske VW ’up!’. Det betyder, at registreringsafgiften på denne Tesla-model ikke skal overstige samme afgift på den mere forurenende VW ’up!’.

Der er mange grunde til at fortsat fritage elbiler for afgifter, men hvis man absolut skal indføre afgifter på elbiler, så bør afgiftssystemet virke hensigtsmæssig og relateres direkte til CO2-udslip.

– Søren Larsen.