Electric cars are a better choice for the environment than combustion engines – this is now undisputed. However, buying a new electric car is not always the best choice. We reveal what you need to watch out for and what breakeven has to do with it.
This article is part of the GIGA theme week “Sustainability” from 5.6. until 11.6.2022. In the review article you can read what it is about and find other articles on the subject.
Anyone who drives an electric car is doing something good for the environment. There is something, but it is not so simple. A look at the CO₂ balance clearly shows that electric cars don’t emit harmful greenhouse gases, but they do. a lot of CO₂ has to be used in production – especially when it comes to the battery. The balance also deteriorates if the electric car is charged with electricity produced from fossil fuels.
Buying an electric car: when is the right time?
This has been and is used as an argument by opponents of electromobility, because although combustion engines emit CO₂ during operation, they cause fewer emissions during production. Overall, electric cars remain the best choice for the environmenttheir lifetime emissions are only half those of gasoline or diesel vehicles, as determined by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems Research and Innovation.
You can see what greenwashing is here:
But electric cars will only get better with time. The point of equality of thermal engines and electric vehicles in the CO₂ balance is sometimes reached break even called.
Among other things, the respective electric model and the electric mix with which an electric car is powered play a role. According to current studies, it takes a few thousand kilometers for electric cars to compensate for their production disadvantage in terms of CO₂ emissions: According to researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology drive electric cars after 11,000-30,000 km with less CO₂ than combustion engines (Source: Polarstern).
So if you’re mindful of the environment, you have several options: the older your petrol or diesel engine, the more sense it makes to consider an electric car when making your next purchase. The ideal would be to buy a used electric car, so to speak, already Everything is going well moves. But it’s hard to find one right now. If your combustion engine is still new, it may be too early to make the switch from an environmental point of view.
The decision also depends on how much you drive: Frequent drivers over 40,000 km per year land in the green in no time with an electric car – while your CO₂ footprint with petrol or diesel vehicles increases day by day. If you drive a new combustion engine less, you will only get to this point later. At 10,000 to 15,000 km per year, however, it could be that far in just a few years.
Energy efficiency and adapted car – more tips for future electric car drivers
If you opt for an electric vehicle and want to maintain a low CO₂ balance, there are a few things to consider:
- Sustainable electric mix: Green electricity makes sense for the climate, even if it can be a little more expensive. Of course, the ideal is to use as much electricity as possible from your own PV system, if you have one – in good weather the electric car charges practically free of charge.
- The right car: If you mainly drive around town or for short distances, you should opt for a compact electric car like the Honda E or Elektro-Smart. Because these have a smaller battery, the CO₂ footprint in production is significantly lower. A smaller battery also makes vehicles lighter and therefore more efficient. For occasional long trips, you can always rent a long-range electric car or, if necessary, a combustion engine.
- Note Cd value: The more aerodynamic an electric car is, the more efficiently the charging energy is used. It’s easy on the wallet and on the environment.
- Drive appropriately: Even though starting and accelerating with an electric car is a lot of fun, defensive driving and a high proportion of recuperation (using engine braking to recover energy instead of hard braking) should be standard in order to waste the less energy possible while driving.
You can generate solar energy yourself with a balcony power station:
Whether electric car or smartphone: more sustainability – also at GIGA
In principle, it is also sustainable products for long term use, instead of swapping them at close intervals. Buying a new smartphone, a gaming laptop or even an electric car without need can be economically interesting, for example if you get a good price. Maybe a repair would serve you just as well. Or you can wait a bit longer until the next new device is really needed.
Of course, this also applies to shoes, clothes or weekly shopping in the supermarket. Be sure to buy what you need and consume.