Skip to main content

A fact-finding mission on EV emissions

Given the dominance of coal in China’s energy mix, a medium-sized electric vehicle (EV) produced there currently starts life with a “carbon debt” almost twice that of an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. However, the greater efficiency of EV motors relative to ICEs means that a Chinese-made EV will emit less than two thirds as much CO2 over its lifetime than a petrol-powered equivalent – even if charged using electricity from a coal-heavy power grid. And crucially, the calculus will shift further towards EVs over time as power grids become greener and the recycling of battery metals gathers pace.

Become a client to read more

This is premium content that requires an active Capital Economics subscription to view.

Already have an account?

You may already have access to this premium content as part of a paid subscription.

Sign in to read the content in full or get details of how you can access it

Register for free

Sign up for a free account to gain:

  • Unlock additional content
  • Register for Capital Economics events
  • Receive email updates and economist-curated newsletters
  • Request a free trial of our services

Get access