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Why are electric cars viewed so positively when so much primary energy is involved in their manufacture? Surely we should be doing everything we can to preserve these resources.



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Photo: Kurt F. Domnik /

Electric cars are viewed so positively because they are one of the few solutions available today in the transport sector that hold the promise of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All around the world, large-scale institutions are using complex computer programs to calculate how much primary energy is needed to manufacture and run combustion vehicles and electric vehicles. All the comparative calculations show that, over a vehicle’s entire lifecycle, electric cars powered by electricity from renewable sources emit far less carbon and consume far fewer resources than the combustion alternatives.

Dr Olaf Wollersheim of the Competence E project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) answered this question.