Electric Car Emissions Versus Gas Vehicles

electric vehicle emissions

 I own an electric car and believe they are good for the environment. However, I wanted to know how much fewer emissions electric cars create than gas vehicles. Even though electric vehicles are supposed to be a cleaner mode of transportation, emissions are created through electricity generation. The electricity can be produced from coal, solar or other sources.

Where your electricity is produced determines how much emissions are created. So I set out to answer how much fewer emissions an electric car makes versus a gas vehicle. 

Gas Car Average Emissions

First, I tackled the question of how much emissions a typical gasoline vehicle produces. The Environmental Protection Agency has a paper on how much emissions are created from a gas car. If a person travels around 13,500 miles using a gasoline car, you make about 5 tons of carbon emissions per year. The more complicated part of the answer is to calculate how much emissions an electric vehicle creates.

Where Does Your Electricity come from?

A vast majority of people get their electricity from their local utility. Since most people’s electricity comes from their utility, we need to understand where your electricity comes from. Depending on which state you live in you, your power will come from one or more of the following sources:

  • Coal
  • Petroleum
  • Hyrdo
  • natural gas
  • nuclear
  • renewables

Your electricity will come from a combination of the power sources to create your electricity. For example, If you live in Missouri, coal is a primary source of electricity. However, California’s electricity primarily is generated s from natural gas and renewables. As a result, you will see higher emissions per kilowatt in Missouri versus California. 

Electric Car Emissions

Once you know where your state’s electricity comes from, you need to consider the efficiency of an electric car. Assuming you travel 13,500 miles per year, each electric vehicle will have so many miles per kilowatt. The question is, how many kilowatts does it take for a specific electric car model to travel 13,500? Finding and calculating the emissions data is quite a chore. Initially, I spent about a week building a model in an excel spreadsheet to figure out the emissions by electric cars by state.


Electric Car VS. Gas Emission Feature

After figuring out the electric car emissions versus gas vehicle answer, I believed showing based on their location and the electric car they drive, how much carbon emission they take out of the air is powerful.

Based on your state, Electric Driver shows you how much of your electricity comes from hydro, renewables, nuclear, coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Electric cars, regardless of what state you live in, create fewer emissions than using gas. 

If you want to learn more and find an electric vehicle that fits your lifestyle, please visit our website, Electric Driver.

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