Measuring whether electric cars environmentally more friendly than petrol

In order to compare how environmentally friendly the vehicle is, it depends on how you measure both Are electric cars environmentally compared to traditional ones? it depends not only on how you measure both the energy but also at what point in the energy cycle you start measuring from.

Starting point for measuring

Most people compare electric and petrol measuring from the point of charging / filling up. However you need to go back to the point of oil being extracted from the ground and electricity being generated.

Oil for Petrol and Diesel

Once the oil is extracted it has to be transported, refined and then transported to the petrol station all of this consumes more energy.

Oil is normally transported by tankers across the ocean which are powered using Bunker fuel.


Electricity is generated from Coal; increasingly rare in the UK, Natural gas; Nuclear power or Renewables, primarily Wind or Solar power. As a consumer, assuming you have a Home charger, most of your electricity will be from you home supplier.

By choosing the supplier and tariff you can obtain a mix of Nuclear power and Renewables, or just Renewables.

Electricity provided by Octopus Energy comes from 100% renewable sources. It’s backed by Octopus Investments, the UK’s largest investor in Solar power.

Join Octopus Energy as a new customer and receive a £50 discount for joining any Octopus tariff including the ones designed for Home charging. Also, have them donate £50 to keep this site running, please click through to the Octopus site.

Battery materials

Lithium, as you know, is an element we’re going to need an awful lot more of. This is because the batteries that run our EVs – and our phones, our e-bikes, our e-scooters, you name it – all contain lithium. Lithium, like coal, needs to be mined, and that means large swathes of the civilisations that live near the mines (like those in northern Portugal) tend to suffer very badly in our quest for this precious metal.  You do need an awful lot of water to extract it – as in half a million gallons PER TONNE of mined lithium.

Auto Express – 29 April 2021

Battery Recycling

The materials in an Electric vehicle Battery are valuable and can be profitably recycled.

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