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An Inconvenient Truth: EVs May Offer A “Negligible” CO2 Difference From ICE Vehicles

An Inconvenient Truth: EVs May Offer A “Negligible” CO2 Difference From ICE Vehicles thumbnail

Are the carbon footprints of EVs really as drastically lower than that of internal combustion engine vehicles? When considering the amount of carbon and CO2 created from assembling lithium ion batteries, one firm thinks the difference could be “negligible”.

Such was the topic of a new blog post by natural resource investors Goehring & Rozencwajg (G&R), a “fundamental research firm focused exclusively on contrarian natural resource investments with a team with over 30 years of dedicated resource experience.”

The firm, established in 2015, posted a blog entry entitled “Exploring Lithium-ion Electric Vehicles’ Carbon Footprint” this week, where they call into question a former ICE vs. EV comparison performed by the Wall Street Journal and, while citing work performed by Jefferies, argue that there could literally be “no reduction in CO2 output” in some EV vs. ICE comparisons.

Their analysis “details the tremendous amount of energy (and by extension CO2) needed to manufacture a lithium-ion battery.” Because a typical EV is on average 50% heavier than a similar internal combustion engine, the analysis notes that the “embedded carbon” in an EV (i.e., when it rolls off the lot) is therefore 20–50% more than an internal combustion engine.

The report notes:

Our analysis suggests a modern lithium-ion battery has approximately 135,000 miles of range before it degrades to the point of becoming unusable. An extended-range Tesla Model 3 has an 82 kWh battery and consumes approximately 29 kWh per 100 miles. Assuming each charge cycle has a ~95% round-trip efficiency and a battery can achieve 500 cycles before starting to degrade, we conclude a Model 3 can drive 134,310 miles before dramatically losing range.

Incidentally, Tesla’s Model 3 warranty covers the battery for the lesser of eight years or 120,000 miles and does not apply until the battery has degraded by at least 30%. If the Jefferies analysis is correct (and we believe it is), then an EV will reach carbon-emission parity with an internal-combustion vehicle just as its battery requires replacement. This will come as a huge disappointment for those believing that EV adoption will have significant impacts on CO2 reduction.

The blog post then goes on to critique a WSJ analysis that concluded it would only take 20,000 miles to “break-even” with an internal combustion engine:

First, it compares a Tesla Model 3 (a sedan) with a Toyota Rav4 (an SUV). An entry-level Honda Civic, which we believe is a more appropriate comparison, would improve the ICE fuel efficiency by 20%. Next, after consulting the footnotes, The Wall Street Journal article assumes 80 kg of CO2 emission per of battery. This estimate appears to come from a 2019 Swedish Energy Agency report in which they reduce their carbon intensity by half compared with the year prior.

The motivation for lowering their estimates was the use of “close to 100 percent fossil free energy […] which is not common yet, but likely will be in the future.” In other words, the cost and carbon-intensity of lithium-ion batteries is predicated on renewable energy which itself requires cheap and carbon-efficient lithium-ion batteries. 

“Even if The Wall Street Journal figures are accurate, we believe most investors still do not appreciate how little the magnitude of potential carbon savings from lithium-ion EVs is,” G&R writes.

The post concludes with some starkly “inconvenient truths”: that if a global analysis was performed using figures put together by Jefferies, instead of those used by the Wall Street Journal analysis, “the difference would be negligible — there would be no reduction in CO2 output.”

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24 Comments on "An Inconvenient Truth: EVs May Offer A “Negligible” CO2 Difference From ICE Vehicles"

  1. DT on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 5:39 am 

    Burning FF has made this industrialized civilization what it is. Building more industrialized civilization in the form of wind turbines, solar panels, Ev’s and the like is just an extension of FF industrial civilization. Slapping a plastic “clean green” corporate label on industrial civilization changes nothing. Industrial civilization is still industrial civilization no matter what kind of glossy PR is used.

  2. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 7:44 am 

    More chicken and egg “logic”.

    If you produce an e-vehicle and/or its battery with fossil fuel, and next you fuel it with electricity produced by fossil fuel, no wonder the “negligible CO2 difference”.

    One wonders if this stupidity or malice by this Jewish-German consultancy, wrote this “study”:

    http://gorozen.com/firm/team

    The point to make is that an e-vehicle, produced by an industry with a 100% renewable energy base has ZERO carbon footprint. That won’t happen overnight, but is a gradual process, that will take at least 30 years. In order to make that happen, you need to make many small steps. Among them is electrification of the car fleet. It is certain that the transition towards e-mobility will happen (like 2030-2035 in the most advanced countries in Europe) before all fossil fuel-based power generation will have been replaced by renewable electricity (2050, in Europe).

  3. peakyeast on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 8:50 am 

    It is telling of the enormeous stupidity that the biggest and only proven solution is not even considered: A world wide law of max. 1 child per woman until we are demonstrably in balance with nature and resources.

  4. Future So Bright Gotta Wear Shades on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 10:59 am 

    But wait — those old EV batteries will then move indoors to store power from the smart grid. Can’t do that with a ICE. It’s all good man.

  5. Futures So Bright on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 11:01 am 

    But wait — those old EV batteries will then move indoors to store power from the smart grid. Can’t do that with a ICE. It’s all good man, at least until we run out of affordable Lithium. And Cobalt. And Rare Earths. And… oh fuccc

  6. So Bright on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 11:03 am 

    But wait — those old EV batteries will then move indoors to store power from the smart grid. Can’t do that with a ICE. It’s all good man.

    Until we run low on affordable lithium, cobalt, rare earths, and, and, and, of fuc…

  7. aadbrd on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 11:41 am 

    “zerohedge”

  8. makati1 on Mon, 7th Jun 2021 5:24 pm 

    Peaky, you have the idea. All the techies dreaming of a new, green, techie future will only see more of the same until it is not possible. They will be gone long before that happens. There are enough recoverable FFs to last at least another 100 years.

    As those years evolve, we will regress to…? I won’t be here, nor any of my great grand kids, so I do not care. Nor do 99.999% of earths people. Only the ones who will profit from the green dream are pushing the change. Pass the beer and pretzels. The show goes on. ^_^

  9. Anonymouse on Tue, 8th Jun 2021 2:19 pm 

    The problem(s) with EV’s runs much deeper than the short article above suggests. For example, the entire infrastructure that supports cars-only transportation, IE roads, signaling, enforcement, repair, towing, maintenance, disposal, etc, would remain, powered, and supported almost exclusively by…fossil fuels. I hope no one thinks broken down EVs will towed away by Electric Tow trucks or that asphalt covered roads will be built and maintained entirely with electricity lol.

    If you want a summary of what an ‘all-electric cars only world would look like, its this.

    Oil powered cars are(and will) destroy the world. (If the jewmerican war-machine doesnt do it 1st)

    Electric cars will (also) destroy the world, but, they’ll do it in good taste.

    Dont get me wrong, Im all for electric transportation, but the way its being proposed and implemented currently, will solve pretty much NONE of the problems created by cars-only transportation. In all probability, it will create new problems in addition to resolving practically none of the previous ones created by their oil-powered predecessors.

    So yea, go get yourself a fire-prone tesla today and feel good about yourself! Elon husk approves…..

  10. Outcast_Searcher on Tue, 8th Jun 2021 4:09 pm 

    Electric tow trucks would work just fine, despite what the typical denialist crowd might claim.

  11. makati1 on Tue, 8th Jun 2021 4:35 pm 

    Question: If the ancient power grid causes blackouts when the temperature goes down to 20F, how can Amerikans plug in 100,000,000 EVs at night? Just askin’.

  12. makati1 on Tue, 8th Jun 2021 4:37 pm 

    Oh, and where are all the electric company batteries to come from to have that backup power at night? Hmm. Techie dreamers…

  13. Cloggie on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 1:34 am 

    “Oh, and where are all the electric company batteries to come from to have that backup power at night? Hmm. Techie dreamers…”

    Nobody who understands the problems will ever advocate that batteries will play a large role in the future 100% renewable energy base.

    Here is one of the most competent institutes in the world, the German Fraunhofer Institute. They have exactly laid out how a 100% renewable energy base for Germany could look like:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/blueprint-100-renewable-energy-base-for-germany/

    Batteries: 9 TWh
    Chemical storage: 179 TWh

    The core of the future storage mechanism will be hydrogen and one of its many derivatives: CH4, NaBH4, formic acid, NH3, methanol and a few more.

    Laymen with opinions, sigh.

  14. DT on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 4:55 am 

    “They have exactly laid out how a 100% renewable energy base” Cloggie How will roads be built and maintained with 100% renewable energy? Concrete, steel,plastics, synthetic rubber, asphalt, all require massive amounts of FF inputs. Your example does not address these material issues at all.

  15. Cloggie on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 9:30 am 

    How will roads be built and maintained with 100% renewable energy? Concrete, steel,plastics, synthetic rubber, asphalt, all require massive amounts of FF inputs. Your example does not address these material issues at all.

    Roads will made with tar, like before.

    Plastic will be replaced by this:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/lignin-plant-based-plastic-substitute/

    Rubber comes from a tree.

    Cement can be made renewable:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/renewable-cement-production/

    For the rest: energy = energy, regardless of its source.

  16. DT on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 1:16 pm 

    “Rubber comes from a tree.” Cloggie dont put words in my post I said “Synthetic rubber”. Virtually no modern tire is made of Latex from a tree. Might be some in the mix, however there is still about 8 gallons of crude oil products in every modern tire.

    “Cement can be made renewable” your article states, cement can be made using, “household waste, sewer sludge” both of these being the by product of burning FF in the first place.
    “Roads will made with tar” that is the same way we do it now with bitumen a ff input. How will 100% renewable be accomplished using bitumen for roads?

    Plastics made from plants means more industrial agricultural to grow all of the plant matter needed at scale to make the plastic. Do I need to point out all of the FF inputs for industrial agriculture? Such as fertilizer, pesticides,herbicides, lest we forget the heavy field equipment used for planting, tilling, harvesting, shipping and processing? Dream on Cloggie 100% renewable, dream on.

  17. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 1:50 pm 

    The new NORTH KOREA!

  18. makati1 on Wed, 9th Jun 2021 4:45 pm 

    Cloggie, do you have ANY idea how much “Tar” (petroleum) it takes to keep the world’s hundreds of millions of kilometers of asphalt paving usable? NO, of course not. You ignore reality. Even your tiny country has ~140,000 kilometers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_road_network_size

    Not to mention the heavy equipment it takes to repair the roads and the trucks to move them and the materials. And then there are the concrete roads with steel reinforcing. ETC. ETC.

    Plant plastics replacing FF! Hahahahahahaha! Dream on! Better yet, get a job and out of your mom’s basement into the real world.

  19. Cloggie on Thu, 10th Jun 2021 2:06 am 

    “Cloggie, do you have ANY idea how much “Tar” (petroleum) it takes to keep the world’s hundreds of millions of kilometers of asphalt paving usable?”

    The energy transition is NOT about stopping using tar, it is about stopping BURNING it.

    Asphalt btw can be reused:

    https://recyclenation.com/2015/06/how-to-recycle-asphalt/

    “Plant plastics replacing FF! Hahahahahahaha! Dream on! Better yet, get a job and out of your mom’s basement into the real world.”

    Typical shallow American reaction: zero substance, just name-calling and attempt to humiliate. Try to debunk this:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/lignin-plant-based-plastic-substitute/

    ““Synthetic rubber”. Virtually no modern tire is made of Latex from a tree. Might be some in the mix, however there is still about 8 gallons of crude oil products in every modern tire.”

    Fine. Again, the renewable energy transition is not about stopping using oil, it is about stopping burning it:

    https://www.wastedive.com/news/synthetic-rubber-could-make-tires-more-easily-recyclable/424916/

    “Synthetic rubber could make tires more easily recyclable”

  20. makati1 on Thu, 10th Jun 2021 5:24 am 

    Cloggie, when will you realize that those techie wet dream articles are to sell something? Mostly to sell the “green future” to fools like you.

    Asphalt does NOT come out of the well and ready to patch, or make, asphalt roads. There is FF energy burned in EVERY step from well to road. It will NOT be recycled. It is laid down HOT from the paving machine.

    Yes, I have seen it being “recycled” in demonstrations years ago, but nothing since. It takes a lot of Natural Gas to do it and special machines that tear up the old, pulverize it and lay it down again soft and hot. Not going to happen all over the world. Not practical as long as there is new asphalt available.

    “Asphalt is a type of concrete that is used to pave driveways and roads. It is composed of particles of rocks and sand, called aggregate, which are mixed with hot asphalt cement. This cement is a by-product of crude oil production and resembles tar. The asphalt acts as a bonding agent to seal the aggregate together and keep the surface strong and water tight. Paving surfaces using this material is fairly simple but does require expensive equipment to complete the job properly.”

    https://www.hunker.com/13425132/how-to-make-asphalt

    Ditto for synthetic rubber. Not going to be recycled, no matter what some ‘engineer’ says.

    https://www.coruba.co.uk/blog/synthetic-rubber-manufacturing-process/

    The above article is to sucker in “investors”. Pure bullshit propaganda from the same folks that bring you the Fusion Energy in just another decade or two. Send money! LMAO!

  21. DT on Thu, 10th Jun 2021 3:16 pm 

    “Again, the renewable energy transition is not about stopping using oil, it is about stopping burning it”
    Cloggie do you even have the foggiest notion as to the process of oil refinement, use, distribution, and what is involved? Oil is in everything industrial. You cannot separate the burning of oil for energy, from the using of oil for everyday industrial use. Going “carbon free” from burning oil to a “Clean Green Renewable” transitional energy scheme is a completely asinine proposition. This whole idea of a transition away from burning oil to just using oil without burning it is well, sorry friend. but it is a deception brought to you by the oil industry it’s self. Oh yea, (snark) don’t forget to think clean green recycle too!!!!!.

  22. WeLiveInAFantasyWorld on Fri, 11th Jun 2021 11:55 am 

    So wake up and I start looking at YouTube. Browse here and there and eventually this video showed up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tJ3ShL_EPA&list=RD5tJ3ShL_EPA&index=1

    Watch another one of her and then GOD told me to maintain my prostate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ULuV0iTDdY&list=RD5tJ3ShL_EPA&index=2

    The shape shifter that was followed me in the bakery section of the grocery store looked a bit like her. Mine had blonde hair but the hip were smaller and the ass tighter.

    So I log into my premium porn account and click on a video made by a company that has the devil logo in their company name. Start watching the video. The bitch was masturbating with one hand. She hand longs finger nail and finger similar to that of a raptor and trex. Same finger we see in jurassic park. SO basically they are telling us right in your face that the devil is or are trex and raptor.

    We really live in fantasy world and we need to change the way we see life. The bitch had what appear to be a fish mouth and trex or raptor fingers.

    I will put a full link to the video later on, if it is accessible to people without premium account.

    Again angels were procreating with me left, right and center. Finish with a really strong erection and ejaculation. It was so strong that I thought I was about to die of heart attack. We really live in a fantasy world created by some GOD, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

  23. WeHaveToDeclareWarToThemRightNow on Fri, 11th Jun 2021 6:42 pm 

    I was listening to this guy and I got some ideas. Finally something that is coming totally from me, not mix with GOD thoughts. It is getting confusing somethime who is in me brain, me or GOD or both.

    https://www.brighteon.com/69754364-d7f0-4a3f-98d8-816b21c78e5b

    I think the controllers of the earth are stealing natural resources and industrial production from us sending it outside of crater earth. These earth controllers also needs things like computers to operate their AI. I think it is coming from earth.

    For example, HP will produce 10 000 laptop an year. They will send 5000 laptop to the controllers of the earth and 5000 laptop to the earth. Therefore they are stealing 5000 laptop from us the human race.

    Same thing with fishing. They buy a fishing boat put a Chinese flag on it and go fishing next to Argentina. The fishes they capture don’t go back to China but fishes leave crater earth for where the controllers live.

    We have to start controlling everything and removing the power corporation have over the human race and make sure we know what is going on inside every big corporations. Maybe we should put our own spy withing big corporation.

  24. WeHaveToDeclareWarToThemRightNow on Fri, 11th Jun 2021 6:50 pm 

    We have to start starving them to death. We have to make sure that the natural resources stay within earth and same with industrial productions. We have to cut the supply from earth to where the controller of the earth live. When they are weak enough, we could finished them with a military attack and completely exterminate them.

    This it totally my idea and I take full credit for it.

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