Buying a new electric car or continuing to use the old combustion engine?

A comparison of the climate impact from different accounting perspectives

Authors: Hinrich Helms, Claudia Kämper, Udo Lambrecht

Opting for an electric car is almost always the more climate-friendly option when considering the entire life cycle of new vehicles. This is mainly due to the lower greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle use, as more than half of the electricity in Germany is already produced from renewable energy sources, and the proportion is growing. The significantly higher production emissions of electric cars compared to combustion engines can be more than offset by the low usage emissions with average lifetime mileage. Opting for a new electric car saves around 48 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime compared to a new combustion engine, taking into account the planned further expansion of renewables. Paper in German.



Publication type

ifeu paper

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