Electric cars don’t just have drivers. They have believers.
Most of the people buying electrics like the Nissan Leaf do so because they want to help the environment and fight climate change. The cars have plenty of other virtues, such as astonishing acceleration and virtually no engine noise. But eco-appeal remains their main attraction.
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And yet, what if they aren’t the best cars for the climate?
A new study from Climate Central, a non-profit climate research group, argues that in most states, hybrid cars actually have lower lifetime greenhouse gas emissions than electrics.
The study is one of several published in recent years that tries to take a lifecycle approach to examining the benefits of electric transportation. They look at the greenhouse gas emissions that come from building the cars and generating the electricity they run on. For comparison, the studies also calculate the emissions produced by pumping oil from the ground, refining it in gasoline and burning it in cars.
All of the studies have shown that electric cars have higher greenhouse gas emissions in states that generate most of their electricity with coal than they do in states that rely more on nuclear plants or renewable power.
But how could an electric perform worse than a hybrid, which after all, still burns gasoline? Click here, and read on.
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