Electric cars emit less greenhouse gases over their lifetime than conventional engine cars, making EVs better for the environment. This is even when you consider the energy needed to manufacture and power them. Whilst EVs are better, they won’t be fully green until they can run on 100% renewable energy. Still, the UK generates more electricity from renewable energy than fossil fuels, with 43% of electricity being from renewable sources.


Read on to discover the environmental impact of electric cars and if they’re the right choice for you.



Production of EVs and the environment

One of the concerns of how green electric vehicles are is over the manufacturing process. There are more emissions created during production compared to conventional cars because of the lithium-ion batteries, which are integral to EVs. Why is this? These batteries are comprised of rare earth elements (REE) that exist beneath the earth’s surface and can only be extracted from energy-intensive mining activities.


Here at DS Automobiles, we are committed to sustainable mobility, which is why we work with our suppliers to ensure materials are obtained responsibly. Additionally, we do not work with any mine or country accused of poor environmental records.


Whilst the manufacturing process of EVs produces more greenhouse gases than traditional cars, technology is improving so in time this will only become more efficient and sustainable. And with the production considered, EVs are still a much greener option over the whole lifecycle of the vehicle.


Will plug-in location affect how green my electric car is?

Research from the European Energy Agency revealed that even when you consider the electric generation to power an EV, the emissions are still 17-30% lower than a conventional car. An electric car has the potential to be even more green if the electricity generated to power the vehicle comes from renewable sources. The UK is at a turning point in electricity production, we still generate energy from fossil sources, but the latest statistics indicate we produce more electricity from low-carbon sources. Additionally, the government has a target of net zero emissions by 2050 which will mean the UK will be powered through renewable energy.


But, if you wanted to ensure your EV is a green as possible right now, you could switch to an energy provider that uses low carbon electricity.



What if all vehicles were electric?

The UK’s total carbon emissions would be cut by almost 12% if all cars switched to electric, according to research from Nottingham Trent University. One study published in the journal of Nature Sustainability has predicted that every second car on the street across the world could be electric by 2050. This could reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 1.5 gigatonnes per year – equal to Russia’s total CO2 emissions!



But, what about the impact on the national grid?
It’s a common myth that the UK’s electricity supply wouldn’t be able to cope with a surge in EVs. But, in fact demand for electricity has fallen by 16% thanks to energy efficient measures such as solar panels. By the time most vehicles are electric we will have huge amounts of offshore wind power and other renewable sources due to the UK’s net zero target. And, even if all cars switched to electric overnight the national grid predict demand for electricity from EV charging would only increase by 10%.

Are hybrid cars good for the environment?

If you drive a hybrid mostly on electric power rather than using the combustion engine, then yes this will be a much greener car than petrol or diesel. As hybrid cars combine an electric battery with a traditional fuel engine, if you were to drive the car entirely on fossil fuels you would be producing the exact same emissions as a car with an internal combustion engine.


Additionally, not all hybrids are the same, with plug-in hybrids offering more electric miles than a self-charging they could be a greener car depending on how you drive it. 


If you’re interested in lowering your road emissions, why not check out our 100% electric New DS 3 E-TENSE. If you’re not quite ready to make the switch to full electric, then why not take a look at the New DS 7 E-TENSE plug-in hybrid?