At what point is your EV truly more sustainable than a fossil fuel car?

24 Oct 2019

If you just started to drive an EV or if you’re on the brink of shifting from fossil fuel to electric, you might want to know more about the sustainability of those cars. There’s a lot to say on the subject, but for this article, we’ll focus on the carbon footprint.

Before we continue, let’s get the semantics right. ICE stands for Internal Combustion Engine and basically means all fossil fuel-driven cars. And we’re guessing you know this, but just to be sure: EV stands for Electric Vehicle. Having said that, let's have a look at the carbon footprint of ICE and EV’s.

There’s a lot of hearsay that driving electric is not as sustainable as we hoped. Some critics say it’s better to drive an ICE compared to an EV. Let’s look at the full picture.

Manufacturing emissions costs

We have to be honest. Currently, it still costs more carbon emissions to manufacture an EV when compared to a fossil fuel car. This is mostly due to the emissions necessary for the manufacturing of batteries.



It’s in the juice

But that’s not the whole story. Even though an EV has a costly CO2 start, ICE quickly catches up in their CO2 emissions once the car hits the road.

A lot depends on local energy production though. In Germany, for example, it takes about three years. Mostly due to their less green electricity production. Whereas in Norway, EVs hit the ‘break even point’ after a year.

In Europe, the average EV’s higher manufacturing emissions costs will be compensated within two years of driving compared to a typical ICE vehicle.

And from that moment on, driving electric has a true impact on a greener future. 

What can you do

So, the most important question you can ask yourself is: Where does your electric juice come from? Lots depend on the ‘greenness’ of your energy source. So, if your electricity comes from a non-sustainable source it will take a bit longer to win the carbon footprint race against a new ICE car. The greener the energy source is, the quicker it compensates manufacturing emission costs.

Allego has made a conscious decision to only use green energy to power up our charging infrastructure. So when you choose to charge your car at Allego, you will be making the world a little greener every time you drive your EV-car.