‘Electric car uses much less raw materials than fuel car’

Electric cars need far less raw materials than cars that run on fossil fuels. This is evident from an analysis by Transport & Environment.

The large amount of raw materials required for the battery is often suggested as a major disadvantage of electric cars. Indeed, this requires quite a few raw materials, but almost all of them can be reused. Ultimately, after recycling an EV battery, only about 30 kilos of raw materials remain that cannot be reused, says T&E. That seems like a lot, but not when you compare it to the 17,000 liters of petrol that an average car uses during its lifetime. According to a new study by the European Think Tank for Cleaner Transport, Europe’s current dependence on crude oil far exceeds the need for raw materials for batteries. Technological progress will widen the gap even further. Because as a result, the amount of lithium needed to make an EV battery will halve in the next decade. In fact, the amount of cobalt needed will decrease by more than three-quarters and that of nickel by about one-fifth, according to T&E.

Lucien Mathieu, transport and e-mobility analyst at T&E, says: “When it comes to raw materials, there is simply no comparison. During its lifetime, an average car running on fossil fuels burns the equivalent of a stack of 25 oil drums. storeys high. Only about 30 kilograms of metal are lost when recycling battery materials, which is roughly the size of a football. ”


Transport & Environment’s ‘life cycle analysis’ also shows that electric cars always produce less CO2 during their lifespan than cars with an internal combustion engine. Even in Poland, which has the EU’s “dirtiest” electricity supply, electric cars emit 22 percent less CO2 than petrol cars. EVs also consume 58 percent less energy during their lifespan than a petrol car, according to T&E.

Earlier, T&E also researched the ‘well-to-wheel’ emissions of EVs. Then Poland was already rolling out as the country where the difference between EVs and diesels was the least. Compared to, for example, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands also do not have such a clean energy supply.

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