The British Government, meanwhile, has announced an ‘aspiration’ for all new vehicles to be electric or ultra-low emission by 2040.
Although this is somewhat less ambitious than other countries, ministers are still sending out a clear signal — it’s all go for the electric car.
But not so fast. It’s time for a reality check about electric cars, and to realise that they can be every bit as polluting as their petrol and diesel forebears.
Research recently published by the Trancik Lab of the highly esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could wipe the smug expressions off thousands of electric car drivers’ faces.
The boffins at the Trancik Lab have shown that an electric Tesla Model S P100D saloon produces more carbon dioxide, at 226g per kilometre, than a petrol-driven run-around such as the Mitsubishi Mirage, which is responsible for just 192g/km.
And unfortunately for Tesla drivers who would rev their engines in fury and declare the research an anomaly, the MIT finding backs up that of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which last year declared: ‘Larger electric vehicles can have higher life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than smaller conventional vehicles.’