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November 11, 2021

In The Philippines, Driving An EV Could Actually Mean More Emissions

Electric vehicles are a powerful weapon in the world’s battle to beat global warming, yet their impact varies hugely from nation-to-nation and in some places, they pollute more than gasoline models, a study from research consultancy Radiant Energy Group or REG shows.

In countries where energy generation is still coal-reliant such as Poland and Kosovo, EVs actually generate more carbon emissions. For reference, both Poland and Kosovo generate a bulk of their power—around 45 to 50 percent—from coal. The situation is largely the same in the Philippines, for example, which generates 47 percent of electricity from coal.

On the other hand, Switzerland sees a 100 percent carbon savings for electric vehicles versus gasoline-powered vehicles. Norway is a 98 percent, while France is at 96 percent. On the other end of the scale, Cyprus is at 4 percent, Serbia at 15 percent, and Estonia at 35 percent.

Even in Germany, where carmakers are making the biggest push towards EVs, the country’s mix of renewable and coal for energy generation means just a 55 percent greenhouse gas saving.

REG says that for EVs to be really environmentally-friendly, power must be sourced either through nuclear or renewable means.

Furthermore, it shows that the auto industry’s ability to reduce emissions depends on finding better ways to decarbonize electricity grids and store renewable energy—challenges that even European countries have not yet overcome.

Until consistent, low-carbon energy is available across the region, EV drivers keen to reduce their footprint and engineers designing charging infrastructure need to take energy generation into account.

REG’s study was based on data from Jan. 1 to Oct. 15, 2021. It compared emissions from charging an electric vehicle matching a Tesla Model 3’s efficiency to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) with emissions generated by fueling the average gasoline-powered vehicle the same distance.

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