Motion & Emotion

Myth: The Grid Burns Fuel So EVs Aren’t Low Carbon

0 1,340

I thought even the doubters of electric cars had finally realised this was a myth, but I saw it resurface the other day, so we will have to put it to bed. “Electric cars do not reduce CO2 emissions because fossil fuels generate the electricity on the grid.” Some of it does, but they still do.

In 2021, the average amount of electricity generated and sent through the grid in the UK was 214 g/kWh. For the gas component, that includes drilling and distribution of the gas. On windy, sunny days, CO2 emissions were lower because of the wind and sunshine; the fossil component increases when there is no wind and dark. So charge your car on a windy night.

With 1kWh, a standard electric car will go about 5 km. This is driving and takes into account the losses of the charger when you plug it in. So 214g/kWh divided by 5km/kWh gives 43g/km CO2. As more renewable energy is installed in the coming years, the amount of CO2 in the electricity will decrease, and your electric car will become more environmentally friendly.

No internal combustion engine car can compete. (PHEVs are not counted because they only meet the EV target if they use some electricity and fuel, so they are effectively EVs for that part). A Toyota Yaris Hybrid might achieve 70mph, 92g/km. Most of us consume (not according to WLTP) 40 miles per hour, 160 g/km. And that’s just from tank to wheel. Fortunately, petrol now has a biofuel component that somewhat offsets the oil content in the tank.

An average electric car is responsible for about a quarter of the CO2 emissions produced by an average petrol car.

For all the latest automotive news, reports, and reviews, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube page, and follow us on Instagram, which is updated daily.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Unlock the World’s Leading Source of Automotive News and Analysis.

Advertisement provides innovative marketing and advertising solutions to support an advertiser’s specific campaign objectives. Customised programs leverage the best of Contact our sales team today and see what our team can do for your custom advertising solutions.


Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to our sales team. You can also get in touch in the following ways:


Safety reminder – Please buckle up! Seat belts save lives every day.  Always wear seat belts and use appropriate restraints for all child passengers.


Think Your Friends Would Be Interested? Share This

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More