Opinion: Electric Cars Might Not Yet Be Green, but We Should Buy Them Anyway

Transforming the way we travel is an essential part of tackling the climate crisis. The transport sector contributes about 20% of global carbon emissions. In the UK the figure is 33%, and the country has made virtually no progress in reducing emissions from transport. In many countries, they’re actually increasing.

Electric vehicles are often hailed as the solution to this quandary, but some question their environmental credentials. With much of the world’s electricity still produced from fossil fuels, the criticism goes that EVs may actually be responsible for more carbon emissions over their lifetime than combustion engine vehicles.

As German economics professor Hans-Werner Sinn put it in a recent controversial article, all we are doing is transferring carbon emissions “from the exhaust pipe to the power plant”.