Electric Revolution Would Reduce CO2 By Less Than 1% Says Industry Chief

Tue 14th May 2019

A leading voice on the future of the motor industry has warned that a switch to all-electric vehicles will make only a small impact on the global CO2 output.

Roberto Vavassori, President of CLEPA, the European associate of automotive suppliers has said that it will take a collective effort from the all those that use fossil fuels and from continents across the globe to reduce the emissions, but also pointed out that the use of electricity will still require fossil fuels to provide the energy source.

“Europe is responsible for 10 per cent of worldwide CO2 emissions, while China, USA and India represent 66 per cent,” Vavassori said at this week’s Financial Times Future of the Car summit. “So we know that seven per cent [of global CO2 emissions] is the CO2 emissions of light vehicles if by chance we electrify all of Europe overnight we will save 0.7 per cent of CO2 emitted globally every year.

“Because we still need electricity generated from fossil fuels, this number will go down to 0.4 per cent. Are we aware of this context?”

The comments come in a week when scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory report that they have recorded the highest ever carbon dioxide readings since records began, pushing the planet further and further towards climate change.

There are 300 million cars in Europe, with 800,000 of those thought to be electric powered, though that figure is rising rapidly.