This study focuses on the analysis of experiences with electric vehicles within several single projects of the model regions programme, part 1. Main issues are terms of energy-related parameters and the comparison with conventional vehicles (differentiated according to vehicles segments). There are various methods of estimating the carbon footprint of electric vehicles in literature. In short-time considerations their results scatter, but perspectively at middle- and long-time considerations they converge. The present study respects three variations of calculating the climate-relevant emissions: a) If electric vehicles are operated from renewable energy sources, their carbon footprint is significant better than fossil fuel cars. When, how and on what conditions (proof of origin) a direct correlation of the "driving-energy" to a power generation from renewable energies is possible, is currently in discussion. b) Under pragmatic aspects the "energy-mix-method" offers a good guide to a climate-related assessment of electric vehicles. Due to the planned growth of the ratio of renewable energies in the electricity mix according to the time-axis, this leads, in times where a significant penetration supply of electric vehicles is expected, to a serious improvement of specific CO2-emissions compared to today. So electric vehicles might have benefits in contrast to vehicles with internal combustion engines. c) If one takes the merit order rule as a basis for the economic power plant operation and considers the power consumption of electric vehicles as an „additional“ consumption compared to a state without electric vehicles, the carbon footprint is not that convenient anymore.
Karl Otto Schallaböck, Rike Carpantier, Manfred Fischedick, Michael Ritthoff, Georg Wilke
(Wuppertal Report no. 6)