Ways and means, used for electricty to be produced are preventing electric cars to acutally become enviromentaly friendly

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When talking about electric vehicles, we usually talk about, how they don't produce any CO2 exhausts and are friendly to environment. On one hand, this is entirely true, electric motors work without producing any toxic gases. On the other hand, while talking, how clean this propulsion system is, we tend to forget, where this energy came from, or how it was produced. It rarely comes from wind turbines or solar power plants.

This problem is one of the key topics, Schaeffler Group is presenting on the upcoming NAIAS car show, that opens in Detroit next week. "Electric vehicles can essentially meet people's needs for environmentally friendly mobility in urban areas, but the propulsion concept of a vehicle is not the only important factor," says chief technology officer at Schaeffler, Prof. Peter Gutzmer and continues, saying, that it is "Equally important the way in which the energy needed for propulsion is generated and stored. Otherwise, there is a risk that CO2 emissions are merely shifted from one place to another."

No proper long-term sollution has so far been presented

To put those data in perspective, it is estimated, that through every electric vehicle on the road indirectly emits around 65% of the CO2 amount of a comparable ICE driven cars based on the current electricity mix within North America, so they are not doing a fairly good job. On the other hand, if this energy would be made totally by renewable resources (wind and solar power), this number would drop to just 3 percent. Also there are many other options for producing electricity for cars, natural gas and hydrogen being two of the main candidates.

Currently thou, there is no proper solution for sustainable mobility of tomorrow on the market. ICE-driven transport will thus continue to be an important element in transportation of people and goods. Schaeffler will thus continue to work on solutions to electrify the powertrain, both as electric motor being a part of hybrid system with ICE and as a stand-alone unit in electric cars.

Jure Šujica
Photo: Schaeffler

Jan. 13, 2018 Driving photo: Schaeffler

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