Category: Climate & Environment

The EU environmental ministers have agreed on stricter climate targets for cars. This means 35 percent cut in CO2 from new passenger cars and 30 percent from vans.

After 13 hours of negotiations, the environmental ministers agreed to go for a 35 percent cut in CO2 emissions from new passenger cars by 2030 and a cut of 30 percent in emissions from new vans.

 Austria, which has the presidency of the EU Council of Ministers this half-year informs about this.

Last week, the European Parliament originally decided for a cut of 40 percent. The EU Commission’s original proposal was a goal of 30 percent cut in CO2 emissions

It was extremely difficult negotiations, said EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

Arias calls the unity a very important step forward in the EU’s efforts to fulfill the goals of the Paris agreement.

The decision was made by a qualified majority. Several member countries who wanted a more ambitious goal were voted down.

The case is now proceeding to final negotiations, where the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the EU Commission must discuss a final compromise.

Source: E24.no

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Unrealistic

The EU’s plans for the conversion to emission-free vehicles are unrealistic. This according to the automotive industry’s European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (Acea).

The statement was made after the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment proposed reducing emissions from passenger cars and vans by at least 45 percent by 2030.

The extremely strict reductions that have been decided are completely unrealistic, as they would require a sudden shift to electric vehicles. The conditions for this seismic shift do not exist, and customers are not yet ready to switch to full-electric vehicles, says Acea’s Secretary General Erik Jonnaert.

At the same time, several of the member companies, including BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo, are preparing for the future by developing new electric car models.

Erik Jonnaert has not missed out on this:

We are determined to work for emissions-free transport, but that change must be done at a manageable rate.

Market and demand tells a different story

The developments in the passenger car market in several countries speak against Acea’s analysis, who claims that people are not yet ready. The economic benefits for electric car owners in Norway, and the introduction of the bonus system in Sweden shows that it is rather a cost issue.

The Swedish industry organization, Power Circle has certainly reduced its forecast for the number of rechargeable cars on the country’s roads at the end of the year, but this is largely because manufacturers cannot meet the demand for electric cars.

At the same time, another bottleneck in production – the availability of batteries – seems to be less of a problem for European car manufacturers, as there are plans for several major battery plants in Europe.

Source: Elbilen i Sverige

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It is completely wrong to claim that emissions from production of diesel cars are just as big as in the production of electric cars. This is according to the Norwegian web site, Faktisk.no

There has been a lot of discussions about the pollution from so called zero-emissions cars, or electric cars. But are they as clean as the environmental movement claims? In this article we are going to concentrate on the emissions during production of the cars.

Tesla’s Gigafactory that is going to produce batteries to the Model 3, will be powered by renewable energy. This will probably give a smaller carbon footprint than the rest of the Tesla battery production.

Largest production emissions from electric cars

The claim is about what kind of emissions that occurs from the production of the cars. How large the emissions are during the use of the car, or how  large the emissions are during the whole lifecycle of the car is not mentioned.

The ideal organization The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) did in 2018 publish a knowledge summary that is based on eleven life-cycle analyzes of electric cars, fossil cars and lithium-ion-batteries publicized between 2011 and 2017.

In the table below ICCT do compere the life-cycle emissions of an average European car. The most CO2-effectiv fossil car that is available in Europe, a Peugeot 208 1,6 BlueHDi Active, and an electric car based on the 2017-modell of the Nissan Leaf with a battery pack of 30-kWh

As shown in the table, production emissions are larger for the electric car than for fossil cars. However, the electric car has a lower emission in total. The International Council on Clean Transport

The energy mix has a lot to say in how environmental friendly a car is. Because of this there has been done different calculations for the electric car based on the average energy mix in EU, France Deutschland, Norway and Great Britain

Battery production needs a lot of energy

As shown in the table, the electric car is generally the best in all comparisons, except when comparing the most environmentally friendly conventional car to an electric car running on German power.

What is relevant to this fact check however, is how the electric car scores if we only compare CO2 emissions from the manufacturing process. Here we can see that both the average fossil car, and the most energy efficient fossil car makes it far better than the electric car.

The report states:

Manufacturing of electric cars requires more energy, and leads to higher emissions than conventional cars, due to electric car batteries. Production of lithium-ion requires the extraction of rare metals and is energy-intensive due to the heat and sterile conditions required.

However, it is also pointed out that it is likely that battery production will be significantly greener in the future:

Emissions from battery production will probably fall significantly over the next decades, especially with the use of cleaner electricity through the production phase.

The authorities in New Zealand have also summarized the results from several lifecycles analyzes. They draw similar conclusions as ICCT

Electric cars have the lowest emissions overall, but have higher emissions in the production phase, as the table below also shows:

Source: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority in New Zealand.

All cars pollute

It is also worth mentioning that all car types lead to significant CO2 emissions. Therefore, it is wrong to mention electric cars as zero-emission cars, as they often are described in the environmental debate.

The electric cars has higher emissions before they start driving according to scientist

Fakta.no has previously factually checked a claim that says that electric cars have small, if any, environmental benefits compared to fossil cars. This claim is completely wrong. In connection with the fact check, they interviewed a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Linda Ager-Wick Ellingsen who is an expert in lifecycle analyzes. She explained that electric cars have big environmental advantages in Norway, compared to fossil cars.

However, Ellingsen was aware that the electric cars have higher emissions than fossil cars during the production phase:

Before the electric cars start to run, they have higher greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline cars, because the batteries are energy-intensive to produce. But they are more energy efficient to run and can be recharged with renewable energy. Therefore, they make up for higher production emissions throughout the life cycle. Ellingsen said to Faktisk.no in January.

Highest total emissions for fossil cars

Although production emissions for electric cars are higher than on fossil cars, it is wrong to argue that the car don’t have any environmental gain. According to the ICCT report, an average electric car produces 50 percent less CO2 when summarizing the production and usage phase after 150,000 kilometers traveled.

According to the report, the electric vehicle’s higher production output is on average “repaid” after two years of driving on a common European electricity mix. In Norway it will be repaid even faster because they have a very clean power production.

Source: Faktisk.no

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A new survey shows that the rapid transition from fossil cars to electric cars, can have a negative impact on the jobs in the automotive industry. The focus on reaching zero emissions can therefore lead to serious structural problems.

In connection with the EU presenting new goals for CO2 emissions after 2020, the European Commission has published a business review report that reviews how the transition to electric cars will affect employment among car companies. It certainly recognizes that the production of electric vehicles is less labor-intensive,  but according to some experts, the Commission has underestimated how big the impact on employment will be.

According to a new report from FTI Consulting, the transition can lead to serious consequences for the entire automotive industry. Europe’s car dealerships will produce 38 percent fewer parts and components for electric cars. This can be compared with a loss of 17 percent for the car companies.

The batteries will account for 35-50 percent of the total cost of an electric car in the future, and it is still uncertain whether these batteries will be produced within the EU or if they will be imported. In recent times, the value of the car companies is significantly lowered, which will have a significant impact on the jobs.

Car manufacturers are keen to move as fast as they can against zero-emission vehicles. But the entire European car supply chain must be transformed at a manageable rate. It must protect employment and long-term sustainability for the sector. This report shows that excessive CO2 goals and unrealistic sales quotas for battery-powered vehicles can lead to serious structural problems throughout the EU, ACEA’s Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert says.

Today, the automotive industry accounts for 11 percent of total employment in the EU. In countries such as the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovakia, the figure is above 20 percent. A rapid transition to electric cars will therefore be hard against these countries.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee will vote for CO2 targets after 2020 at the beginning of October.

Source: nyteknik.se

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Electric car batteries are being recycled

As written in an earlier article, the number of electric cars has increased dramatically in recent years. There are now more than 4 million electric cars in the world. This is 1 million more than last year. Electric car number 5 million is estimated to be sold during March 2019.  The increase in the number of electric, cars has led to a discussion in what will happen to all the used electric car batteries when the cars are finally scrapped.

Will there be piles of used toxic batteries lying around, or will there be solutions to the battery problem?

No. There is no reason to fear piles of toxic batteries.

There is a growing number of recycling facility’s being established for the recycling of used electric car batteries. This is a recourse, and it is possible to make good money on it.

How do they do it?

When the time comes, and the used lithium-ion battery is no longer usable, a recycling facility will take care of it. There are two ways to do this:

If the batterys is completely without power, they are shredded at once so that the metal components, like steel and copper, can be easily dismantled and separated.

If there are any traces of electric energy in them, they are frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed to frozen bits. The batteries have no chance to react because of the liquid nitrogen, so the smashing Is completely safe. After this procedure the metals are separated out for reuse.

It is important to menton that an electric car battery can still be used for other purposes after its life in the electric car ends. Usually at this, point the battery still have around 70-80 percent of its capacity left. So, before they are sent off to a recycling center they can be used as batteries in solar systems, a power wall, or as a power equalizer in the power grid.

You can watch the film in the start of the article from Batteriretur to learn more about the recycling process.

Allso read: What happens to old electric car batteries?

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In Norway where the number of electric cars has increased dramatically in recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about what to do with the car and the batteries when the day comes where the car is about to be scrapped. Will there be piles of used toxic batteries lying around, or will there be solutions to the battery problem?

Used Electric car batteries is a resource.

The major change in the car market also has consequences for those who handle cars sent for scraping. The car wreck of the future will have large battery packs, but almost everything will be recycled.

What happens to the batteries?

When the electric car is scraped, the batteries are disassembled. The battery part is removed, and then steel, plastic, copper and other materials are delivered for local recycling. Then the battery modules are delivered for recycling, for example in Germany, who has the facilities for this.

In addition to the reuse of the materials, the possibility of the actual battery module can be revamped in another plant – the so-called second life.

The battery module that has been in the car, may stand for a few years at a solar system or other type of industrial plant after it has been removed from the car.

The recovery rate is higher than 97 percent.

Source: TV2.no

Also read: This is how EV-batteries are recycled

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At the same time as solar cells are getting cheaper on the world marked, solar power is about to become the most important source of renewable energy. Availability and the low costs gives solar power great potential, but at the same time it’s vulnerable

Many of the places on earth that has the most sun hours and therefore become the best places for solar power, has big problems with pollution and smog. This makes the solar panels much less effective. This is proved by a new study, which was published in the scientific magazine Energy and Environmental Science.

The study which was carried out by a team of scientists from MIT in corporation with the University of Singapore, looked at 17 places where smog is a problem. One of these places is New Delhi in India. In The city which is one of the most polluted cities in the world, up to ten percent of the sun energy disappear due to smog and pollution.

When this much energy is wasted, the sun energy projects get less profitable. This makes it less likely that corporations’ will invest in this kind of technology, rather than coal powered plants to cover the demand for energy. This will increase the pollution and smog, and everything ends up in a bad circle which is difficult to break out from.

Read the study here

Source: Aktuell Hållbarhet

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Is there a connection between climate change skepticism and fear of immigration?

I read a funny article the other day in a Norwegian multicultural magazine called Utrop about a new Norwegian  study called  Cool dudes in Norway: climate change denial among conservative Norwegian men. Researchers have found close ties between immigration-critical men and climate deniers.

The study concludes that 63 percent of conservative men in Norway don’t believe in human made climate changes. Unlike 36 percent among the rest of the population.

It’s a bit tricky to understand what they really mean, but if I might conclude, this means that most of the climate change deniers are also skeptic to immigrants.

Personally, I find this hard to believe because climate and immigration are two very different things. There are many ways to define a climate denier and an immigration sceptic. How the research defines this it does not say.

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I have always wondered what’s the matter with people who denies that the climate is in change, and who claims that what is happening to the weather is not human made

In Norway a group of people who is calling them self Klimarealistene (Climate Realists in English) is such a group of people. They have their own web page, a Facebook page with just under 3500 members and a Facebook group of about 2800 members.

Klimarealistene claims to be a fact-based discussion group that represent most of the Norwegian population, more accurate, 53 percent. Where they get these numbers from it does not say.

I have a couple of times tried to ask some critical questions in this group, but I quickly learned that what they claimed to be a discussion group, did not tolerate other arguments than those against what they call climate hysteria. I was even called an internet troll because of my climate opinions. One person even started to harass me by sending me private messages on Facebook.

When some people claim that one normal winter with lots of snow like last winter, is proof enough to say that there is no climate change, they are very much in denial of what is happening. One other question is whether the climate change is human made or not. Well…Lots of research has proved that human pollution is one of the main reasons for the climate changes. The climate realists of course denial this.

I am not a climate hysterical. I do question a lot of what the scientists say, but I am not willing to take the chance of them being wrong. Do you?

You can read more about Klimarealistene here

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