California recently announced that it plans to ban the sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, Ontario has invested $500 million in the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and Tesla is quickly becoming the world’s highest-valued car company.
It almost seems like owning an electric vehicle is a silver bullet in the fight against climate change, but it isn’t. What we should also be focused on is whether anyone should use a private vehicle at all.
As a researcher in sustainable mobility, I know this answer is unsatisfying. But this is where my latest research has led.
Battery EVs, such as the Tesla Model 3 — the best selling EV in Canada in 2020 — have no tailpipe emissions. But they do have higher production and manufacturing emissions than conventional vehicles, and often run on electricity that comes from fossil fuels.
Almost 18 per cent of the electricity…