April 2023. California.
Part 6 of my 5-year review on the Model 3
We’ve just completed 5 years of driving our 2018 Model 3. This post estimates energy use and carbon emissions from charging our electric car. I calculated the amount of CO2 released from power plants to generate electricity to charge our car using data published by the US Energy Information Administration.
This post is a follow up to Supercharging II: 800 miles in a day to calculate carbon emissions from driving electric on a 1715 mile road trip. Summary: Driving an EV greatly reduced our carbon emissions to less than one quarter of a 25 MPG car.
The idea that EVs make just as much pollution as gas-powered cars is not new. It’s often brought up as a reason to keep pumping oil out of the ground and gasoline into cars. But believe me it’s an old idea, and it’s been addressed many, many times. We should, of course, all understand the mix of energy sources used to produce electricity, the emissions that come from using different sources, and the impact of emissions on the air we breath. But, the idea that EVs pollute “just as much as gas-powered cars” is not true.
Have you wondered how much of a difference it would make for the environment if you started driving electric? This year for Earth Day I analyzed our data from 15 years of driving to compare the carbon emissions produced by the gas-powered and electric cars we’ve owned.
In October 2019 I went to New Mexico for 5 days of work. The trip to Albuquerque would have been about 1200 miles as the crow flies, but rather than fly I drove there in our Model 3. The full trip was 2,700 miles through 6 states. I used 17 Superchargers and paid $92.66. Driving electric reduced my emissions by over 70% compared to driving a car that gets 25 MPG (or burns 9.7L / 100km).
One way to compare gasoline powered cars to one another is fuel economy, the miles per gallon rating that the EPA gives to each car. The average car in the United States gets about 25 MPG. So how can we compare the efficiency of electric vehicles (EVs) with gas-powered cars since EVs store electricity in the battery pack? Continue reading →