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lorenadigennaro Feb 07, 2019 03:51 PM
Dear EEA team, I'm doing a research about the electric vehicles emissions compared to the internal combustion vehicles emissions.
I read the EEA Report n: 20/2016 "Electric vehicles in Europe" where I found the chart on page 44 named "Range of life-cycle CO2 emissions for different
vehicle and fuel types".
I would need to know the carbon intensity assumed in this chart. Specifically, I would need the emission factors assumed in each case (100% coal electricity, mixed electricity and renewable electricity) expressed in gCO2/kwh. Could you help me with this information? Thank you very much.

Lorena Di Gennaro
Replies (2)
EEA Feb 20, 2019 11:00 AM

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Kindly be advised that your enquiry has been forwarded to our relevant experts. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
EEA Feb 26, 2019 12:26 PM

Kindly note that the figure 'Range of life-cycle CO2 emissions for different vehicle and fuel types' from the 2016 EEA report 'Electric vehicles in Europe' is based on the 2015 TNO report 'Exploring the energy and environment aspects of electric passenger cars' (see: http://publications.tno.nl/[…]/TNO-2015-R10386.pdf - in Dutch). The emissions for fuel production (aka WTT - well-to-tank) for each scenarios were as follows:
  1. Mixed electricity and battery electric vehicles (BEV) - 131 gCO2/km. This was calculated using:
    - the EU-28 CO emission intensity estimated for 2013, as presented by EEA in this indicator: https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/assessment. As you can see, for EU28, the estimated CO2 emission intensity was 558 gCO2/kWh.
    - the average energy consumption of a BEV, according to the TNO report is 236 Wh/km.
    - using these inputs, you can obtain the CO2 emissions: 558 g/kWh x 235 Wh/km = 131 g CO2 /km.

However, the method for calculating CO2 emission intensity was updated after the publication of the electric vehicles report: https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/assessment-4

  2. Renewables and plug in hybrids - 21gCO2/km
This is a mix of 70% fuel and 30% electric drive. Energy consumption on fuel 1.925 MJ/km. Associated upstream emission: 13.8 g CO2/MJ. And for the electric part in a comparable way: Energy consumption on electricity 0.85 MJ/km. Associated emission for green electricity: 10.6 g CO2/MJ (embedded in windmill and distribution network, will disappear once everything runs on renewables). Total WTT emission of the PHEV per km: 0.7 x 1.925 MJ/km x 13.8 g CO2/MJ + 0.3 x 0.85 MJ/km x 10.6 g CO2/MJ = 21,3 g CO2 /km effectively.

  3. 100% coal electricity and BEV - 247 gCO2/km
    - This was calculated : 105*1053/447, where:
       - the 105 gCO2/km stems from an (earlier) WTT CO2 emission for a BEV assuming an CO2 intensity per kWh of 447 g CO2/kWh (a certain mix of fossil and renewable current assumed in that Dutch study)
       - the 1053 gCO2/kWh stems from the JRC-Eucar-Concawe report on WTT data: WELL-TO-TANK Appendix 4 - Version 4a (2014) (https://iet.jrc.ec.europa.eu/[…]/wtt_appendix_4_v4a.pdf), to be more precise the KOEL1 scenario given under the link wtt_appendix_4_v4a_6_electricity.xlsx link on page 8. KOEL1 gives a CO2 intensity of 292,4 gCO2/MJe = 1053 gCO2/kWhe
  - Thus we arrive at a WTT emission for a BEV charging only coal electricity of 235 Wh/km*1053 gCO2/kWh = 247 gCO2/km. The slight deviation (0.4 %) of electric efficiency @ 235 Wh/km was an intermediate test result used in an (intermediate report) calculation in the RWS practical road test (2011-2012) (see: https://www.crow.nl/downloa[…]-duurzame-mobiliteit-elektr). The electric energy consumption was ultimately determined as 236 Wh/km.

We would also like to bring to your attention our newest publication discussing electric vehicles: ‘Electric vehicles from life cycle and circular economy perspectives’, which you may access at https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/electric-vehicles-from-life-cycle

We hope this information may be useful to you.

Kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service