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German research: EV only more environmentally friendly than combustion engine after 90,000 km -

Electric cars are an environmentally friendly alternative to cars with a combustion engine, but only after a certain number of kilometers. According to a German study, the tipping point is only at 90,000 kilometers.

The research was conducted by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) - an independent organization made up of approximately 135,000 engineers and scientists. They concluded that electric cars are a lot greener over their lifespan of 200,000 kilometers than traditional cars with a combustion engine.

Ecological disadvantage

However, EVs start their car life with a major ecological disadvantage. This is because the production of the battery pack requires a lot of energy and raw materials. The extraction of certain raw materials such as cobalt and nickel is also bad for the environment. What also doesn't help is that almost all batteries are produced in China and have to be transported.

The German research shows that an EV only catches up after 90,000 kilometers and is definitively more environmentally friendly than a car with a combustion engine.

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Gasoline is the least green

Fortunately, electric cars last (much) longer than 90,000 kilometers. When the balance is taken up after 200,000 kilometers, EVs have the most environmentally friendly drivetrain. An electric car then produces an average of 24.2 tons of CO2 emissions. Plug-in hybrids follow close behind, with an average combined emissions of 24.8 tonnes.

Diesels follow at a reasonable distance with 33 tons of emissions, while petrol cars are the last to come with emissions of 37 tons over 200,000 kilometers. The Germans did not include hybrids without a plug in the study.


In addition to the environmentally polluting production, the VDI also comments on the environmental friendliness of EVs. This is very dependent on how green the electricity with which the electric car is charged is. For example, if an electric car runs on electricity generated from fossil fuels, it can take up to 100,000 miles before it becomes greener than a combustion engine car.


The VDI concludes the study with a number of tips to reduce car emissions. Firstly, the organization emphasizes the importance of a green electricity grid. Secondly, the production of EV batteries must become less harmful to the environment. This can be achieved through local production and better recycling of old batteries.

The organization is positive about the arrival of e-fuels and also strongly recommends plug-in hybrids. Finally, the VDI recommends improving public transport in urban areas.

This post was last modified on December 18, 2023 3:14 pm


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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