3 Ways of Reducing CO2 Emissions with Electric Vehicles
It is no surprise that we are seeing more and more initiatives from governments to electrify vehicles. The US government announced that they want to eliminate C02 emissions by 2050, electrifying their entire transportation system. The German government announced that by 2030 they will be cutting greenhouse emissions by 55%, installing 1 million EV charging stations to serve 10 million electric vehicles, amongst other initiatives.
At the same time, we have renewable energy sources taking over the energy supply. However, with some exceptions, today more than 50% is often generated through conventional fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
When it comes to electric vehicles, using renewable energies to charge them is the key to making transportation reach a truly zero-emission status. But how can we choose the type of energy we consume, and what are other measures we can take?
In this article, we will take a look at three different initiatives for C02 emissions reduction, and how EVs are key in their implementation.
Carbon taxes are a specific type of tax imposed by the government, in which the government sets a price that emitters must pay for each ton of greenhouse gas emissions they emit. Taxes are applied both to businesses and customers, as a motivation to switch fuels or adopt cleaner technologies, to reduce their emissions and avoid paying taxes.
In the diagram below, we can see the global view on carbon taxes, and the countries that have already taken steps towards implementing them.
One of the top causes for C02 emissions is transportation. In the US, a third of its greenhouse emissions come from transportation alone.
The US Department of Energy reports that the average C02 emissions of an electric vehicle totals 3,783 pounds, when in fact, a gasoline vehicle has a level of emissions of 11,435 pounds. This is more than 3 times what one electric vehicle emits.
There are several initiatives from governments to not only incentivize consumers to switch to an electric car, but also help them meet the goals set in their zero-emissions plans.
For example, cities in Germany have incentives for private EV charger purchases and installation. In Hannover, there is a €500 incentive for purchasing and installing a smart charging station. This is a small encouragement to progress towards the major goal they have set for themselves of one million chargers by 2030.
Clearly, EVs are the way to go when it comes to transportation, but how can we take advantage of EV charging to further reduce C02 emissions?
Here is where energy sources come in.
If we look at the United States energy sources we see five main sources — nuclear power, petroleum, natural gas, coal, and last but not least, renewables. Among renewable energies, we can find solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal energy.
Even though it doesn’t look like much, we can see in the chart below how renewable energies are on the rise. The clean energies in the graph are zero carbon emissions.
Currently, the electric grid works with a mix of energies. The problem is that utilities are not able to give access to specific energy sources if required. This also comes with infrastructure problems and poor maintenance of the grid. We have seen residential implementations of solar panels in which people are not able to make use of all of the energy they are creating due to a lack of infrastructure, or not being able to choose to use available renewable energy instead of the electric grid fuels.
When it comes to electric vehicles, using renewable energies to charge them is key to making transportation truly zero-emission. But how can we choose the type of energy we consume? Here is where smart charging comes into the picture.
Smart charging software, such as Ampcontrol, will be able to automatically optimize the charge of electric vehicles for the times at which clean energy is available. Using real-time data, the software takes into account the time of departure, available resources, weather conditions, and utility rates. This not only reduces charging costs but also reduces the number of carbon emissions.
Smart charging software that prioritizes clean energy charging can be applied to not only residential areas but also large depots and electric fleet operations, where the site itself might have its own solar power and batteries for this purpose.
We must never underestimate the power that consumers hold in their hands. The truth is, we can have the cleanest renewable resources and the best technologies for EV charging, but it means nothing if consumers don’t choose to change their behavior. We have seen how in cities, such as San Diego, there has been a huge rise in electric vehicles, where neighbors incentivize each other. Even though right now electric vehicles are not the most affordable vehicle option, the market has been rapidly changing, and we are seeing efforts from multiple companies, such as Hyundai, Chevrolet, and Ford, bringing out more affordable vehicles to consumers.
Reducing our C02 emissions will only be possible if everyone is able to make the decision to create change and implement zero-emission transportation in their daily lives.
Electric vehicles are one of the largest solutions to reducing C02 emissions. It is not enough to own an electric vehicle, but it is also key to understand where our energy comes from. We should be looking to prioritize the use of clean energy from renewable sources to charge our electric vehicles.
Smart charging software, such as Ampcontrol, is ideal for optimizing the charging of electric vehicles with clean energy, as it can pinpoint the times of the day when clean energy is available and schedule charging for that time period.
Learn more about the future of electric vehicles and the progress in the market here.