The idea that electric cars can help reduce carbon may seem like a hoax to some but carbon emissions from new car sales in the UK have dropped by as much as 12% in 2021, according to the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
According to statistics from SMMT, carbon emissions from new cars in the UK in 2021 dropped by 11.2% compared with the previous year, with an average of 119.7 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Interestingly, the UK is not the fastest growing country for electric vehicles. Pure electric vehicles accounted for approximately 12% of new car sales last year. However, due to the low carbon emissions of pure electric vehicles and the growth in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, the total carbon emissions of new cars is in significant decline.
Looking at long-term trends, in the past 20 years, SUVs were the darlings of the market but their fuel consumption is relatively high, so carbon emissions of automobiles have not declined but worsened. Now, due to the popularity of pure electric cars and hybrid electric cars, this trend has begun to reverse.
One of the reasons EV sales will continue to grow in 2022 is also related to a shortage of chips. SMMT pointed out that, due to limited production capacity, car manufacturers will give priority to producing key models including electric vehicles because this is related to whether they can meet the government's carbon reduction targets.
Overall, there are currently about 4 million vehicles on UK roads and, although electric vehicles can reduce carbon emissions, pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) only account for 1.3% of this number. It will take several years to more significantly impact overall performance.
The above statistic is probably too optimistic because SMMT only notes carbon emissions from newly sold vehicles but does not calculate carbon emissions of the entire life cycle of vehicles. Considering carbon emissions from the production and power generation processes, the actual reduction of carbon emissions will be even less but that does not change the fact that electric vehicles can greatly improve carbon emissions.
In the next few years, with green energy, carbon neutral processes, and more advanced battery technology, electric vehicles will continue to reduce overall carbon emissions. At present, only the SMMT in the UK has put forward the above data but Norway’s data should be more interesting.