Driving longer with an old car is more sustainable
It is better to continue driving with an old car than to buy a new, more economical one
It is no secret that a considerable amount of CO2 is released during the production of electric vehicles. Volvo recently calculated that the production of an electric C40 produces 70 percent more emissions than that of a petrol XC40. A reason not to buy an EV? Not necessarily, because the electric car drives a lot more sustainability, even with the current energy mix of gray and green energy. But perhaps there is an even better option, and that is to drive longer with old cars.
The University of Kyushu studied the car fleet in Japan from 1990 to 2016. There, a car lasts an average of 13.3 years before it goes to scrap or before it is exported. If people there were to drive 10 percent longer with older (and less fuel-efficient) cars, that would save 30.7 tons of CO2. The reason is that fewer new cars need to be produced, and production causes a lot of emissions.
But what if you replace the old petrol car with an EV? “The answer strongly depends on the energy mix of the energy sector. If the electricity supply comes from fossil fuels, a faster transition to electric vehicles is likely to increase the overall carbon footprint of cars, especially since the production of alternative fuel vehicles currently produces about twice as much CO2 as the production of petrol cars. But a better answer to the question would require a more detailed study," said study researcher Yuya Nakamoto.