Electric cars have no tail pipe emissions and it is estimated that an electric car powered from today’s grid could emit between 15 per cent and 40 per cent less CO2 over its lifetime than a similar sized petrol car. Road transport is responsible for over 22 per cent of UK’s CO2 emissions and cars produce the vast majority of these.
The reduction in carbon emissions is mainly due to the fact that electric cars are more energy efficient than conventional vehicles. Regenerative breaking, which returns energy to the battery when brakes are applied, also improves fuel efficiency by up to 20 per cent.
The use of alternative fuels, like electricity, can help reduce these emissions, and in the case of electricity, help improve local air quality. As Northern Ireland’s electricity sector moves to low carbon energy sources this will help electric vehicles be more environmentally friendly from power source to the road.
In most cases electric vehicles will be charged at night at the owner’s home. An increase in night time demand for electricity (when there is traditionally lower demand on electricity resources) will mean better use of surplus night time wind energy.