Research Firm: Tesla Cars Just As Dirty As Petrol And Diesel

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A study has found electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla are no better for the environment than diesel or petrol-fueled cars.

Despite being recognized as among the most environmentally friendly on the market, Tesla vehicles harm the planet just about as much as their diesel and petrol equivalents, according to a recent analysis by Engaged Tracking, a London-based research firm. Engaged Tracking determined that the production of Tesla vehicles — and generating the electricity to keep them running — contributes to greenhouse gas emissions just as much as traditional vehicles in the United Kingdom. This is because more CO2 is emitted during the manufacturing of electric vehicles, and the electricity Tesla vehicles in the U.K. require are generated mostly by coal and gas.

“Teslas are not cleaner to run than the average car in the U.K. The annual emissions of a U.K. car is 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide, based on an average of 7,800 miles a year,” Engaged Tracking’s chief analyst Jonathan Harris said to the Sunday Times. “Both the Tesla Model S vehicles we analysed have the same emissions as an ordinary petrol car of 1.5 tons of CO2 per year.”

However, Tesla quickly pushed back on the group’s findings, claiming the comparison of a Model S — a larger model — to an average vehicle is not fair.

“It makes no sense to compare Model S to the average annual emissions figure for cars in the U.K., because that average includes a lot of smaller models that are dissimilar to Model S,” said a Tesla spokesman. “Any fair analysis shows that electric vehicles like Model S and Model 3 generate far less CO2 per mile than any comparable gas-powered car.” (RELATED: Report: Costly Electric Vehicles Hardly Do Anything To Help The Environment)

This isn’t the first time a study has determined electric vehicles to have no substantial benefit for the environment.

The Manhattan Institute published a report in May that analyzed the cost of electric automobiles and their effectiveness to clean the environment. The Institute’s findings were quite notable: electric cars actually increase the amount of pollution into the atmosphere compared to new internal combustion vehicles.

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