If we think of an electric car versus a hybrid, or a gasoline car, we all think at first that the electric car should be more ‘eco’, right? A priori, an electric car should generate less polluting emissions than an equivalent with a gasoline engine. However, there is one particular case where this is not the case. A study shows that an electric car, in particular, is more polluting than a Toyota Corolla with a gasoline engine. Curious right? Let’s dive into it.
It has always been well known that Hummer vehicles had high fuel consumption. Because of its large engines, its high weight, and its enormous dimensions. They now have the GMC Hummer EV, which is their first all-electric pickup truck. But is it environmentally friendly? The study at hand has found that it is as inefficient as its predecessors with a heat engine. So much so that, effectively, the GMC Hummer EV is a more polluting vehicle than a Toyota Corolla with a gasoline engine.
An electric car that pollutes more than gasoline, this is the explanation
In the study in question, they detail that this has to do with several factors. The first is that an electric car requires electrical energy to move, and depending on how this electrical energy is produced, greenhouse gases are released. But in addition, in an electric car, it is also necessary to consider that for the production of its enormous batteries – in a model like the GMC Hummer EV – it is necessary to extract minerals, process and transform them, and throughout this process polluting emissions are also produced. For this reason, although we all want to have more autonomy in an electric car, the truth is that it is less ecological the greater the energy capacity of its battery. That’s one of the big problems with the electric Hummer.
All things considered, a Chevrolet Bolt EV is responsible for 92 grams of CO2 per mile, and a gasoline-powered Chevrolet Malibu for more than 320 grams per mile. Here, the difference is very favorable to the electric model. However, in the GMC Hummer EV things change because it is responsible for 341 grams of CO2 per mile traveled. In this case, an electric car is more polluting than a gasoline model, and it is still much more polluting – 106 and 102 grams, respectively – than a Ford F-150 Lightning or a Rivian R1T. This means that, although electric pick-ups are made, they can be made more efficient at all levels. And a Toyota Corolla, for example, emits 269 grams per mile traveled.
The big problem with the GMC Hummer EV is its more than 4,100 kilos, its almost completely square shape, and its lack of aerodynamics. This means that, even if it is a fully electric car, its propulsion system has to make an enormous effort, absolutely inefficient, not only to move its enormous mass but also to cut through the air. But it is also true that these figures are for the United States, and that they depend a lot on the geographical position that is taken as a reference since that is what makes the energy mix vary. That is how electrical energy is produced. For this reason, it is not only important to produce more efficient electric cars, but also to increase the production of electrical energy from renewable sources.