Yes the automotive industry needs to clean up its act, but are electric cars really that green? How environmentally friendly can an electric car be if its ultimate energy source is an oil fired power plant?

There are many different types or EV, a plug-in hybrid for example still uses internal combustion as its main power source, but can charge its internal battery from the mains. Broadly-speaking its midway between petrol and pure battery for efficiency, but has similar range to a petrol car.

Multiple studies have found that electric cars are more efficient, that means less greenhouse gas and other emissions than cars powered solely by internal combustion engines.  Ok, so studies prove running an EV is greener that a diesel or petrol car, but what about the environmental effects of building the electric car?

A report by the Ricardo consultancy estimated that production of an average petrol car produces emissions equivalent of 5.6 tonnes of CO2. Yet the figure for an average electric car, the figure is a hefty 8.8 tonnes (nearly half of which is incurred in producing the battery). Not a great advert for what is supposed to be environmental conscious transport! The same report estimated that over its whole lifecycle, the electric car would still be responsible for 80% of the emissions of the petrol car.

It appears that transport technology still has a long way to go to save the planet.