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UM report: Light electric trucks have lower life-cycle emissions than similar gas-powered vehicles

Electric_car_charge_point (1).jpg
Michael Flippo - stock.adobe.com
An electric car charging in a parking lot.

Light-duty electric vehicles stack up much better than those with internal combustion engines in a new University of Michigan study of greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers from U of M and Ford Motor Company looked at emissions over the life cycle of EVs and internal combustion vehicles.

After accounting for differences in fuel economy, annual mileage, vehicle production, and vehicle lifetime across vehicle classes, researchers found battery-electric vehicles have approximately 64% lower cradle-to-grave life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers say that could be significant with automotive manufacturers ramping up production of electric vehicles.

Sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks are currently responsible for nearly 60% of U.S. transportation sector emissions, the study found.

"This is an important study to inform and encourage climate action," said study senior author Greg Keoleian, a professor at the U of M School for Environment and Sustainability and director of the Center for Sustainable Systems. "Our research clearly shows substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions that can be achieved from transitioning to electrified powertrains across all vehicle classes."

The study appears in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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