Transport Watch UK Focusing on UK's Traffic & Traffic Systems

Topic 32. Electric cars

The Renault Zoe "zero emission" electric car advert

A peculiar tale enabling nonsense to be advertised.

We complained to the advertising standard's Authority about a an advert claiming that the Renault Zoe range of electric cars emitted zero carbon dioxide.  Our complaint was rejected.  Our letter, published by Local Transport Today, issue 655 (Sept 5th 2014) provides a summary of the astonishing action:  Here it is  The advert is here. The Advertising Standard's final adjudication is here  Our appeal is here.  It contains the calculations which enable the emissions from Renault Zoe to be compared with those from a diesel equivalent. The result of our appeal is here.

We conclude that they system is corrupt to the core.

Analysis based on first principles

The notes below provide a basis for comparing the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of electric cars with diesel powered ones on a like for like basis: 

The analysis shows that given the UK generating industry, the electric car emits similar of more carbon dioxide than do ordinary cars, with every prospect that improved Internal Combustion powered vehicles will emit less than the electric competitor -  unless the UK generating industry is decarbonised.

Summary note– as provided to Discussion Point at

Extended note
Appendix 1. The principles and the values.

Excel spread sheets – enabling sensitivity tests

(A)    Energy in battery manufacture set to 50% of that transmitted during the battery’s life
(B)    Energy in battery manufacture set to 100% of that transmitted during the battery’s life.

Responses to Freedom of information requests.

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