Electric vehicles have been hailed as a key solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in cities. They offer a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel-powered cars.

As with any new technology, however, EVs have their drawbacks. One of the main issues that Green NCAP, a European green vehicle assessment program, has identified is that EVs are heavy.

Weight is a crucial factor in the environmental impact of any vehicle. A heavier car needs more energy to move and emits more greenhouse gasses. This is because the engine has to work harder to overcome the weight of the vehicle, which results in higher fuel consumption. Green NCAP also points out all cars suffer from this problem regardless of their powertrain.

In a recent study, Green NCAP examined the total environmental impact of 34 cars over their lifetime, including seven fully electric models. The results showed that electric cars produce 40 to 50 percent lower emissions than those with a combustion engine. However, the difference could have been even more significant if the EVs were lighter.

The weight of an EV is largely determined by its battery, as it takes up to 25 percent of the total car weight. Batteries are heavy, and the larger the battery, the more weight it adds to the car. In the study, the Nio ET7 model, which had the largest battery at 100 kWh, had the highest emissions of all the cars examined.

The report underlines the need for both manufacturers and consumers to change their behavior. Manufacturers need to focus on reducing the weight of EVs by developing lighter batteries and using lighter materials in the vehicle’s construction. Consumers, on the other hand, need to be aware of the impact of weight on emissions and choose lighter vehicles.

This is particularly important given the trend towards larger, heavier SUVs, which are increasingly popular with consumers. In the past decade, sales of large SUVs have increased sevenfold, which has led to a nine percent increase in the average weight of cars on the road.

As Europe sold four million small SUVs in 2022, ensuring that EVs are cleaner, lighter and more efficient by reducing their weight should be a priority for manufacturers.

Electric car

An electric car, battery electric car, or all-electric car is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using only energy stored in batteries. (wikipedia)

Electric vehicle

An electric vehicle is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, (wikipedia)