Are the greenhouse gas emissions induced by the electrification of vehicles hidden?

Conflicting articles circulate on this subject, often revealing to the author’s opinion rather than a real scientific basis.
As an independent specialist, GPE offers you the results of its study, using the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology, of the total CO2 generated by diesel, petrol, unplugged hybrid, plugged hybrid and electric motorisations.
Consider C-segment SUVs that will travel 200,000 km over their lifetime.

We discover that:

  • Yes, the production and recycling of electrified vehicles, including their batteries, emits more greenhouse gases. In particular, the production and recycling of an electric vehicle emits 80% more CO2.
  • On the other hand, during their 200,000 km of driving, these electrified vehicles are more virtuous, even including indirect emissions. In particular, a reduction from 171 gCO2 per km for a diesel-powered vehicle to 60 gCO2 per km for an electric vehicle.
  • In total, compared to the diesel-powered vehicle:
    • An unplugged hybrid vehicle is of no interest in terms of CO2, and is indeed worse.
    • An hybrid vehicle plugged as often as possible (over 80,000 km) emits 17% less CO2.
    • An electric vehicle doubles this advantage, to 36% less CO2.

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Are electrified vehicles a luxury reserved for the fashionable middle classes?


It is undeniable that the list price of electrified, hybrid or electric vehicles is still significantly higher than that of their combustion engine counterparts. Shall we stop there?

As an independent specialist, GPE offers you a comparison of the actual Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for diesel, petrol, unplugged hybrid, plugged hybrid and electric powered vehicles for a Belgian company.

Consider C-segment SUVs which travel, typically for a company, 30,000 km per year during a 4-year lease.

The following graph details the direct cost, item by item, in € per month, before taxation:


We discover that:

  • Despite a registration tax and road tax system favourable to electrified vehicles, the monthly lease amount, including depreciation of the vehicle, financial charges and the aforementioned taxes, is still not attractive for these new vehicles.
  • The actual fuel / electricity factor is very advantageous for electrified vehicles: compared to diesel, the plugged hybrid costs 20% less per kilometre and the electric vehicle 68% less.
  • In total, only the electric vehicle has a small advantage over diesel.

Belgian corporate taxation has become very unfavourable to conventional combustion engine vehicles: since the 2020 tax base, their unauthorized expenses have become considerable and will, later on, impact corporate income tax:
Finally, compared to current diesel vehicles, a frequently recharged plug-in hybrid allows savings of 10% and an electric vehicle enables savings of 24%.

Electrifying your vehicle fleet is therefore an ecological and economical choice.

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