A few weeks ago we highlighted an 'inconvenient fact' for the publicly traded electric car manufacturers and the environmentally-conscious Left, namely that, according to Morgan Stanley, electric cars generate more CO2 than they save.  As a stark reminder to our left-leaning political elites who created these companies with massive taxpayer funded subsidies in the United States, Morgan Stanley pointed out that while electric cars don't burn gasoline they do have to be charged using electricity generated by coal and other fossil fuels.

This is where Tesla, along with China’s Guoxuan High-Tech fall short.

 

“Whilst the electric vehicles and lithium batteries manufactured by these two companies do indeed help to reduce direct CO2 emissions from vehicles, electricity is needed to power them,” Morgan Stanley wrote. “And with their primary markets still largely weighted towards fossil-fuel power (72% in the U.S. and 75% in China) the CO2 emissions from this electricity generation are still material.”

 

In other words, “the carbon emissions generated by the electricity required for electric vehicles are greater than those saved by cutting out direct vehicle emissions.”

 

Morgan Stanley calculated that an investment of $1 million in Canadian Solar results in nearly 15,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide being saved every year. For Tesla, such an investment adds nearly one-third of a metric ton of CO2.

Which seems like the perfect backdrop to report on the recent comments of Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, who told a forum in the northern city of Tianjin over the weekend that his ministry had started “relevant research” for establishing a timeline to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles in the Chinese market.  According to The Guardian, Xin said the policy would be implemented "in the near future."

“These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give momentum to China’s auto industry development,” he said in remarks broadcast by CCTV state television.

 

“Enterprises should strive to improve the level of energy saving for traditional cars, and vigorously develop new energy vehicles according to assessment requirements,” he said.

 

China produced and sold more than 28m vehicles last year, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

Ironically, China generates 65% of its power, more than double the U.S., from the "dirtiest" fuel available: coal.  So, while the move to electric cars will undoubtedly be praised by blissfully ignorant politicians and environmental lobbyists, the end result will be even higher carbon emissions.

Cina Power

 

Of course, this is hardly a China-centric development as Bloomberg recently noted that almost 80% of the global auto market is pushing toward a phase-out of petroleum cars in favor of more "environmentally friendly" electric vehicles.

 

Meanwhile, aggregate global electric vehicle sales are expected to overtake internal combustion engines within about 20 years.

 

Ironically, the end result of this effort to 'save the environment' will be more expensive vehicles, landfills full of lithium-ion batteries and more coal-fired generation plants...but, somehow we suspect those 'inconvenient facts' are lost on our politicians and enviros who seem determined to subsidize Elon's trip to Mars.

Oh well, at least electric car investors in China are having a good day...