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Electric vehicles emit half the greenhouse gases of a diesel car over the course of their lifetimes, findings from a new European modelling study show.

The CO2 emissions created by vehicles reliant on even the most carbon intensive energy – and including manufacturing emissions – are already significantly lower than those produced by diesels.

The latest findings are likely to be gratefully received in Brussels – which is set to reveal a new 2030 emissions standard later this year.

In one test conducted by the team from Belgium’s VUB University on Europe’s cleanest grid, in Sweden, reductions in CO2 were as pronounced as 85%.

In Poland, a nation heavily reliant on coal use, electric cars produced a quarter less emissions than diesels in the lifespan-model conditions, whereas in countries like the UK – the improvement is around 50%.

Earlier this month figures showed that third-quarter take up of electric vehicles was up 36% on the previous year, with 12,932 drivers making the switch between July and September.

Yoann Le Petit, a spokesman for the T&E think tank, which commissioned the study, explained that on average, electric vehicles will roughly emit half the CO2 of a diesel model by 2030.

He added: “We’ve been facing a lot of fake news in the past year about electrification put out by the fuel industry but in this study you can see that even in Poland today it is more beneficial to the climate to drive an electric vehicle than a diesel.”

Some EU officials have called into question Europe’s ability to create a 5-10% share for electric cars in the near future. Currently under 2% of new vehicles sold across the continent are electric.

Before results of the latest tests were made public, there were also question marks over capacity to scale up construction of battery plants.

An EU source said: “You can’t have a massive explosion of electric cars as there’s no plants here to build the batteries. In any case, when you take into account the emissions from battery manufacture and electricity supply, their GHG emissions are not so attractive.”

The study team added though, that as battery technology continues to improve and more renewables enter the electricity grid, emissions from the battery production itself could be cut by as much as 65%.

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