Prof.: Great thinking – E cars in Germany a lot of dirty than thought

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Prof.: Great thinking - E cars in Germany a lot of dirty than thought-prof

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Preliminary remark

The author is neither fan nor enemy of the E-vehicles. He is not paid by the automotive industry. His goal is a fact-based analysis without pre-adjustment, which drive type currently causes less CO2 in Germany.

In the discussion about the environmental impact of cars, there are numerous investigations in particular. To the CO2 emissions (cf. Z. B. The VDI study from 10/2020). In the majority, they come to the conclusion that there are now benefits for the electric vehicles (BEV) when viewed the entire lifecycle. Although the electric vehicles start with a handicap, because above all, the manufacture of the batteries brings many tons of CO2 with them. Over the years, however, they quickly get up because the ejection to CO2 per 100 km is allegedly much lower.
This reasoning usually does not meet what to show

Electricity generation in Germany

The generation of electricity is subject to a variety of regulations in Germany. The basic model of the Merit Orders has worked well for decades at first glance by producing only the most favorable power plants (with the lowest marginal costs). However, a great weak point was that external power generation costs were not fully to be borne by the causes. The pollutant emissions of the coal and the risks of the atomic industry have been highly socialized.

But here a further scheme should be examined, which was given by politics. It’s about the feed-in guarantee for renewable energies. Regardless of where and when they produce, the warranty was pronounced that the amounts of electricity from renewable energies were removed and the fixed price. This is true even if you have to be sold with a negative price abroad.

First, this specification was easily because only small quantities were fed. And the other power generators still laugh ..

This has passed quickly because every year more renewable energies are fed into the grid. On windy and sunny weekends or public holidays, a large part of the total energy consumption can then be covered by renewable energies at lunchtime.

It looks different if it is covered and nearly windless is. Fortunately, excellent data is available. The Organization Agora Energiewende publishes almost in real time, with which mix of power plants the electricity is generated in Germany. For example, on the 9th.12.2020 generated at certain times above 68 GW with conventional power plants, while the renewables also clearly below 20 GW.

So weaken the renewable energies, the conventional energies must step in. They are thus the gaps that are required whenever the renewable energies can not deliver. This short-term technical control process is very good of F. Henning (Focus.of. 1 ff.). Because of the lack of legacy of solar and wind energy, the fossil energies have to step in crisis situations above all. Thus, the wind and solar energy no responsibility must bear that the supply and demand can always be compensated. This can be understood as a subsidy whose value is hardly overester.

But in the long term, conventional energies must take over the balance. Although the stroke of the additional construction of renewable energies, the average CO2 emissions per kWh year after year leads. The proportion of fossil energy generation is thus. But even for the year 2030, a target of 65% in the generated electricity is. The fossil energies will therefore remain necessary in the significant extent.

An increased power consumption, Z. B. For new electric vehicles or heat pumps, the need for additional electricity is needed, which is not yet a surprise. However, since all renewable energies are always fed in due to priority, an increase is not possible. The compensation can be done almost only about the fossil power plants. Business administration means that adaptation to volatile electricity demand can not be done by renewable energies because they always feed with maximum power (except if they have to be switched off because of missing lines, but still be paid off). Thus, for the relevant CO2 emissions, the limit amount of fossil power generation and not the average amount of all power generation types.

Unfortunately, there are little incentives for renewable energies, then produce when the electricity is needed and positive prizes.

Thus, every additional electric vehicle demands and promotes almost only the fossil power generation.

The CO2 balance sheet

The big drawback is now created by the fact that the hard coal about. 820 kg CO2 Pro MWh causes (see Agora Documentation, S. 13), lignite even about. 1030 kg per MWh, natural gas 370 kg per MWh and other 1500 kg per MWh. In the natural gas, studies must be taken into account that hardly any advantage over the competitors is given due to losses in production and distribution.

In this respect, the emissions of the hard coal are assumed which leads to 820 g per kWh per kWh. With a consumption of electric vehicles of approx. 15 – 20 kWh per 100 km are then at least 12.3 kg per 100 km or 123 g (184 g) per kilometer. The Agora evaluations (cf. Agora: Conventional power generation) show that mainly with coal flow the additional amounts of electricity are generated. Detours to approach charging stations are not yet considered. Even with a discount, the numbers show that electric vehicles operated with coal flow significantly more CO2 as economical gasoline or diesel, which – also driven by the EU – must come to less than 95 g / km. Germany‘s best selling vehicle – The VW Golf – is already 98 g / km in the variant ETSI today. Smaller vehicle still below.

The fact that the electric vehicles can be included with 0 g / km into fleet emissions is amazing against this background ..

  • Conclusion 1: The average CO2 of electricity generation used in virtually all studies may not be used for comparative invoices. The limit must be used, which is mainly driven by fossil energies.
  • Conclusion 2: Electric vehicles can not currently reduce their CO2 backpack in many cases and sometimes increase their drawback with each kilometer.

A possible counter-argument is that over the years the share renewable stream is increasingly increasing. This is undoubtedly right, but does not change the fact that additional Electricity at least in the next few years mainly fossil must be produced. And since in the third quarter 2020, according to Destis, 56% of the amount of electricity was generated conventionally, that will remain long yet, if also with decreasing tendency. In this 3. Quarter of coal flow at 26.4% in the first place. After switching off the last nuclear power plants, the emission situation should continue to aggravate.

In the following figure, the expected course of fossil power generation is roughly sketched:

Prof.: Great thinking - E cars in Germany a lot of dirty than thought-cars Fig.1: Sketched course of fossil power generation

Although the fossil electricity is partially displaced by the electricity from renewable energies, they must supply all additional amounts of electricity. This also applies to the year 2022 if the last nuclear power plants go from the network. These had an infeed of 8 GW at the end of 2020. The corresponding jump of coal generation upwards is considered in Figure 1.

Higher electricity requirements thus also leads to the next few years that more coal flow must be generated. So, if additional electric vehicles (BEV), heat pumps etc. must be powered, the additionally needed electricity will have to come to the large part of fossil energy sources.

The surprising conclusion is that the sale of each electric vehicle should pop the champagne corks in the fossil power generators ..

Special case: cargo from your own solar system

It can only look different in the exceptional cases in which a separate photovoltaic system Additionally Only installed for charging the electric vehicle. Then there is a big advantage. However, the quantitatively is not very big, because many cars are traveling during the day and barely electricity can be generated. Storage are currently rarely economical and increase the CO2 emissions.

And even if an existing system is used for loading, the effect is minimal because then more electricity (opportunity) is needed in the network by non-feeding, which in turn must be generated by fossil power plants.


Electric vehicles, which are currently only in small niches, are pressed into the market with high subsidies because they are allegedly more environmentally friendly. This is rarely true today in Germany.

Today’s purchase bonuses for electric vehicles and the many other subsidies are initially very expensive for taxpayers. The citizens who need a second car and have their own charging option. That’s certainly not the poorest ..

In the given rules of the German electricity market, new electric vehicles almost always significantly increase the CO2 emissions.

The citizen who wants to contribute to the CO2 reduction with the purchase of electric vehicles can hardly achieve this if he does not build a new solar system at the same time.

The government has once again been caught in its own subsidy trade and reaches the opposite of its destination of CO2 reduction, and the costs to horrendous. The 55% destination of the reduction in 2030 VS. 1990 is counteracted.

Until electric vehicles in Germany are really more advantageous, the renewable energies incl. Memory are significantly expanded and requires further technical advances in the batteries. That will take years. Until then, electric vehicles should be limited to niches. The subsidies must be adjusted as soon as possible.

This article was made by Prof. Dr. Peter Hoberg written by the Hochschule Worms and looks at the CO2 balance of electric cars in Germany. This is his opinion, deposited with corresponding sources and is to be discussed.

  • Agora Energiewende: Power generation and power consumption, in: https: // www.Agora energy transition.DE / Service / Agorameter / Chart / Power_Generation / 05.12.2020/12.12.2020 /
  • Agora Energiewende: Agora Documentation, in: https: // static.Agora energy transition .DE / FileAdmin2 / Projects / Agermameter / A-W_Artergrunddokumentation_AgORAMETER _V37_WEB.pdf
  • Agora Energiewende: Conventional power generation, in: https: // www.Agora energy transition.DE / Service / Agorameter / Chart / Conventional_Power_Generation / 07.12.2020/14.12.2020 /
  • Destatis: Press Release 498, in: https: // www.Destatis.DE / DE / Press / Press Releases / 2020/12 / PD20_498_43312.HTML
  • Henning, F.: Why with electric cars often leaves coal electricity in the battery, in: https: // www.focus.DE / Auto / News / Kraftwerks-Expert-Erklaert-der -E-Oekostrom-TRICK-WHY-IN ELECTROAUTOS-OFF COAL CURRENT-IN CASHER-LANDET_ID_11622440.HTML
  • Rest, K.: Electric car dizziness, Norderstedt 2020
  • VDI: Ecobilance of cars with different drive systems 10/2020, in: https: // www.VDI.DE / FileAdmin / Pages / VDI_DE / Editors / Vor_ort / BV / Braunschweiger-BV / News / News_bv / VDI-Studio_Oecobilance PCW_INTERNET.pdf
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6 thoughts on “Prof.: Great thinking – E cars in Germany a lot of dirty than thought”

  1. Most charging stations are supplied with eco flow. The increased demand leads to a market print that more eco flow must be delivered. And a good energy transition also puts on memory and biogas to compensate for short and long bottlenecks.

    Only because in the last 16 years the energy transition was systematically dismantled by the CDU-guided governments, it is not appropriate to now attribute the still and now partly unnecessary fossil power plants to the electric cars.

    Who a turn – for example an energy transition – wants, must think in the should. Who does not want a turning, thinks in the is and finds a thousand reasons why a change is not going.

  2. Dear Mr. Hohberg, I have there for you a grandiose idea to generate much eco flow as fast as possible. The Deutsche Bahn could use diesel locomotives again and thus renounce a lot of electricity with their e-locomotives. This would be a lot of green electricity in the net and the railway would now finally drive with their diesel locomotives with 100% green electricity. Do the DB this proposal. I honestly do not dare. In my back of my mind, I have noticed concerns to do that because I’m a bit scared, the DB gives my address to a psychatical clinic.
    Seriously: What sadly agrees to me as a former teacher that they have trained half a life students and confronted and influenced these students with such thoughts.
    My tip: If you are busy with a topic, then you should also in the direction of research that one first seems uncomfortable. Z.B., If I deal with the consequences of the E-car, then I have to deal with the consequences of the burner.
    The motto, that’s always good and proven well and proven, the new is my suspect and thus I’m looking for reasons so I can reject it is not a good basis for the truth determination.

  3. A very good and factual contribution. Meanwhile, there are enough studies who deal with the entire CV and confirm exactly this. Not only the life cycle assessment is not so brilliant as often (politically motivated), but also the overall efficiency is moving on that of a modern combustion.

  4. This article is based on some misunderstandings on the energy supply system:

    • Even without priority regulation for renewable energies, wind and PV generate in the market primarily in front of coal, gas etc., as they have no variable generation costs. This results from the market mechanisms described in the article. This is the priority regulation for wind and PV thus no hidden subsidies. Nowadays, wind and PV participate in the direct marketing anyway.
    • Negative market prices arise at times when it is cheaper in the case of low load and high infeed from wind and PV for basic load power plants to accept negative electricity prices than to dissipate these power plants and to travel a little later. So it is not the renewable energy sold to negative prices abroad, but the sluggish coal flow.

    This results in the following conclusions:

    • As a supplement to variable wind and photovoltaic power plants, more and more flexible gas power plants are required in the future, which can be easily switched off and approached. However, these power plants are available in Germany, but are currently hardly any use period due to market conditions, which is why the decommissioning is requested for many of these flexible power plants (see list of BNetza). The coal exit will change this.
    • CO2 emissions of gas power plants is approx. 50% of CO2 emissions of coal-fired power plants (per generated kWh electrical). As a result, the CO2 contemplation set out in this article is not valid according to the coal exit anyway (but will take account of the CO2 balance sheet of electricity imports. From France certainly no problem, from Poland rather already. That will then have the CO2 price to regulate.)
    • The CO2 emission of battery-powered vehicles is becoming increasingly smaller, the lower the CO2 emissions of power generation (tray, sorry …). Since we seek a CO2-neutral power supply, battery-powered vehicles fit perfectly. You always have to consider and analyze strategies of power supply and e-mobility together. Then there is a very coherent picture.
    • There are thus not the subsidies for electric cars, but rather massively advancing the expansion of renewable energies in Germany if you want to design the energy and traffic sector CO2-neutral. To subsidize e-cars and at the same time to throw the wind and solar industry to throw sticks between their legs is not very coherent strategy (apparently but unfortunately the strategy of our federal government).
    • And as an electrical engineer, I would like to point out that it is actually well known that an electric motor is technically considerably superior to a piston engine. This simply means that battery-powered or fuel cell-powered vehicles will prevail exactly as soon as the power storage problem can be considered as a solved. This technical development would also take place without CO2 consideration. Currently, much speaks that the battery of the fuel cell is superior in the passenger area. This may be different in other areas. In a few years you will be similar to a car with internal combustion engine, as today a TV with tube screen.
  5. I’ll wait until lobby-free scientists check these statements.
    It is not so that there was no reputable studies before.

    I have been watching for 4 years that there is a veritable hits against e-mobility, so I’m careful here with allegedly new insights.

    E-car vs burner
    https: // / jhxeaslleio

    Environmental polluter – electric cars against burners
    https: // / watch?T = 123&v = mm6n9fum5f8&Feature =

    Ecobilance of alternative drives – Update 2018 (Umweltbundesamt AT)
    https: // http://www.Federal Environmental Agency.AT / FileAdmin / Site / Publications / DP152.pdf

    Climate balance of electricity-based drives and fuels
    https: // http://www.Agora road turn.DE / FileAdmin / Projects / 2019 / Klimabilanz_BatteryForews / 32_Klimabilance_Strom-Based_Aups_Werts_Web.pdf

    How an ARD document is spread over electromobility absurd stuff and thus strengthens climate change
    https: // graslutscher.DE / How to create an ARD Document Abstructons-Building Over ElectromobilitaT-distributed-and-by-Climate Change Stared /

    # 6 New Lobby Study on Diesel and E-Car? | That’s a good question podcast
    https: // / p9pkoru3gz4

    # 8 Environmental e-car? | That’s a good question podcast
    https: // youtu.BE / PZMYEHXI-QE

    What are “rare earths”?
    https: // http://www.Smaveo.DE / WHAT-RARE ERTS / #: ~: Text = S% C3% Average% 20Lithium% 20Wie% 20Lithium% 2C% 20cobalt, Battery manufacture% 20STE% 20RS% 20BS% C3% B6s% 20.

  6. The purest insanity has broken out, the energy is obtained from the preferential states, which dine with stone or lignite electricity into the EU network, just these builds. Solid on Atom Malians and coal-fired power plants. Then you will say here, we have reduced the works and driving electric, this electricity has been bought expensive in the preference. Until an electric car is produced, it has consumed more energy than an Otto car. Precious metals in large numbers are bought expensive, the origin is China. The loading of, for example, 10 million e-cars would break the EU network instantan together. Driving on the just generated more Co’2 as a diesel car. Because the electricity had to be generated, no one has received this from solar or wind power, on the contrary, this had to bring back to the EU network for a fee, as superfluous in comparison with all the reactors of the changeand. The downfall of the German car mobile industry in an unimaginable way has broken down train, most car bosses sitting in jail, or were exchanged against eco freaks, just as it was on all walls and bridges of the 70Zigs Bonzen , we get you. And they are out, and they were ge.


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