Lucid Air and Tesla Model 3: The greenest electric cars according to
Jul 14,2022 | Chloe Lacour
The American agency Bloomberg has just launched its ranking of the most virtuous electric cars marketed in the United States. Nearly 35 models feature in this evolving chart, with scores out of 100 plummeting from 71.1 to 27.4.
Carbon footprint in use
In order to arrive at its ranking, Bloomberg embarked on scholarly calculations that take into account the work of the MIT research institute. Over the life of the vehicle, a 70% share is attributed to the carbon footprint concerning the use of the car.
This value takes into account the range of the vehicle in miles, in relation to its empty weight in pounds, and with regard to a reference value set at 0.1099. The latter is 10% higher than the range/weight ratio of the most efficient vehicle.
The best is to take as an example the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range which comes out on top of the podium with a score of 71.1 out of 100. Its autonomy is 520 miles. It weighs 5,203 pounds empty with the battery. As a first step, Bloomberg, therefore, divides the autonomy by the weight: 520/5,203 = 0.0999423.
This result is again divided by the reference value of 0.1099. Which gives 0.909393. And to get the 70% share, that number is multiplied by 0.7 and then by 100. So: 0.909393 x 0.7 x 100 = 63.65751.
Carbon footprint in manufacturing
To establish manufacturing carbon footprint differences, Bloomberg focuses only on the battery. Assuming that the other elements will not play a big role. "A wiring harness, for example, takes about as many resources in the manufacture of a Ford Mustang Mach-E as in that of a Mini Cooper SE", justifies the American agency.
Starting from this shortcut, the carbon footprint during construction, reduced to that of the pack, weighs 30% of the life of the vehicle. A new fixed reference value has been calculated: 29.34. This is 10% less than the energy capacity in kilowatt-hours of the smallest lithium-ion battery on board a car.
This number is divided by the actual capacity of the model being rated (118 kWh for the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range). So for this car, 29.34 divided by 118 equals 0.248644. The weighting is obtained by multiplying this value by 0.3 and then by 100, which gives 7.45932.
To know the note of a car, it is finally enough to add the 2 values. That is to say 63.65751 + 7.45932 for the chosen Lucid Air, i.e. 71.11683, rounded up to 71.1.
With great blows of the sickle
The chemistry of the battery, the origin of the cells, their lifespan which also depends on the temperature management system, the place of manufacture, the real efficiency, the repairability of the packs and their recycling, etc.: all this information is nevertheless important to determine a classification of electric vehicles from the most virtuous to the worst student is completely zapped.
With a dependence on greenhouse gas emissions only, only the range according to the weight of the vehicle and the energy capacity of the battery are taken into account. In theory, models with small packs should be preferred. Coming in first, the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range proves the opposite.
There is still a slight advantage to relying on the autonomy, the empty weight, and the energy capacity of the batteries, it is that the classification, however perfectible it may be, could be valid in France, in Europe, and elsewhere… if there were no other models of electric cars in these territories.
This work is not useless, but it would require to be completed, and especially to receive a name other than "Green classification". For example, there is no justification for the place taken by each of the models. We find something for the Lucid Air with the evocation of its aerodynamics and the efficiency of its engines. But this comment is far from being the rule.
If Tesla is not in the lead today in the Bloomberg ranking, the manufacturer was a few days ago, before the introduction of the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range. This shows that this table is scalable.
the agency warns that there will be future introductions during the current year 2022. These are the Audi A6 e-Tron, Nissan Ariya, Cadillac Lyriq, Fisker Ocean, Audi Q4 e-Tron, and Jeep Wrangler Magneto EV. In total, more than 25 new EVs should be added to the ranking by the end of 2024.
Three Tesla are in the 5 places by limiting each model by its highest rated declination. These are the Model 3 Long Range (2nd; a score of 66.7 out of 100), Tesla Model S Plaid (3rd; 61.8), and Tesla Model Y Long Range (5th; 58.8).
The Chevrolet Bolt slips into 4th place with a score of 59.5. The Korean group Hyundai only comes next, breaking the line-up of American cars: Hyundai Kona Electric (6th; 58), Kia Niro EV (8th; 53.3), and Kia EV6 (9th; 52.3).
European premiere in 11th place
The first European electric car comes in 11th place. This is the BMW i4 (51.6/100). We are in the US market with this ranking. So no Renault or model from the Stellantis group.
Among the EVs we know of in France, there are also the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (12th; 50.5), Volkswagen ID.4 (15th; 49.8), Mini Cooper SE (16th; 49.3), Nissan Leaf ( 18th; 49), Mercedes EQS (19th; 48)…
The Audi e-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan open the section which brings together the least efficient electric cars, with a score below 40. But it is 3 American pick-ups that are in the red lantern: Ford F-150 Lightning (33/ 100), Rivian R1T (30.8), and GMC Hummer (27.4). We can't wait to see how the Tesla Cybertruck would stack up against them.
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