Impact of e-mobility on the environment

The project team within e-Road prepared a study which focused on collecting information regarding the impact of e-mobility on individual parts of the environment, as well as the environment of the cities. You will find the main points of the analysis below and you will be able to access the whole study for free on the e-Road website.

On municipalities

Advantages of e-mobility

  • High efficiency and top output in a wide range of rotations with a maximum torque from the lowest rotations
  • Easy operation and maintenance
  • Simple engine construction which is places right on the wheels
  • No need to take care of a large number of parts and operation liquids
  • No direct emissions
  • No noise
  • Option to power with electricity from renewable resources

Disadvantages of e-mobility

  • Producing emissions when charging the vehicles
  • High initial cost
  • Consumption burdening interior functions
  • Limited life of the battery
  • Insufficient public support
  • Short driving range

On living organisms

Pollution agent Impact on environment Influence of e-mobility
SOx, NOx (European Environment Agency, 2016 Accumulate and makes the environment more acidic

Cause acid rains

Impairs the ability to process food and carbon

Worse access to water (UNECE, n.d.)

No local operating emissions (Bentzen, Bezdzietna, Krasteva, & Laugesen, 2014)

Pollution depends on the kind of energy source (European Environment Agency, 2017)

Ground ozone (European Environment Agency, 2016) Destroys plant cell membranes which impairs the correct development and growth

Impairs the ability of the flora to clean the air (UNECE, n.d.)

Decreases the quality of crops (European Environment Agency, 2016)

When choosing the least ecological source of electric energy is the worse choice (Johnson, 2017)
Solid particles (UNECE, n.d.) Connected with higher mortality and cardiovascular issues

Lower visibility (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2013)

Ukládání těžkých kovů do půdy

Change of light amount possible for photosynthesis (Biswal & Mohapatra, 2014)

Producing only less dangerous PM10 compared to PM2,5 from diesel emissions (Biswal & Mohapatra, 2014)
Noise (UNECE, n.d.) Lower bird variety on nesting spots (Cruz, Francis, & Ortega, 2009)

Negative impact on the quality of sleep, long-term memory, and concentration (Matheson & Stansfeld, 2003)

In animals causes disorientation, increased agresivity, loss of hearing, and preying deficiencies (Rankesh, n.d.)

Low noise operation (European Environment Agency, 2018)

Need to artificially regulate noise levels and change the legislation (Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag, 2012)

Alien species (UNECE, n.d.) Threat for biovidersity and human well-being

Connected higher costs for medical treatment

Disruption of the local environment and ecosystem (Ascensao & Capinha, 2017)

Expulsion of domestic animal species from their appropriate habitats (Beja, Catarino, Godinho, Marques, & Mira, 2017)

Toxic waste Car repair shops work with a variety of toxic materials they have to process (Zdrazil, 2013)

Aerosol cans with detergents, airbags, antifreeze, cleaning agents and solvents, waste water, oils and lubricants, other liquids (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2017)

Electric vehicles do not need manipulation with toxic materials because they do not contain motor oils or similar lubricants (Zdrazil, 2013)

Insufficient recycling of battery materials (lithium) (Gardiner, 2017)

On ecology

Electric vehicles seem very efficient and their undisputable advantage lies in the zero emission production. However, this view is only partially true. It is necessary to distinguish between direct and indirect emissions.

Direct emissions: operational emissions are in fact zero in e-vehicles. During the run of an electric engine, there is no production of emissions, electricity is only consumed and also partially produced. This is in contrast with ICEs where there are emissions produced during the run of the engine because of the burning of fuels and emission gases being let into the air.

Indirect emissions: the total indirect emissions of CO2, NOX, SO2, and PM completely depends on the energy mix of the given country. The emissions produced by the energy plants themselves also count to the final emission count of the vehicles.(Konečný, 2015)

The operation of electric vehicles is more environment friendly than the operation of ICEs. However, the differences increase and decrease with the kind of sources that are used for the production of electricity.

On quality of citizen life in urban areas

Legislation tools

E-mobility plays a role also within programs that support a higher efficiency of vehicles. This table shows some regulations that are in place around the world.

Type of tool E-mobility role
Optimising fuel consumption (The Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, 2011) HEV

o   Based on computer calculations adjust the use of ICE and battery to find the most economic drive mode (Ergon, n.d.)


o   Is able to run solely on electric power and ICE is used for the longer driving range or higher output (Ergon, n.d.)


o   Does not use fossil fuels

Greenhouse gases emissions (The Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, 2011) HEV

o   Lower thanks to the combination of ICE and electric engine – WTW=6,3 t of CO2 compared to 11,4 t when using only gas (U.S. Department of Energy, 2017)


o   Lower thanks to the combination of ICE and electric engine – WTW=6,3 t of CO2 compared to 11,4 t when using only gas (U.S. Department of Energy, 2017)


o   No direct emissions – WTW=4,5 t of CO2 compared to 11,4 t for gas (U.S. Department of Energy, 2017)

In regards to the EU goal to ensure at least 27 % of energy from renewable resources by 2030, the WTWemissions will be even lower(International Energy Agency, 2014)

High gas tax (The Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, 2011) HEV

o   Small mitigation given the combination of ICE and electric engine


o   Partial mitigation thanks to the option to charge the battery from the grid and not be dependent solely on the ICE and fossil fuels


o   Free from this tax

Incentives(The Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, 2011) Use of lanes for ambulances, buses, and taxis

Lower tariff parking or no tariff parking

Park as you like

Reserved parking spots by charging stations on public parking lots

Free entrance to the city center

Contribution when purchasing an electric vehicle

Free from gas consumption tax, ownership tax, and tax from a commercial fleet (European Automobile Manufacturers Association, 2018)

High rate for tax deductions (European Automobile Manufacturers Association, 2018)

Lower rate for registration fee (European Automobile Manufacturers Association, 2018)

No import tax (Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, 2018)

No toll access (Fearnley, Figenbaum, Jellinek, & Pfaffenbichler, 2015)

Given the ambitious EU goal to lower emissions by 95 % compared to 1990 (International Energy Agency, 2014) it will be crucial for cities to find any tools that will allow them to stick to this goal and e-mobility in a variety of areas of the city operation can be one of the most efficient tools.


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