Musk Says New Anti-EV Study Is ‘Clueless’ At Best


Guess it’s time again, time for someone to try and use numbers to attack electric vehicles. A Swedish study is making the rounds with some outlandish claims. If they were true, they’d certainly put EVs in a bad spot. But don’t worry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that,

“Calling [the study] cueless [sic] would be generous” and if you value the word of Popular Mechanics, then this study is absolute nonsense,” “bupkis,” and “bunk.

So, what does the study say? Well, basically, that making an electric vehicle – especially its battery – releases more CO2 into the air than driving your average gas car. Since Tesla is a fine target for these sorts of attacks, the specific number used in the report is that making the battery for a Model S creates as much CO2 – 17.2 tons – as driving a gas car for eight years. But, well, if we look at some real numbers, then we see that the EPA says (PDF) that, “A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.” So, well, simple math shows that 17.2 divided by 4.7 is 3.6 years. That’s less than eight, but whatever. For more details, check out Popular Mechanic‘s breakdown, which points out that the study doesn’t calculate the energy needed to refine the gasoline.

Musk wasted no time calling out the flaws in the study on Twitter, but when asked by other users to provide some actual numbers for Tesla’s battery production, he declined, saying only that making the Model 3 will produce “a lot” less CO2 than it takes to make a $35,000 gas car.


Despite being the country behind the report, Sweden could be seen as being quite EV-friendly. It has been used as a location for EV testing, has been talked about as a possible location for a new Tesla factory, and has a relatively robust plug-in vehicle sales story to tell. The study can be found here (PDF).

Source: NyTeknik, Elon Musk on Twitter, Popular Mechanics

Categories: Battery Tech, Tesla

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108 Comments on "Musk Says New Anti-EV Study Is ‘Clueless’ At Best"

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Seems like the study is flawed. But I do find it odd that Musk implies Tesla doesn’t really know their numbers and just goes by cost. I think it would behoove Tesla to do a study and release it. That would help deflect some of the studies on the other side at the least.

Clearly cost doesn’t indicate CO2 directly for Tesla’s competitors (fossil fuel-powered cars) so I think just leaning on cost as justification is not a strong argument.


I think it is just that looking at cost reveals no proprietary information. I’m sure he could do better otherwise.


Just read the study. It references other peer reviewed studies, including one using real life manufacturing data from LG Chem and Ford.

Sure science never was an obstacle to a crowd of narrow minded worshipers :/ But for more rational people it is what it is, and this study just restates what other studies stated before – in today’s economy you emit some 7-16 tonnes of CO2 and God knows how much other cruft to produce 100 kWh battery. It is yet another innovative way to propel consumerism and trash environment.

Get Real

Zzzzz is the very epitomy of a serial pro-fossil fuel, anti EV and especially anti-Tesla troll here on InsideEVs.

Tesla Model S and X are DISPLACING large, luxury gas and diesel vehiclesm

In doing so they are displacing those vehicles C02 and other fossil fuel emissions you love so much for THE LIFETIME OF THOSE GAS HOGS.

Go out to your garage and suck some more on some “Clean Diesel” you pathetic troll.


To pick a nit:
You don’t DISPLACE a vehicle unless the old vehicle is literally destroyed or recycled.

You do DISPLACE the source of energy for transportation by moving it from the point of gasoline production to the point of electricity generation which is increasingly renewables.


Are your posts too good to be at the bottom?

If you’re not responding to my post then just put your comments at the bottom like everyone else.

He wants to make sure his propagandist posts are seen. Zzzzz, they are seen and ignored as hey should.


zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Sure science never was an obstacle to a crowd of narrow minded worshipers :/ ”

You demonstrate your eagerness to disregard real science every time you promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax. And that’s quite often.

So it appears you’re describing yourself and the “crowd” of shills who slavish worship Big Oil.


That’s just another poor case of assuming that the impact scales with capacity. That completely neglects the differences in battery chemistry and that Tesla’s pack uses drastically less material per kWh than Ford’s.

Ford’s 23kWh LG Chem pack is 667 lbs. Tesla’s 100kWh pack is ~1300lbs. The Tesla pack is 4.35x the capacity, but the weight is only 1.95x.

The only study that they cited that had NCA (Tesla’s chemistry) had numbers all over the map (2.4 to 1062 MJ/kWh).


I encourage everyone to read this study at It was financed by 2 Swedish government agencies without a bias against EV’s. It’s certainly not clueless and anti-EV as some who have obviously not read the study have claimed.

The study makes no comparisons between the amount of CO2 emitted during battery pack production and driving an ICE vehicle. As usual, anti-EV groups have taken this study and used it to draw clueless and anti-EV conclusions.

From the study’s conclusions:

“Based on our review greenhouse gas emissions of 150-200 kg CO2-eq/kWh battery looks to correspond to the greenhouse gas burden of current battery production.”

So for the production of a 100 kWh battery pack, the greenhouse gas emissions would be ~1.5 – 2.0 metric tons of CO2-eq, not zzzzzzzzzz’s vastly exaggerated ” 7-16 tonnes of CO2″.


Your calculation is for 10kWh, not 100kWh.

The study’s figures would imply 15-20 tCO2 for a large battery.


Zzzzzzzzzz…..zzzzzzzzzz….zzHRMFF! Wha… TESLA BAD…TESLA BAD!..zzzzzzzzzz…..zzzzzzzzzz…….


“Sure science”? That’s not how science works. Absolutes are for philosophy and stock shorting!

Elooney Muskey

The tweet master is clueless what he is talking about.

Elooney Muskey

By tweetmaster’s logic, all the subcompacts costing under $20k are greener than MOdel 3, as the cost difference covers 10 years of gas costs.

Get Real

Fixed that for you!

The dumb@$$ serial anti Tesla troll elooney-tunes is clueless and has not only done Nothing to help humanity but in fact is trying rather pathetically to stop real progress.

Martin Winlow

Of course he is! Oh! But hang on! Just remind me which 3 billion $ companies *you* run?


That you Keith? When did you get out?

Elooney Muskey

And a $35k gas car is lot, lot greened than the $160k P100D! What a joke!

But obviously, a no-research tweet must be more accurate than a paper published in the global warming forums.


Why don’t you compare cars in the same class?

The Model S is much cleaner than the Mercedes S class, BMW 5/7 series, and Audi A8.

Or, we can continue to compare cars in different classes: The Hummer is WAY dirtier than the Nissan LEAF. 😉

“…if you value the word of Popular Mechanics, then this study is ‘absolute nonsense,’ ‘bupkis,’ and ‘bunk.’ “ I’ve been impressed with Popular Mechanics’ dedication to getting real numbers for real-world emissions from different types of cars. A magazine does not have to have a hard-core “green” agenda to have a dedication to researching and publishing Truth! I still have their “Fuel of the Future” infographic preserved in my Photobucket account. It’s a handy guide to comparing emissions and costs for a coast-to-coast trip, using different energy sources such as gasoline, batteries, H2, CNG, and other fuels. As far as this bogus science “study” goes… we’ve seen it before, no doubt we’ll see it again. By now, such Big-Oil-funded fake “studies” have all the credibility of the Tobacco Institute claiming “There is no scientific evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.” * * * * * “…the study doesn’t calculate the energy needed to refine the gasoline.” All of these fake studies which pretend to “prove” that gasmobiles are less polluting than EVs ignore the substantial energy cost of (and pollution from) producing gasoline/diesel, don’t they? Maybe it’s because I’m tired today, but I can’t really feel much outrage here. Just… Read more »

Pushi, you are the Resistance, Never surrender, or give into the fossil burners. Energy must be sustainably harvested, NOT extracted while burdening the future, with an insurmountable environmental C02 legacy cost!


I’m not giving in. But I think that by now, these faux “studies” funded by Big Oil have about as much credibility as the troll posts above by “Eloony Muskey”. 😀

Is anyone who’s not already a science denier, or a hardcore Big Oil supporter, going to be persuaded by yet one more in a series of repetitive and utterly discredited fake “studies” which pretend to prove that EVs are more polluting than gasmobiles?

Well, maybe so. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic in my belief that the overwhelming majority of educated people who aren’t already hopelessly biased against the “green” cause, can see this B.S. for what it is.


You obviously haven’t read the study:

It is purely about the CO2 emissions involved with EV battery pack manufacture. It makes no comparisons with CO2 emissions while driving an ICE vehicle. These erroneous comparisons were made by anti-EV groups that used this study to promote their anti-EV agendas.

The study was financed by 2 respectable Swedish government agencies seeking to understand the CO2 emissions involved with EV battery manufacture and how to minimize these emissions.


So, the corresponding study would be the energy used to create gasoline. That would require a breakdown of the CO2 omitted by the oil refinery. With the electric bill alone to run the refinery using enough electricity to transport the WHOLE US Auto Fleet of EV vehicles.

So, it’s a good thing they do Completely Ignore the Refinery, or they’d make gas engines look Horrible.


Hang in there Push! Time wounds all heels!

Don Zenga

Around 12 years ago, a group made a cooked up study and said that Hummer H2 is more fuel efficient than Prius.

And the entire Hummer make with 4 vehicles H2, H3, H2-SUT, H3-SUT went down the drain while Prius sold 4 million cars + another 700,000 bigger wagon sized models.

This is another such bogus study.

Musk Route Luvv

Oil comes from many different locations, obviously. Shallow Middle East oil practically drills itself, on an energy consumption basis. But, with the conflict M.E. war zones, and retreating combatants setting oil well fires, and the spent rounds of depleted uranium lying around, the CO2 emission tonnage per M.E. barrel, and the cost of delivering that crude, is hard to accurately calculate. You may also figure in a significant proportion of the U.S. Military security M.E. Carbon footprint into the equation as well.

The only less than environmental thing Tesla has in its Battery Manufacturing equation, is their low cost single 18650 cell casing. Pouch lion cells don’t require as much nickel in their manufacturing. If you ever go down wind of a nickel smelting plant, it is at least as bad if not worse than a large scale oil refinery.


Majority of Nickel production aren’t designated for battery. In fact, very little of Ni are used in the batteries. Majority of Ni is used in making steel alloys or various type of Stainless Steel.

Plenty of those Ni Alloy Steel are used in the conventional ICE cars. So where is the “cry” about Nickel on those ICE cars?


Because of something else you can’t hope Tesla improves their situation?

Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.


“If you ever go down wind of a nickel smelting plant, it is at least as bad if not worse than a large scale oil refinery.”

But the nickel in an plug-in EV’s battery pack, however much or little it is, will almost always last the lifetime of the car. Contrast with a gasmobile, which requires a new supply of gasoline to be added every week or so. That’s a difference of several thousand times!

I just can’t believe that anyone who is at least half-way intelligent, and not already hopelessly biased, would be persuaded by arguments so obviously wrong as this. I think most people’s B.S. detectors are better than that.


Americans elected Trump. Enough said.


Damn! you had to pull the TRUMP card!


Are we all ready for a revision to Godwin’s law?

(The first mention of Trump or allegation of Trumpishness in an internet discussion/argument shuts down discussion and the Trump talker loses — some exceptions are allowed)

Well, personally I’m not quite there. Yet.


Yes, how much CO2 emissions were created to build 2 US Aircraft Carrier Groups stationed near the Straits of Hormuz. Steel requires a LOT if Energy.

Don’t forget the 2 US Aircraft Carrier Groups in the Med.
That’s Carriers, Battleships, Subs, Cruisers and Destroyers.

The fact they’re completely left out of the picture tells you all you need to know about CO2 studies of “battery” production.

Not to mention the Fuel Bill of those ships.

Whenever you dig deep into the issue, it looks like OIL is an Ancient Dinosaur Fuel invented 150 years ago, and only a fool would continue with this technology, when there are better cleaner “fuels” today. ( Wind and Solar ) that don’t require Naval Groups and exercises protecting the worlds shipping lanes.


Don’t forget the JETS and their fuel consumption, and production costs.


The EPA stops calculating at the Oil Refinery.
That’s another mistake.
Because gas requires CONTINUOUS DRILLING Operations.
Sure, oil fracking in Texas, but also 1 Mile Deep Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

How much carbon does it take to create, ship and position, those Huge drilling platforms, than how much energy and co2 pollution is created building a 1 mile deep drilling tubing to get to the bottom of the ocean floor.

There has never been a study that shows just how much CO2 and other pollution is emitted creating the Full Stack of the Oil pipeline. You’d have to go to the very tip of the drill bit.

But, we stop at the Refinery because Oil is Trounced there.


So, it’s Continuous Drilling Operations vs. Totally Static Solar Panels on your roof.

You don’t really want to do that calculation.

Four Electrics

Popular Mechanics’ “takedown” doesn’t take into account the CO2 needed to create the electricity used by the EV. It’s a battle of the nitwits, with Elon Musk jumping into the fray. It’s just embarrassing all around.


That portion can be easily found within the UCS study on emission equivalent. It is still far better than gasoline.

On top of it all, the rebuttal is against the study from Sweden which is an European country that has one of LEAST amount of electricity produced by fossil fuel (NG+Oil+coal). In those case, the equivalent emission from electricity generation is often 3x to 4x better than gasoline car.


And you forgot the electricity needed build:
-US Aircraft Carriers
-Oil Shipping Terminals
-Oil Storage Tanks
-Oil Pipelines.
-Oil Refineries, their build energy costs and their operating energy costs.
-Gas tanker trucks.
-Gas Stations, and storage tanks.

Only the INSANE would think this Rube Goldberg network was cleaner then battery production. It’s only 10,000 Times worse.

Mister G



Tesla and the battery mfgs do need to be honest and transparent and tell us what the CO2 cost is to produce the battery.

This is an example of need for government to provide the unbiased data on green house gas emissions of various mfg processes and products.

We need to add up every component of a car for the mfg. CO2 load.



LG Chem and Ford provided the data before. Read the study.


Not really interested in mfg.s providing data as it is not reliable. In Tesla’s case, they won’t provide it.

It’s a fair question as to how much greenhouse gas is produced in vehicle mfg, in any products mfg. For Tesla to be selling sustainable transportation and not providing that number is hypocritical at best.


“…need for government to provide the unbiased data on green house gas emissions of various mfg processes and products.”

I absolutely agree, but good luck getting Big Oil to provide an honest accounting of how much energy (not just electricity) is used and/or wasted — and how much pollution is produced — in the production of gasoline and diesel. Refineries generally refuse to provide such info, and independent monitoring groups recording the frequency of oil refinery flare-offs (burning off waste gases) have shown that when Big Oil does report such numbers, they are often or perhaps even usually under-reporting the real figures.

If the Big Oil industry has a pattern of under-reporting pollution emissions, well there is a pretty obvious reason for that, isn’t there?

“Honesty” from Big Oil is about as bad as “honesty” from Big Tobacco.


And people like Mike Pence continue to spew that bullshit.


Not only that but they allow their fracking and oil operations to spew vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere. They actually needed a SHAREHOLDER REVOLT to get them to audit their methane loses, and stop the leaks. ( Not that they’re doing a good job of it. )

Because not only were those leaks polluting, they were LOSING MONEY.

Gotta love the nitwit comments. How about give your impression of the situation instead. Break it down: Driving an EV can be powered completely by renewables, ICE is 100% some sort of fossil fuel. The solar panels take something to make, but that process is said to repay after 3 years. Apart from motive power, each car is going to be made from relatively the same methods. Obviously there are others like Carbon Fibre, but generally it is steels and plastics and other materials that every car uses. Motive power, battery is once off production as opposed to fossil fuel continuous production. What do the different mining and refining for iron,lithium,etc. take to make engines, motors, wiring, etc? On balance it is probably slightly worse for the EV. Transport to get things around is relatively the same, distance will make a difference here. If Tesla was running EV semi’s then they would have an advantage, but really to get the raw materials and finished products around should be much the same. So for my basic approach, logic would easily support the evidence that EV are much more environmentally friendly on balance. Whether that is 3yrs or 8yrs, really doesn’t matter… Read more »

ICE engines aren’t 100% on fossil fuel. Look at veggie oil Diesels.

And I don’t think EV manufacturing is going to be on balance slightly worse. They’re a lot heavier, it’ll be a lot worse. But if you keep the car long enough it should come back.

Robert Weekley

You don’t even have to keep the car in the first owners hands! A good EV could move down to 2nd hand or 3rd hand just fine, and continue giving beneficial advantages to others!


Wow. bio-diesel. That’s a mother of a corner case. Statistically an “Outlier”, that couldn’t possibly be more then .000001% of diesel production.

But, thanks for trying.

John Norris

Mx, for 2016, biofuels are 1.9% of global oil. 82.3 Mtoe compared to 4382.4 Mtoe oil. Source: BP


Is that mostly ethanol?


These studies are so stupid. They always talk as if the production of the engines, transmissions, alternators, emission systems do not require any material, energy.


Read the study before calling it stupid. The study made no comparisons of CO2 emissions involved with battery pack manufacture and ICE vehicle driving. These invalid comparisons were made by anti-EV groups, not the study itself.


Gotta love these butthurt EV fanatics..


Butthurt ICE fanatics*

Fixed that for you.

Mister G

Butthurt? Explain that word I’ve heard it used before and want to know definition. Educate me.

Alan Drake

Elon Musk is clueless.

Major energy cost is mining or extracting lithium (two different sources) NOT “Gigafactory”.

And production cost is NOT “first approximation” of imbedded energy (adjusted for source).

I have read several EROEI reports on wind turbines and I understand how embedded energy analysis should be done.

Get Real

Alan Drake the troll is clueless because lithium is evaporated by the sun from brine water.


Brine water contains sodium, chlorine, hydrogen and oxygen. You’re not going to get lithium from that.

Lithium comes from lithium deposits. The ones in that site are below briny ponds. But lithium doesn’t come from brine water.

Lithium has to be mined from lithium deposits.


I’m not a lithium mining expert, but a quick search for lithium mining methods indicates that most lithium is recovered from brines, a much less expensive method than conventional hard rock mining.


unlucky said:

“…lithium doesn’t come from brine water.

“Lithium has to be mined from lithium deposits.”

Regarding most commercial sources of the lithium used in EV batteries, Unlucky, that is entirely wrong.

Lithium is a soft, alkali metallic element produced from salts extracted from mineral springs and naturally-occurring brine deposits. A large proportion of the world’s lithium production is achieved using a fairly simple natural process of concentration of lithium salt laden solutions followed by evaporation and refinement.

Full article at:

Relatively little of the lithium used in li-ion batteries is actually mined in a traditional manner.


OP is yet another person who didn’t read the study. Their conclusions were that the mining necessary to get the raw materials was only a small sliver of the pollution of battery production.


“traditional mining”. If you have to add a qualifier to make it wrong, then you’re the one who is wrong. Lithium is mined from lithium deposits, as I said. If you think mining only means hard rock (or deep bore) mining then you’re mistake. Alluvial (placer) mining is a big portion of the mining industry.

As to the rest, I guess this depends on how you interpret brine. I interpreted it differently and maybe I interpreted it wrong. I (like others) interpret brine to mean salt. Not a chemical salt, but normal (table) salt, sodium chloride. You’re not going to get lithium from that.

This mine here is a lithium deposit. It happens to have water over it. But that doesn’t mean you get lithium from just going to a place with briny water. It has to be a lithium deposit.


You can get lithium from the ocean, too. Or doesn’t that count a brine? It’s cheaper to get it from other brines, but if they run out (not likely) we’ll get from the there.

Lithium is always a minor component of brines, even ignoring the water.


read the study.

It is 50 / 50

Here is a link to the study..:


No comparison. The EV is not polluting the air I breath. That should factor into the whole equation.

Alonso Perez

Nice, simple point. One look at the air in Beijing, LA, or even London, shows the complete bankruptcy if the fossil fuel model with it’s “clean” diesels and all the rest of it. Event at CO2 parity, EVs have no local emissions.

And I don’t believe CO2 parity is true anyway, for any given EV compared to it’s class. I have done the math. The 100kWh Teslas are not really green in an absolute sense, but they blow away the vehicles in their class. If you want true green, get a Leaf or Model III, Ioniq, i3, etc.


Beijing is an odd duck when it comes to pollution. It started out with a disadvantage in that it gets silty winds out of the northwest from Mongolia. It is a gritty dust that is picked up by the prevailing winds and it has been hitting the Beijing region for thousands of years. Then around 40 years ago the Chinese government built a ring of primitive coal power plants around the city and they added CO2, SO2 and NOx to the mix.
Finally over the past 30 years, the Chinese added ICE vehicles to the mix. But the yellow haze still has a base of Mongolian grit to it that you can actually feel hitting you in the face as you walk down the street. It is a disgusting feel and when you get home and blow your nose…


Haha! The anti EV trolls are out in force on this one. 😀

I’m waiting for these guys to cook up a study showing that smoking is harmless. And global warming is a myth. ?


Hybrid Rule

Let’s compare the tesla p100 to a 55 mpg Toyota Prius hybrid, that uses a small 1.4 kWh battery pack.

Get Real

And, Tesla Model S and X are displacing largen luxury gas hogs so we get cleaner air to breath and the Tesla owners get to drive a superior vehicle.

Anti-Lord Kelvin
In the same way of thinking, let’s compare using the Prius and…walking! 🙂 No the most clueless thing in almost all these studies that appeared in the last 5 to 6 years is that they did a lot of work to compare data for building batteries and all the raw material mining, then they compared it with running a gas or diesel car…which is a lot silly when you go see the studies of these car emissions and you saw that they are all based in laboratory measurements which are, we all know that, wrong! At least! Real numbers are far higher. And the worse part is that, going to the root studies of emission vehicles in most European Studies (notably the Norwegian ones cited in this study), it appears they took the emission levels from the “best case scenario” they had which was the “Bluetech” diesel engine from VW in 2009, which now we all know that true figures are 10, 20 40 times higher! I loved the chart of page 22 when all the details of each material and each part of battery making are dissected. Whoa so much work was done but…I would love to see that… Read more »
Hybrid Rule

lol, you say P100 is like walking..

But why should governments subsidize Elon Musk and Tesla buyers for their joy rides in coal burning EVs that are worse than the Prius?

“lol, you say P100 is like walking..” No, you completely missed his point, which is that comparing a small low-power car of one type (the Prius, a HEV) to a large and much more powerful car of a different type (Model S, a BEV) is an apples-to-oranges comparison, like comparing the fuel efficiency of a 4-cylinder gasmobile to a V8 gasmobile… or like comparing the Prius to walking. There is a widely reported study which makes the same mistake you’ve made: Comparing larger and heavier BEVs to smaller, lighter fuel cell vehicles and HEVs (like the Prius) which have motors with significantly lower power. Well, of course the car with a smaller motor is going to be more energy-efficient. Here is some real-world data doing an honest comparison between cars of equivalent power: If we arbitrarily set an appropriately sized and powered (for comparison purposes) gasmobile at “100%” of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, then: 23 MPG gasmobile: 100% GHG 100 kW Prius HEV: 46% GHG 100 kW EV (U.S. grid average): 35% GHG Furthermore, in States with the highest adoption rates of EVs, such as California, Washington State, and Oregon, the grid is much “cleaner” than the national average. So… Read more »
Get Real

Yes, you are embarrasing all around InsideEVs 4E with your hatred of Musk.

Unlike the fossil fuels you love, electricity can and is increasingly being produced through renewable energy.


The study may have correct numbers, but it does not take into account the carbon footprint to produce and operate an oil platform, supply ships, helicopters, tankers, gas trucks, refinery etc for comparison.

Anti-Lord Kelvin

Shuut! Speaking about these things is heresies! The OIL GOD can’t be defied!

Robert Weekley

What Oil God? That Beast, King Kong?

Anti-Lord Kelvin

And, more seriously, all these activities comport a lot of lost with leaks of oil, then gas and diesel, and natural gas (methane) emissions released in most of exploration processes.


Read the study before making incorrect statements! The valid study is only about the CO2 emissions involved with battery pack manufacture and how they might be minimized. It makes no comparisons between these emissions and those involved with driving an ICE vehicle. Those invalid comparisons were made by anti-EV groups, not the study itself.

Even if an ev had 5 years lead on CO2 it still better than any gasser for any city on this planet. Look at all the air polution around you….do you really see CO2 as the main culprit of all the allergies and respiratory diseases?


Let’s do a simple test.
I’ll lock myself in a room with a P100D turned on.
The responsible of this study will do the same but with his beloved green ICE car.

Let’s see how long the test will last.


He will die happy.


That my friend has got to be “quote of the day”!


That’s a stupid post.

Let me see if I can match this stupidity.

Tell you what. We’ll both lie in the road and I’ll be run over by a gas-burning Honda Super Cub and you can be run over by a BEV Tesla 100D. Let’s see who makes out best.

There’s a lot more depth to safety than simple stunts.

Euro point of view

Just call it Gi-gas-Factory

Martin Winlow

This sort of study is completely pointless, always has been and always will be. Why? Because whatever the truth to the question of how much CO2 the competing vehicle drivetrain technologies create in their lifetimes, the simple fact is that when an ICEV dies, at best it gets recycled with the metal and plastic re-used to make other things.

An EV will do this, too, *but* its battery pack will be re-purposed and could go on forever (for all we know) being harnessed to provide practical renewable energy. Quantifying how much CO2 this offsets would be very difficult. But, try doing *that* with an ICEV!


Read the study before calling it pointless. The study does not comparison CO2 emissions involved with EV battery manufacture and ICE vehicle driving. The valid study is only about the CO2 emissions involved with EV battery manufacture and how to minimize these emissions. Anti-EV groups used the study to make invalid comparisons to support their agendas.

David Cary

While I understand the outrage, knowing something close to true numbers will always be helpful. Yes EVs have other advantages, yes batteries can be repurposed, yes global military spending can not be ignored, yes urban air pollution is a huge issue.

But – subsidies need justification. And a modest battery PHEV might make more sense than larger battery EVs from a CO2 standpoint. Tesla’s true numbers would be helpful here or at least some approximation of them other than 4 times what Ford uses for a small pack.

Michal Kaut

Did Sebastian read the study at all? Or is he reacting to someone else’s description of it?

All the study does it to try to evaluate the total CO2 emissions from EV production, focusing on the battery – from mining of the minerals to actual car production. For this, they use the data that are available.
One of the main points is that CO2 emissions from production is important, so the production should be using as clean electricity as possible – which I read as a big plus for the Tesla Gigafactory (which they do not mention at all).

What the study does NOT do is comparing this to emissions from ICE vehicles – this was done later by some journalists, and they did a lousy job at that.

So this is an example of a hysterical reaction to bad journalism, putting blame on researchers that did nothing wrong.

I would suggest Sebastian fixes the article, putting blame where it belongs and maybe also discussing what the study actually says.
As it is now, the article is just FUD.


I have read the study, am familiar with the Swedish government agencies that financed the study, and agree totally with your comments!

Another Euro point of view

The positive aspect of Tesla as get real wrote above is that it displaces large luxury gas hogs but come on, most people buy Tesla for guilt free general enjoyment. I doubt very few of those Tesla owners have a carbon footprint to write home about, probably rather a total CO2 footprint triple of any average European driving a diesel. People I know that have real environmental concern here around European cities do ride bicycle to work and do perhaps have a second hand Toyota Prius but for sure no 5000 lbs $100K EV. Now if it sells better with environmentalist claims it would be stupid on behalf of Must not to put this forward.


Tesla’s batteries are high quality, so they will be repurposed multiple times over the next 20 years, Tesla is already planning the recycling facility next to the gigafactory.

Burning liquid dinosaur is a one time operation and if we really want to start comparing apples and oranges let’s take into consideration also the following
1) Required sourced material for a combustion engine vs electric engine (other one fills the motor space while the other one is a size of a water melon)
2) The cost of oil supply chain = how much was used in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia and Libya
3) The lifespan of a ICE car motor (14y before scrapping) and amount of liquids such as motor oil it requires over the lifetime


The Mercedes B-class electric is a straight forward conversion of a B-class to BEV, using Tesla’s batteries (34 kWh) and drive unit. The battery pack details can be found at Idaho National Labs AVT testing report:

Note that Mercedes advertised it as a 28 kWh battery pack but it was really a 34 kWh battery pack.

The actual production is a bit stretched… Panasonic cells made in Japan, shipped to CA, assembled into a battery pack, add drive unit and charger made/assembled in CA, and all of it sent to Germany for final assembly.

Mercedes provides a life cycle analysis for the B-class electric compared to the B-class diesel. This is as close to a proper life cycle comparison as it gets.

The full study is linked at the bottom of this page:

It indicates that the highest amount of CO2 to make a 98 kWh Tesla battery pack is 14.4 tons of CO2, using a scale up of the difference between the diesel and electric versions. That’s less than 2 years of emissions from a comparable vehicle.

Also, Tesla’s production plant in Nevada will lower CO2 emissions of battery pack production dramatically.


This reminds me of a “study” some years back that stated that the manufacturer of solar panels released more toxins into the environment than the mining of coal.

The detail they left out was that a solar panel has a useful lifespan of at least ten years, while the coal only lasts until you burn it.


Why even bother to put any effort in arguing with people who go to an Pro-EV site to post contradictory statements. Obviously their intentions aren’t to contribute anything positive. In any Pro-anything sites you’ll find people who do the same. Just type “Troll” and move on.


It is explained
Environmental friendliness of Li-ion batteries


The bickering, on car sites, about how best to power two ton, 75 mph barges, for the decade or two remaining before complete economic/ecological/societal collapse is now way past being entertaining.

Bill Howland

Obviously if the report concluded EV’s make more CO2, I and the plant life of Planet Earth are all for it.

This tells me I should drive my EV’s more, not less.

Ev’s have far less particulate output, and other Smog causing compounds than formerly deemed ‘CLEAN ZERO EMISSION’ cars by the big experts – the only thing I’m concerned about a bit is the rubber tire runoff, which may be solved simply by just planting a few more trees. That’s places like Los Angeles’ main problem in the first place. The air stagnates in places, plus the over concreted city makes tire run off go into streams, whereas if they had left a few trees around the root systems would have gone to work on the rubber dust and the tree leaves would, besides eating the CO2, also help clean up the other crap in the air from those ROLLING COAL TEENAGERS that often smoke me out when they see I’m driving a car badged on the side ‘Bolt EV’.

I get what you’re saying but LA as an example is a miss. LA is in a desert so there were not many trees to begin with and the streams you talk about you can caount them on one hand. There is no way you can plant enough to fix the air quality problem. People tend to forget ICE emits far more dangerous gases than CO2 which plants don’t do anything with. So this plant trees to improve air quality is just half a measure.


We are a much bigger problem than trees could solve.

Of course they can’t solve anything when we cut them at record scale. I’m still waiting for that tree that can absorb all pollutants not just co2…

Bill Howland

Man are you mis-informed, but I knew that from your previous comments.

•Forests improve public health by keeping pollutants out of our lungs by trapping and removing dust, ash, pollen and smoke.”

Their root systems also do far more, as I’ve previously described.


Jim Whitehead

When will the authors of this Swedish study reveal their funding sources and industry consulting jobs?

… when Hell freezes over, Professors turn honest about their funding, or Brexit actually occurs, whichever comes first. 🙂


Ha, okay, that study has one amazing gut buster… the way they get to 8 years is by setting the “miles per year” ridiculously low. From the paper: “Average Mileage per year is 1224 mi” Maybe that makes sense in sweden, but US DOT lists average annual miles for 2016 as 13,476 mi. I don’t know about you but I can cover 1224 in a month or two! That means even if you accept the resr of the paper’s premises (I do not), the breakeven point for that Tesla battery in the US is under 9 months!!!