The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released of a study of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from an electric car powered by the local electric grid. The results demonstrated that on average throughout the United States, an electric car produces the same amount of green house gases as an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle with a rating of 87 miles per gallon (mpg).
The amount of greenhouse gases vary a lot from location to location. Areas such as upstate New York rely upon a lot of renewable energy have an effective 135 mpg. Drivers in Kansas using the electric grid and driving a Model S are producing the same CO2 as an ICE vehicle getting 31 mpg. Unfortunately the states in the middle of the country still use coal, which has a high level of carbon dioxide emissions.
I am driving my car without producing any greenhouse gases as it is powered by rooftop solar. If I were to connect to my local grid, the effective greenhouse gases produced would be equivalent to an ICE getting 77 mpg.
The study acknowledges that emissions are produced during vehicle production and disposal and the amount is larger with larger batteries. But the Tesla Model S offset occurs below 20,000 miles on a national average basis.
To find out how much greenhouse gas you are producing driving your electric vehicle on your local grid, simply enter the model of electric vehicle and your zip code.