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MIT Finds Subcompact Produces Less Emissions Than Tesla Model S

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【Summary】In testing, MIT found that a Mitsubishi Mirage emitted less “lifetime CO2” than a Tesla Model S, but there’s one catch.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Nov 18, 2017 9:30 AM PT
MIT Finds Subcompact Produces Less Emissions Than Tesla Model S

Automakers are quickly moving towards electrified vehicles, whether its hybrids or fully-electric cars in an attempt to meet strict emissions and fuel regulations. To make the situation even more stressful, some countries, are on path to completely cut gasoline-powered car sales in order to improve air quality and reduce the amount of harmful pollutants that are put into the air. As a reaction, automakers, including Volvo, have announced plans to phase-out gas-only vehicles in the near future. 

Mitsubishi Mirage Beats Model S In Emissions Output

Electric vehicles are seen as the future, as they provide automakers and countries with the ability to meet all of their new requirements. It's shocking to here then, that researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), found that a Mitsubishi Mirage emitted less carbon dioxide over its entire lifespan than a Tesla Model S, reports Auto Express

The study, though, only found the Model S to lag behind the Mirage's figures in areas that are heavily-reliant on high CO2-emitting sources for electricity production, claims the outlet. Scientists at MIT looked into whole-life CO2 emissions for three vehicles – a Mirage, Model S, and BMW 750 xDrive – in various locations in the United States. The results are eye opening to say the least. 

In the Midwest, the researchers found that the Model S emitted 226 g/km of CO2 for every kilometer it traveled, which comes out to roughly 12.87 oz/mile. The Mirage, on the other hand, emitted just 192 g/km (10.93 oz/mile). Understandably, the 750 xDrive, put out far more CO2 into the air than the two other vehicles at 385 g/km (21.92 oz/mile). While the Mirage had less whole-life CO2 emissions in the Midwest, it's important to note that MIT's research found the all-electric Model S to emit fewer lifetime carbon emissions than the subcompact vehicle overall, reports the outlet. 

Where EVs Get Their Power Is Crucial

As Auto Express reports, scientists from MIT's Tranick Lab analyzed the energy consumed and CO2 emitted during the Mirage, Model S, and 750x Drive's production and end-of life recycling to obtain their figures. MIT also took the vehicles' power sources into account, whether the vehicles used gasoline or electricity from power stations, to calculate CO2 "use emissions," claims the outlet. 

The findings may point towards the fact that gasoline-powered cars still have a long and illustrious future in the United States, but MIT adamantly claims that EVs have already had a positive impact on global emissions. "Both hybrids and electric vehicles are better than conventional cars of similar size and horsepower, even in emissions-intensive locations," said MIT's Jessika Trancik. 

MIT also expressed that the figures they obtained for the Model S were for the Midwest only. And since the Midwest part of the United States uses CO2-intensive ways to produce electricity, the figures for the all-electric sedan are much higher than those it would obtain from the rest of the country. Professor Trancik came to the Model S' side claiming, "if we consider the US average electricity mix, the CO2 emissions intensity of the Tesla Model S is significantly lower than that of the Mirage." 

EVs and plug-in hybrids are clearly more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly than their gasoline-powered counterparts. But the way a city obtains its electricity plays a large role in just how eco-friendly an electrified vehicle is. Consumers in the Midwest, for instance, are better off getting a subcompact vehicle over an EV. For the rest of the country, EVs still prove to be the most efficient and eco-friendly way of getting around. 

via: Auto Express

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