How ‘Green’ Is an Electric Truck Compared to Gas Cars?

The country likely hit peak sales of gas-burning cars in 2017. The next two years saw car sales decline, then plummet after Covid. Except EVs. They’re the only growth market in the automobile sales world. Lots of reports suggest EVs will overtake gas car sales entirely by the 2030s, and that by the 2040s, the vast majority of cars on the road will be EVs.

And, for us avid outdoor recreationists, EVs have entered the picture as viable alternatives for adventure vehicles with the release of Rivians, the new Ford Lightning F-150, the new VW ID.Buzz, the Hummer, and lots more. But EV trucks are unfathomably heavy vehicles and making them consumes more energy than it does a gas-burning truck.

The folks at The Drive put together a pretty well-researched article looking into how EV trucks match up against their gas-burning truck cousins. How long would you have to drive a Rivian, for example, as compared to a Ram 1500 say, before the zero-emission Rivian overtakes the Ram in terms of overall carbon output?

Now, lots of carbon emissions data will depend heavily on where you live and the energy matrix that makes up your grid. For example, California’s energy grid is far cleaner than, say, a state that burns lots of fossil fuel for power. Another thing that’s crucial to point out here is this isn’t a comparison between super efficient EV cars and gas cars, but EV trucks and gas trucks.

The lesson you’re left with after reading the piece is if you wanna run out an buy a Rivian to save some carbon emissions today, you might do just as well finding a gas-burning Toyota Corolla wagon or something, and making that your adventure rig—for now. Technology will of course make batteries more efficient, scale will mean it will be easier and more efficient to make EVs, and we’re in that phase where we see the future, we just have to iron out the kinks to get there. Zero emissions cars are clearly the future, and had they been the past too, we’d all be a lot better off.

Read the whole thing, right here.



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