# car lifetime CO2 output vs carbon trading prices

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### #1 mariner

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 19:05

Gosh , what does he mean ?

Well, the EU and the UK both have carbon trading schemes where there is a trading price for a tonne of CO2, The idea being to drive down the CO2 output from big emitters like steel plants or power stations You can argue the details but it is meant to be "the price of polluting ".i.e not avoiding CO2 output by an industry.

So, IN THEORY you can compare the cost of buying BEV over a IC car across its life and see what is the price of polluting" i.e. avoiding CO2 pollution for a car vs a steel plant etc.

So , for example a IC car has 120gms/km and the BEV zero. The car does 10K miles/ 16K kms per year over a 12 yr. life. So 120*16,000 * 12 = 23 tonnes of lifetime CO2 output.

Now that size of car has a BEV vs IC penalty of say £8,000 in the UK. Then the "price of not polluting per tonne of CO2 is 8,000/23 = £348 or Euros 407 per tonne.

Then if my sums are right we can compare that consumer carbon avoidance price with the current Eu carbon permit price under the EU ETS (emissions trading scheme) .

Answer ETS price is 56 Euros.as of today. So, you COULD say the current automotive carbon penalty price ( basically the battery)  for a car is 407 Euros vs 56 euros for industry or seven times higher. Now , all this is playing with environment econometrics ( use some nice big words ) but if you want to use legislation to reduce global warming there is a strong logic to setting one "price of CO2" price and letting all industries work out the best solution  for the planet.

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### #2 gruntguru

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 20:38

Absolutely agree. A price on carbon catches all.

Should there also be a price on noxious emissions? Other discharges that degrade the environment?

### #3 Bob Riebe

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 01:06

Well If I was an American farmer, I would trade them Methan for Carbon Dioxide  at 2 for 1.

### #4 gruntguru

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 06:37

1 methane is worth about 20 CO2 in greenhouse terms, although the methane doesn't persist as long as CO2 and I don't know how they account for that.

### #5 Jerem

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 13:13

I think the "cost of not polluting" is much higher than what you are saying, because you have really understimated the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle.

Over its lifespan, one of the greatest contributions of a car to carbon emissions is when it is being built, which is about 40gCO2/km for an IC vehicle and 85gCO2/km for an EV (according to the French govt Agency for Environment - also Tesla gives 89gCO2/km for the construction of a Model 3) - for vehicles that live up to ~100,000 miles or 160,000km.

Also, an emission of 0gCO2/km for an EV assumes that the electricity used by the EV comes only from sources that do not produce CO2, which is unrealistic. For example, in UK, the rough estimate is 260gCO2/kWh (in the US, it is roughly 370gCO2/kWh but I guess it is very dependent on which state) according to ourworldindata.org.

Let's start the calculation over for a vehicle that lives for 100,000 miles or 160,000 km.

- IC: cost of fabrication: 6.4t CO2 + cost of use: 19.2tCO2 = 25.6tCO2 (assuming emissions of 120gCO2/km).

- EV: cost of fabrication: 13.6tCO2 + cost of use: 260gCO2/kWh: 6.9tCO2 (assuming economy of 6km/kWh) = 20.5tCO2.
This assumes that the vehicle is being used in UK. In the US it's closer to 23.5t.

So using an EV for 100,000 miles avoids the emission of roughly 5t of CO2 compared to a similar IC vehicle (in the UK). The £8,000 price gap amounts to £1,600 per tonne of carbon saved.

Note that in this (very rough) model, the EV starts having a better carbon footprint than the IC vehicle after about 50,000 miles.

### #6 mariner

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 07:24

I agree with you Jerem but I left out manufacturing CO2 to keep it simple. It makes the ratio of ETS cardon price to the effective consumer price ,as above, even worse.

I think the basic issue is that, since governments in the EU and UK have mandated BEV;s you can only regard the battery cost penalty as a consumer tax.

So the carbon tax rate for industry is way below the carbon tax rate for consumers which seems illogical at the  very least.

### #7 404KF2

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 07:34

Shoot, only 160,000 km? That's barely broken in, for my cars!

### #8 404KF2

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 07:36

So the carbon tax rate for industry is way below the carbon tax rate for consumers which seems illogical at the  very least.

Yes that's odd for sure.

### #9 gruntguru

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 23:13

Isn't that how politics works?