Electric cars 'not the way to go' for reducing SA’s carbon footprint

Coal is one of the most carbon intensive fuel sources available, which means charging your electric car will actually result in more carbon emissions.

FILE: Coal is one of the most carbon intensive fuel sources available, which means charging you electric car will actually result in more carbon emissions. Picture: © kinwun/123rf.com

South African’s who are looking to make an environmentally friendly change to how they get around may be disappointed to find out that electric cars are not actually a green alternative.

John Perlman speaks to Dr Neil Thomas Stacey, from the Chemical Engineering Department at Wits University, about why this eco alternative is not actually viable in our country.

In South Africa, 90% of our energy comes from a comparatively dirty energy source - coal.

Coal is one of the most carbon intensive fuel sources available, which means charging your electric car will actually result in more carbon emissions.

An electric car, in order to get the same amount of energy from the initial fuel source, whether it’s the coal or the oil, would produce roughly 20% more CO2 than an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle does.

Dr Neil Thomas Stacey, Chemical Engineering Department at Wits University

If South Africa is going to see a reduction in its carbon footprint, electric cars are not the way to go while we are still relying on coal energy. Instead, the focus should be on cleaner energy and making improvements to public transport to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

To find out more, listen to the full interview below.

This article first appeared on 702 : Electric cars 'not the way to go' for reducing SA’s carbon footprint