Study: Tesla Model 3 Has Significantly Lower CO2 Emissions vs Mercedes Benz C-Class

Study: Tesla Model 3 Has Significantly Lower CO2 Emissions vs Mercedes Benz C-Class

There has long been a debate about whether electric vehicles are actually less CO2-polluting. For good measure, now scientists have confirmed that electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly than vehicles with an internal combustion engine. A new study found that the Tesla Model 3 emits about 65% fewer lifetime emissions than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

In late June, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy claimed that the use of electricity for electric vehicles was undermining their climate benefits. They argued that charging cannot yet depend fully on renewable energy sources—that, in the vast majority of cases, the energy comes from coal. Based on this assumption, they concluded that Germany's road traffic CO2 emissions would be 73% higher if only electric vehicles were used instead of modern diesel.

This study caused a wave of outrage, ultimately sparking further research. A new study from the Eindhoven University of Technology has now exposed the study by The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, pointing to a number of errors.

6 mistakes in EV research:

  1. Exaggerate GHG emissions of battery production
  2. Underestimate battery lifetime
  3. Assume electricity will not get cleaner over the lifetime of the car
  4. Use laboratory tests paid for by manufacturers themselves
  5. Exclude or downplay fuel production emissions
  6. Ignore the larger system

Furthermore, the new study showed that Tesla Model 3—in comparison with its gasoline counterpart Mercedes C 220d—emits 65% less CO2 throughout its entire life cycle.

Source: Eindhoven University of Technology



Model 3 was found to be cleaner after just 18,641 miles. The average American drives about 15,000 miles a year, which means that in a little over a year, the Tesla Model 3 is already cleaner than its gas-dependent counterpart. The more mileage an electric car has, the more environmentally friendly it will become.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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