On Monday, Tesla presented '2019 Impact Report', which outlined its holistic sustainable energy ecosystem plan and reports on company's successes in this direction.
Company pointed to a sharp improvement in air quality in recent months due to restrictions on business trips and trips aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19. The company said pollution reduction could encourage governments that already plan to ultimately ban fossil fuel vehicles.
Tesla is focused on creating a complete energy and transportation ecosystem from solar generation and energy storage to all-electric vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions.
To create an entire sustainable energy ecosystem, Tesla manufactures a unique set of energy products that enable homeowners, businesses and utilities to produce and manage renewable energy generation, storage and consumption.
Renewable energy generation and storage are critical components of developing microgrids — an increasingly important means of delivering reliable and sustainable electricity around the world. As the deployment of Tesla’s products continues to accelerate, they can scale the adoption of renewable energy, cost-effectively modernize their aging infrastructure (while becoming less reliant on it), and improve the resilience of the electric grid to benefit everyone.
Tesla shows how the usage of a car and its longevity has a major impact on lifecycle emissions.
Сharging EVs is becoming less carbon intensive every year. Average GHG emissions from charging one New York-based Tesla vehicle equates to the emissions from an ICE vehicle with a fuel economy of 144 MPG (no such vehicle is on the market). Even when charging a Tesla in Michigan, where approximately 64% of energy comes from coal and natural gas, the emissions from our vehicles still equates to the equivalent emissions of an ICE vehicle with 55 real-world MPG (considerably more in terms of EPA rated MPG). As more regions adopt sustainable energy solutions to generate power, emissions related to charging an EV from the grid will decrease even further.
Remaining use-phase emissions from solar charged vehicles come from publicly available fast-charging, which too is becoming “greener” every year. Tesla's goal is to strategically pair solar and battery storage at as many Tesla Supercharger stations as is feasible.
Tesla vehicles are known to have the highest energy efficiency of any EV built to date. The energy efficiency of their vehicles will continue to improve further over time as they continue to improve their technology and powertrain efficiency. It is also reasonable to assume that Tesla's high-mileage products, such as future Robotaxis, will be designed for maximum energy efficiency as handling, acceleration, and top speed become less relevant. That way, the company will minimize cost for their customers as well as reduce the carbon footprint per mile driven.
While emissions from the manufacturing phase can account for a relatively minor portion of lifetime vehicle emissions when compared to the use-phase, it is still an important part of lifecycle emissions. Thus, Tesla strive to source as much renewable energy where possible for their factories in an effort to reduce our manufacturing-phase emissions.
Underpinning company's strategy for regional manufacturing is a reduction of carbon emissions that result from shipping parts and finished products. From a sustainability standpoint, having vertically integrated Tesla factories in each region helps to reduce the carbon footprint for their operations.
Tesla’s battery packs are designed to outlast the car. Tesla talks about a million-mile battery, and how much it will help in reducing the carbon footprint. Furthermore, battery recycling has the potential to further reduce emissions as components of a battery pack can be captured and reused, displacing much of the need for raw material mining and the associated emissions.
Through efficiency improvements and water reuse systems, Tesla work to lower the per-product water usage in company's manufacturing process. In addition, water reduction efforts are included in their sales, service, and delivery facilities. Where possible, company's service technicians use a waterless car wash method to maintain Tesla vehicles while minimizing environmental impacts.
Tesla's main manufacturing facilities are not only working to increase water-use efficiencies, but also to improve wastewater and stormwater management. Other projects include water mapping to identify opportunities for either recycling or increased passes in company's closed-loop systems as well as leak identification.
In 2019, Tesla delivered over 367,000 EVs globally: That is more than 2x as many as any other automaker in the world and almost 3x as many as the largest non-Chinese automaker - Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.
As of the end of 2019, Tesla (including SolarCity prior to its 2016 acquisition by Tesla) had installed almost 3.7 Gigawatts of solar systems and cumulatively generated over 16.6 Terawatt hours (TWhs) of emissions-free electricity.
"It is our goal that eventually all of our manufacturing energy needs are satisfied through renewable sources where possible. Additionally, we are hoping to see more Tesla vehicle customers installing solar panels or Solar Roof along with a Powerwall. We are striving to always remain a net contributor to renewable energy generation."
Full report here.
About the Author
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.