But Henry Ford and others soon figured out how to mass produce internal combustion engine cars at affordable costs, and changed our sense of “normal” car technology.
To reach the 12% figure we first gathered data on the distance an average car covers in the UK each year, the combination of car models and technologies (diesel, petrol and electric) with their respective market share and carbon emission per mileage.
Technically, we found that the switch to electric cars would save 14% from the total carbon emissions.
However it would also cause an increase in carbon emissions from electricity power stations equivalent to about 2% of total national emissions (assuming current mix of fossil and renewable energy sources).
Recycling electric car batteries would also save carbon, but again this is difficult to quantify as the technology of batteries and recycling is improving all the time.