As the world celebrates Earth Day, an Ather Energy report shows a 38 per cent reduction in carbon emissions over the lifecycle of an electric scooter compared to a 110cc ICE scooter.

The report released by the Bengaluru-based electric scooter brand is based on an earlier study of the carbon emissions of a 110-cc ICE scooter conducted by The International Council of Clean Transport (ICCT) as compared to an EV scooter with a 2.9 kW battery, in this study - the Ather 450X. 

The report analysed all-encompassing phases, including mining, battery and vehicle production, well to tank, tank to wheel, and recycling. In India, 110cc scooters sell well over 2 lakh units a month and have the highest share in the two-wheeler category.

Even though Ather Energy has factored in a replacement battery pack to the ICCT report, the resulting lifetime emissions from an e-scooter accounting for 2 battery packs would still be 35 per cent lesser than a 110 cc scooter. Based on the exhausted battery pack’s condition, it may be recycled or used for energy storage applications.

Tarun Mehta, CEO, Ather Energy said, “This report is an attempt to highlight and reiterate how electric scooters are a clear upgrade over ICE scooters, not just in performance and ownership, but also environmentally. Electric vehicles are the single biggest hope to achieve a decarbonised world and faster adoption of EVs is the first step towards this goal. In our country, the transition to sustainable modes of transportation has begun well, largely led by electric two-wheelers. While our nation has taken great strides towards e-mobility, the electric two-wheeler fleet needs to grow much more rapidly in emerging markets. On the occasion of Earth Day, I urge more people to join the electric revolution for a cleaner tomorrow.”

The report also attempted to address common misconceptions that continued dependence on fossil fuels makes the electricity grid a stalemate, since CO2 emissions from the grid, used to charge the batteries, negate the benefits of zero tailpipe emissions. The report points out that the country’s current weighted average emission factor for the national grid has been nearly constant over the past few years, comparable to Poland’s, which is also largely dependent on coal for its electricity. 

Assuming EVs in Poland use their country’s grid to manufacture and charge their batteries, CO2 emissions are seen to be ~29 per cent lower than average emissions from both diesel and petrol, with the expectation it will fall to close to ~50 per cent by 2030.

In terms of efficiency, EVs convert around 60 per cent of the electrical energy from the grid to power wheels, while petrol or diesel cars convert only 17-21 per cent of the energy stored in the fuel to the wheels. This means that around 80 per cent of the energy stored in petrol or diesel is wasted, while EVs are far more efficient. The report further cites that EVs can reduce carbon emissions by up to 85 per cent compared to a 125-cc ICE scooter when powered by renewable energy produced through a solar grid installed at home.