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Electric Vehicles

Help drive a positive change in Guernsey with an electric vehicle.

A recent independent study found that electric vehicles in Guernsey produce up to 65% less carbon emissions than fossil-fuel vehicles.

Electric vehicles produce up to 65% less carbon emissions

Unlike petrol and diesel vehicles, electric powered transport does not produce any exhaust pipe emissions. In terms of local air quality, this is great news for our island.

However to gauge the true impact driving has on our planet, Guernsey Electricity commissioned a study to understand the carbon emissions produced across the entire lifecycle of the vehicle in question. 

The lifecycle assessment includes, but is not limited to, carbon emissions generated from extracting raw materials, producing the fuel, generating the electricity, running the vehicle, and disposal 

Vehicle Lifetime: 150,000 km was assumed as an average lifetime usage of a car, based on estimates from literature available for the study. 

Read the full study >

 

EV Carbon ComparisonThese figures represent the total grams of carbon produced per kilometre driven (1 mile = 1.6 km) 

What is your driving footprint? 


To get an idea of your own driving footprint, multiply the average number of kilometres you drive each day by the CO² figures in the table above. This will give an indicative figure of how much carbon your vehicle contributes from its production to average running and end of life. 

For example, if you drive 10km (just over 6 miles) a day in a petrol vehicle, this will represent 2,800 grams of lifecycle carbon emissions. Scaled across one year, this average drive represents 1 tonne* of carbon emissions. The same drive in an electric vehicle would represent 65% less carbon at 0.36 tonnes over the vehicle lifecycle.  

*280 g/CO² x 10km = 2,800 g/CO² x 365 = 1,022,000 g/C0² / 1000 / 1000 = 1.022 tonnes

Running emissions

To get an idea of how much carbon a petrol or diesel vehicle produces from the exhaust pipe, use the below figures and multiply them by your average daily drive in kilometres.  
Petrol: 175.91 grams of CO² per kilometre 
Diesel: 139.77 grams of CO² per kilometre 

 These figures can be found under the 'Operation' carbon emissions 

EV charging family

How Electric Vehicles are powered in Guernsey

The best time to charge an electric vehicle is between 23:00 and 05:00. When you charge in these times, you'll be using 100% sustainable, renewable sources and not the power station. 

During this cheaper*, off-peak period, islanders need less electricity. This means Guernsey can be supplied by the importation cable which brings in electricity from 100% renewable sources.

Overnight is the best time to set your car's on-board charging timer as it is the cheapest* and least carbon intensive period to use electricity. And in fact this applies to any electrical appliance with a timer such as washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, etc.

 
Guernsey's Electricity Mix
   
Renewable Importation

 

  • Renewables 93.6%
  • Community Solar & Vale Power Station 6.4% 

        

  • Hydro 57.96%
  • Wind 23.49%
  • Solar 18.55% 

 

Find out more about imported renewable electricity>

*The lower cost to charge will apply to customers on the Super Economy 12 tariff. 

EV: Renewable Imports France Map

Importation period 1 January - 31 December 2020

 

EV uptake in Guernsey

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) predicted the total number of EVs driven in Guernsey to be 575 by September 2021. In reality, the total number reached 980, representing an unexpected shift in customer mindset towards driving electric. 

The States of Guernsey and Guernsey Electricity Ltd commissioned a report undertaken by PWC on future energy demand up until 2050 in connection with the Guernsey Energy Policy. A section of this report focused on the adoption of electric transport to help demonstrate an increase in the island’s electricity demand.

Electric vehicles in Guernsey now represent over 2% of the active vehicles on our roads today and are far exceeding PWC’s original predictions made for the adoption of more sustainable transport.

 

Is Guernsey's electricity network ready for electric vehicles? >

EV: PWC Prediction

 

 

Lifecycle emissions for average vehicles: a breakdown 

We've taken into account our total electricity mix to compare these figures, which includes when the power station tops up the network as well as our renewable imported electricity and community solar panels.

Learn more about our electricity sources >

Lifetime Intensity: These figures take into account each stage of the vehicle production chain. This includes:

  • Production of lithium-ion batteries
  • Electricity generated at the Vale power station
  • Imported renewable electricity (hydro, wind and solar energy)
  • Fuel extraction
  • Exhaust pipe emissions
  • End-of-life emissions

 EV: Comp table with headings

*References: GEL sought independent advice from UK Carbon Emissions Specialists, WSP, in identifying the figures used in this note. 

Read the full study>

What about battery recycling?

The End-of-Life (EOL) value referenced in this Lifecycle Study of Vehicle Carbon Impacts in Guernsey is an average of several studies which take into account battery recycling.

The research paper referenced noted that the EOL emissions vary significantly across different lifecycle emission assessments as this manufacturing process is still very much in development.

As the battery reclaim process develops, and when there is a stable supply of used batteries to reclaim, it is likely that the EOL impact of electric vehicles will significantly decrease in the coming years and further reduce the full lifecycle impacts of electric vehicles.

 Find out more about old electric car batteries > 

Guernsey cliff image

Unable to move to an EV yet?

You can still do your bit to help the environment. 

If an electric vehicle isn't an option for you yet, alternative fuels could be an effective way to drive more sustainably. However it is worth remembering that these vehicles will still produce exhaust pipe emissions.

Alternative fuels such as Biofuel have a much lower carbon intensity over their lifetime compared to petrol and traditional diesel. Here in Guernsey, alternative fuels are available for purchase in some forecourts. 

 

Study definitions

EV: Mining shot

Production

Emissions generated during the production of all 3 types of vehicle. This includes producing the lithium-ion battery, together with raw material extraction and processing.

Operation

This includes exhaust pipe emissions from the combustion of petrol/diesel, emissions produced from generating electricity*, vehicle maintenance and well-to-tank (WTT) emissions.

*this includes electricity generated at the Vale power station. Electricity in Guernsey is made up of over 90% imported renewable energy – a mix of solar, wind and hydro power – with the remaining demand topped up by electricity from the power station.

Maintenance

The carbons emissions generated from maintenance work to keep the vehicle in good working order. 

End-of-life

This is when the vehicle, its part and components become waste and needs to be dismantled and disposed of. 

This EOL figure is an average of several studies which also take into account battery recycling. 

Well-to-tank (WTT)

WTT specifically refers to the journey of the fuel used in the vehicle, from extraction (well) to final use in the petrol or diesel vehicle (tank).

 

Our study used data taken from a scientific publication which reviewed and consolidated the results from many lifecycle emission assessments on different vehicle types. 

 

Find out more about our electricity supply in Guernsey

Talk to us about charging points