NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) — A recent study found that electric vehicles have more “global warming potential” than gas-powered vehicles.

The study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology at Yale University found that electric vehicles “exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts.”

Researchers showed that the production of material for electric vehicles posed a challenge for recycling and could cause toxic substances to be released into the environment.

Electric vehicles powered by coal are expected to cause 17 to 27 percent more “global warming potential” than cars that run off of diesel or gas.

“Our results demonstrate the importance of including vehicle manufacturing impacts when considering electric transportation policies,” the authors said in the study. “The (global warming potential) from (electric vehicle) production is about twice that of conventional vehicles.”

Researchers said that despite electric vehicles being a technological breakthrough, these types of vehicles should not be used everywhere.

“Our results clearly indicate that it is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in areas where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal, or even heavy oil combustion,” the study states.

Researchers call for a “stricter life cycle management and life cycle auditing” for electric vehicles.


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