Myths have played an important role in human history by providing moral guidance and creating a sense of identity and community. Myths can also be a cognitive limitation for humans and can lead to wrong decisions such as war.

Why human believe in myths:

  • They may lack access to accurate information or the skill to evaluate the information they have. They often apply their previous experiences and knowledge to new situations. They might reject information sources because they disagree with the ideology presented by those sources.
  • Cognitive biases that make it difficult to question or challenge myths. For example, people may be more likely to accept information that confirms their existing beliefs and to reject information that contradicts them. 
  • They may not want to question or challenge their existing beliefs or the beliefs of their community. 
  • They are influenced by social or cultural factors that make it difficult to question or challenge myths. 
  • Do not feel the need to challenge myths if they don’t see any direct impact on their lives.

Myths about the environmental impact of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) have been a topic of debate for some time.

  1. It is not accurate to say that there are no carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from EVs, as they do produce emissions during the production and disposal of the batteries.
  2. It is not accurate to say that EVs are less energy efficient than ICEs when electricity is produced from fossil fuels. The energy efficiency of an EV depends on multiple factors such as the energy source used to charge it, the vehicle range and the energy consumption during the production process.

1. No CO2e emissions from EVs

To debunk the myth, the solution is to gather factual information and calculate CO2e emissions. The total CO2e emissions from EVs come from the life cycle of the product, including manufacturing, usage, and end-of-life emissions.

CO2e emissions during manufacturing can be found in studies from automaker’s websites and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the numbers vary from 6,000 kg to 12,000 kg. According to Tesla, the emissions for their Model 3 are 4,000 kg. An estimate of 8,000 kg for both internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) vehicles can serve as a reasonable figure. For end-of-life emissions, 10% is a common figure in multiple studies. When comparing usage, the factors depend on the source used to generate the electricity used to power an EV.

  • (Electric vehicles (EVs) produce zero emissions while driving. However, the total CO2e emissions from EVs include production and end-of-life, which can be around 10,000 kg. 
  • When compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, even if 0% of the electricity used to power the EV is produced by renewable sources, BEVs produce less CO2e, about 27,000 kg, while ICE vehicles produce about 33,000 kg. 
  • In the United States, 17% of electricity is generated from renewable sources, while in France it is 75% and in Canada, it is 67%. In the province of Quebec, Canada, it is 100% renewable. 
  • As a result, BEVs have a better CO2e impact when powered by electricity generated from renewable sources.


Phase BEV: Tesla model 3 ICE Car
Manufacturing 8,000 8,000
Using (0% Renewal ) 17,335 22,500
Disposing (End of life) 2,144 3,050
Total CO2e (kg) 27,479 33,550

2. Energy Efficiency

The challenge in comparing electric vehicles (EVs) to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is to use comparable units of energy. The unit of energy used is kWh/100 km. For the BEV, we applied a loss factor of 80% to account for the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. For the ICE, we converted the energy measured per barrel of gasoline (BTU) to kWh per liter of gasoline.

The key assumptions made in this comparison are:

  • The range of an EV, measured in kWh per 100 km, can vary based on the driver’s habits and weather conditions.
  • For example, a Tesla Model 3 with a 50 kWh battery is expected to have a range of approximately 350 km.
  • The loss factor associated with the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity for EVs can be quite high. In this comparison, an 80% loss is assumed for thermal conversion to electricity.
Tesla model 3 Typical ICE car
Battery size Kwh 50.0 Litre/100KM 10.0
Range in km 352.0 BTU per litre of gasoline 31,763.5
KWH/100KM 14.2 One BTU in KWH 0.000293
KWH/100 KM with thermal losses if 100% from fossil fuel 71.0 KWH/100KM 93.2


Electric vehicles (EVs) are generally more energy efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, regardless of the energy source used to produce them, whether it be fossil fuels or renewable energy. However, it is important to note that while EVs are more efficient in converting energy into vehicle motion, this does not necessarily mean that they have a lower carbon footprint when considering the entire lifecycle, including manufacturing and end-of-life. For example, if the range of an EV is lower, such as 250 km instead of 350 km, ICE vehicles may be more energy efficient when electricity is produced by fossil fuels.

In conclusion, debunking myths requires research and calculations. Consequently, this makes people rely on reliable information sources. When there is a lack of access to reliable sources, misinformation can spread and people may be led to believe in myths.