On the pursuit of emissions-free clean mobility – Electric vehicles versus e-fuels

Sai Sudharshan Ravi*, Chris Brace, Charles Larkin, Muhammad Aziz, Felix Leach, James WG Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


With the passing of every second we get closer to a society that is more cognizant of the effect carbon dioxide emissions are having on our planet, and that is more willing to take part in sustainable efforts to combat this and ever more interested in investing in cleaner technologies like electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are marching strongly into a market that is currently dominated by internal combustion engine vehicles, the current main fuel of which is a known contributor to most of the emission related climate problems that we now find ourselves in. Moving ahead, it is important that any move from internal combustion engines to more nascent technologies like EVs is sustainable and not detrimental to the environment. There is an ongoing debate between proponents of so-called e-fuels (being synthetic fuels made from atmospheric carbon dioxide, water, and renewable energy) and EVs wherein e-fuels are largely accused of being a half-measure while EVs are thought to contribute more in terms of brake and tire emissions than the ICE vehicles. This raises the question of whether there should even be a complete replacement of the combustion engine vehicle fleet or that should there be a ‘mobility mix’ similar to how we currently refer to an energy mix with power grids. This article offers some perspectives by critically analyzing and diving deeper into these pressing concerns to answer some of these questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number162688
JournalScience of The Total Environment
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Air quality
  • Brake and tire emissions
  • E-fuels
  • Electric vehicles
  • Emission-free
  • Indirect emissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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