What may have come as surprise to some as a result of this report, however, is that "the significant carbon debt associated with the production of electric car batteries outweighs recent reductions in carbon emissions from power generation and efficiency improvements of some electric vehicles."
Emission from battery production produce an initial carbon debt
Source: Climate Central
To be exact, producing the battery and other electrical components for an EV creates a 10,000 to 40,000 pound carbon dioxide pollution disadvantage compared to an equivalent conventional hybrid vehicle. The report said that "This 'carbon debt' can only be overcome after tens or even hundreds thousands of miles of driving and recharging from clean energy sources."
This fact alone, however, doesn't necessarily confirm the skeptics' view that EVs are, after all, no greener than any gasoline cars. As noted earlier, in 11 states including Washington, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, California, and South Carolina, the EVs are better for the climate than any gasoline car even when the manufacture of batteries and other electrical components is factored.
Further, it's important to note that in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Vermont, a relatively clean grid already produces few carbon emissions, primarily through reliance on hydropower, nuclear, and small percentages of wind and solar. In these states, the miles per gallon gasoline equivalent of the best electric vehicle are "dazzling," said the Climate Central' report, "ranging from more than 2,600 mpg in Vermont, to 380 mpg in Washington, 280 mpg in Idaho, and 200 mpg in Oregon."