(Reuters) – Reuters analyzed data generated by an Argonne National Laboratory model to determine at what point a typical electric vehicle (EV) becomes cleaner than an equivalent gasoline car in terms of its lifetime carbon footprint.

Based on a series of assumptions, the data showed that a Tesla Model 3 in the United States, for example, would need to be driven for 13,500 miles (21,725 km) before it does less harm to the environment than a Toyota Corolla.

Following are the assumptions Reuters plugged into the Argonne model to produce different break-even scenarios, depending on how the power used to charge an EV is generated.

MID-SIZE SALOON

Tesla Model 3 (EV) vs Toyota Corolla (gasoline)

Lifetime vehicle miles traveled: 173,151

Fuel economy (gasoline): 33 miles per gallon (U.S.)

Curb weight: Model 3 – 3,582 lbs (1,625 kg), Corolla – 2,955 lbs

EV battery range: 300 miles

EV battery type: Lithium-ion

EV battery size: 54 kilowatt-hours (kWh)

EV battery cathode material: nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA)

Power scenario 1: 100% hydroelectric

Break-even point: 8,400 miles

Power scenario 2: U.S. average energy mix (23% coal-fired, plus other fossil fuels and renewables)

Break-even point: 13,500 miles

Power scenario 3: 100% coal-fired

Break-even point: 78,700 miles

MID-SIZE SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE (SUV)

Tesla Model Y (EV) vs Honda CR-V (gasoline)

Lifetime vehicle miles traveled: 183,363

Fuel economy (gasoline): 30 miles per gallon (U.S.)

Curb weight: Model Y – 4,416 lbs, CR-V – 3,337 lbs

EV battery range: 300 miles

EV battery type: Lithium-ion

EV battery size: 60 kWh

EV battery cathode material: nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA)

Power scenario 1: 100% hydroelectric

Break-even point: 9,200 miles

Power scenario 2: U.S. average energy mix (23% coal-fired, plus other fossil fuels and renewables)

Break-even point: 14,800 miles

Power scenario 3: 100% coal-fired

Break-even point: 89,000 miles

(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by David Clarke)

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