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When do electric vehicles become cleaner than gasoline cars?



You glide silently out of the Tesla showroom in your sleek new electric Model 3, satisfied you’re looking great and doing your bit for the planet.

But keep going – you’ll have to drive another 13,500 miles (21,725 km) before you’re doing less harm to the environment than a gas-guzzling saloon.

That’s the result of a Reuters analysis of data from a model that calculates the lifetime emissions of vehicles, a hotly debated issue that’s taking center stage as governments around the world push for greener transport to meet climate targets.

The model was developed by the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago and includes thousands of parameters from the type metals in an electric vehicle (EV) battery to the amount of aluminium or plastic in a car.

Argonne’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) model is now being used with other tools to help shape policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board, the two main regulators of vehicle emissions in the United States.

Jarod Cory Kelly, principal energy systems analyst at Argonne, said making EVs generates more carbon than combustion engine cars, mainly due to the extraction and processing of minerals in EV batteries and production of the power cells.

But estimates as to how big that carbon gap is when a car is first sold and where the “break-even” point comes for EVs during their lifetime can vary widely, depending on the assumptions.

Kelly said the payback period then depends on factors such as the size of the EV’s battery, the fuel economy of a gasoline car and how the power used to charge an EV is generated.


Reuters plugged a series of variables into the Argonne model, which had more than 43,000 users as of 2021, to come up with some answers.

The Tesla 3 scenario above was for driving in the United States, where 23% of electricity comes from coal-fired plants, with a 54 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery and a cathode made of nickel, cobalt and aluminum, among other variables.

It was up against a gasoline-fueled Toyota Corolla weighing 2,955 pounds with a fuel efficiency of 33 miles per gallon. It was assumed both vehicles would travel 173,151 miles during their lifetimes.

But if the same Tesla was being driven in Norway, which generates almost all its electricity from renewable hydropower, the break-even point would come after just 8,400 miles.

If the electricity to recharge the EV comes entirely from coal, which generates the majority of the power in countries such as China and Poland, you would have to drive 78,700 miles to reach carbon parity with the Corolla, according to the Reuters analysis of data generated by Argonne’s model.

The Reuters analysis showed that the production of a mid-sized EV saloon generates 47 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile during the extraction and production process, or more than 8.1 million grams before it reaches the first customer.

By comparison, a similar gasoline vehicle generates 32 grams per mile, or more than 5.5 million grams.

Michael Wang, senior scientist and director of the Systems Assessment Center at Argonne’s Energy Systems division, said EVs then generally emit far less carbon over a 12-year lifespan.

Even in the worst case scenario where an EV is charged only from a coal-fired grid, it would generate an extra 4.1 million grams of carbon a year while a comparable gasoline car would produce over 4.6 million grams, the Reuters analysis showed.

When are EVs cleaner than gas cars?


The EPA told Reuters it uses GREET to help evaluate standards for renewable fuel and vehicle greenhouse gases while the California Air Resources Board uses the model to help assess compliance with the state’s low-carbon fuel standard.

The EPA said it also used Argonne’s GREET to develop an online program that allows U.S. consumers to estimate the emissions from EVs based on the fuels used to generate electric power in their area.

The results of the Reuters analysis are similar to those in a life-cycle assessment of electric and combustion-engine vehicles in Europe by research group IHS Markit.

Its “well-to-wheel” study showed the typical break-even point in carbon emissions for EVs was about 15,000 to 20,000 miles, depending on the country, according to Vijay Subramanian, IHS Markit’s global director of carbon dioxide (CO2) compliance.

He said using such an approach showed there were long-term benefits from shifting to electric vehicles.

Some are less positive about EVs.

University of Liege researcher Damien Ernst said in 2019 that the typical EV would have to travel nearly 700,000 km before it emitted less CO2 than a comparable gasoline vehicle. He later revised his figures down.

Now, he estimates the break-even point could be between 67,000 km and 151,000 km. Ernst told Reuters he did not plan to change those findings, which were based on a different set of data and assumptions than in Argonne’s model.

Some other groups also continue to argue that EVs are not necessarily cleaner or greener than fossil-fueled cars.

The American Petroleum Institute, which represents over 600 companies in the oil industry, states on its website: “Multiple studies show that, on a life-cycle basis, different automobile powertrains result in similar greenhouse gas emissions.”

Argonne National Laboratory is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by the University of Chicago.

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

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Canada fines travellers for fake vaccination and testing papers – BBC News



A Covid screening centre at the Vancouver airport

Getty Images

Canada has fined two travellers arriving from the US who, officials say, forged Covid-19 testing and vaccination documents.

Each was fined C$19,720 ($16,000, £11,500) after inspectors at the Toronto airport found their vaccine cards and proof of testing were fake.

It comes as Canada is set to ease travel restrictions on US visitors.

Around the world, nations are grappling with how to re-open their borders to travellers amid a virus surge.

According to a statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the two unnamed travellers had entered Canada from the US during the week of 18 July.

The Canada Border Services Agency, which inspects Covid travel documents for authenticity, determined that the duo had faked the documents that they had uploaded to the government’s ArriveCAN travel website.

“The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of Covid-19 and its variants of concern,” the agency said in a statement.

Canada did not identify the travellers or their itineraries. The health agency told Newsweek in a statement that they were Canadian citizens.

Canada loosened requirements for international travellers on 5 July. Anyone entering the country must provide proof of vaccination. The unvaccinated have to submit to multiple tests, and stay for three days in a government-run hotel before quarantining for 14 days.

Canada will begin letting vaccinated Americans enter the country starting on 9 August.

The US border with Canada and Mexico, however, remains closed to foreigners until 21 August.

Other countries are quickly amending their travel restrictions, depending on the rise or fall of new infections and vaccinations.

On Monday, the UK began allowing vaccinated Americans and Europeans to enter without undergoing quarantine.

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US Customs agents arrest Canadian woman attempting to smuggle drugs – CTV Toronto



A Canadian woman has been caught attempting to import a significant quantity of cocaine into the country, U.S. border agents report.

The suspect, who was driving a commercial truck loaded with watermelons and peppers, attempted to cross into Canada at the office in Sweetgrass, Mont. on July 29.

Upon further inspection of the truck, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered a number of bags hidden among the cargo.

The substance inside the bags tested positive for cocaine, officials said. The total amount of drugs seized was 31.5 kilograms.

“Utilizing high-tech tools, our frontline CBP Officers used a combination of their training and experience to detect and seize 69.5 pounds of cocaine in the cargo environment,” said area port director Jason Greene, Sweetgrass Port of Entry, in a release.

“The ability to facilitate lawful trade and travel while sustaining a focus on enforcement, is critical to our border security mission.”

Charges are pending against the suspect, who has not been identified.

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Canada shocks U.S. in semis, will play for Olympic gold in women's soccer –



After the celebration had ended and the Canadian players started to make their way to the locker room, Captain Christine Sinclair stayed a little longer.

She was lying on the Kashima Stadium grass alone, soaking in the moment.

Relief. Excitement. Redemption.

“We finally won. For those of us who were part of the 2012 game, it was nice to get a little revenge in an Olympic semifinal,” Sinclair said.

Nine years after heartbreak and controversy at Old Trafford at London 2012, the Canadian women’s soccer team defeated the number-one ranked United States 1-0 in their semifinal on Monday at the Tokyo Games.

The only goal of the match came off the boot of Jessie Fleming of London, Ont., who converted a penalty kick in the 74th minute.

Bring on the cheers

Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

Fleming was cool under pressure, delivering a perfect strike that sent Canada into the championship game.

“I was confident where I was going to go. I usually pick the spot the night before,” Fleming said of her kick.

“It’s just one kick. Trusting myself. Took a deep breath. I knew I could do it.”

WATCH | Jessie Fleming scores on penalty kick to lift Canada:

Midfielder Jessie Fleming scores on a penalty in the seventy-fifth minute as Canada defeats U.S. 1-0 and advances to the women’s soccer gold medal match. 1:28

Gold-medal match awaits

Canada now moves on to play in the Olympic gold-medal match for the first time in the country’s history.

After all the battles over all the years for Canada on the pitch, Sinclair beamed as she spoke to media.  

“Our goal coming here was to change the colour. Two back-to-back bronzes. We were kind of sick of that. And this team, wow. What a performance. What a fight. One more to go,” she said.

Fleming celebrates after converting the penalty kick that sends Canada to the women’s soccer finals in Tokyo. (Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images)

Fleming’s goal was made possible because of a video review in the second half — it was ruled Canada’s Deanne Rose was taken down in the penalty area by Tierna Davidson and Canada was awarded a penalty kick.

“It’s really special to get to contribute to the win. There’s a group of players on our team who have worked on this for 20 years. Seeing them cry after that match means so much,” she said.

“We hear you back home. Thank you for the support.”

Rare victory comes at clutch time

This marks just the second time ever the United States are not advancing to the championship game. The Americans had played in every final since 1996 except once, in the last Games in Rio.

This was only the fourth Canadian win over the USA in 62 meetings. 

This victory came inside an empty Kashima Stadium on a hot and humid Monday afternoon in Japan. The Canadians celebrated wildly on the lush pitch, huddling around one another and dancing and yelling and singing. 

WATCH | Canadian women’s soccer team advances to Olympic final: 

Canadian women’s soccer team defeats the number-one ranked United States 1-0 in their semifinal at Tokyo 2020. 1:55

“Indescribable. I remember asking the ref how much time? How much time? When that final whistle blew I just dropped to my knees in pure joy. Thank goodness. Thank goodness for this moment,” said Desiree Scott.

“This is fricken incredible.”

‘Change the colour’

Canada will play Sweden in the gold-medal match, which goes Friday morning at 11 a.m. in Japan, 10 p.m. ET on Thursday in Canada.

The rallying cry coming from Canada into these Games was “change the colour” after back-to-back bronze medals. Now they have their chance. 

“I’m just so proud of this team. It’s a unique group. It’s a special group. One that I’m so honoured and proud to be a part of. We fight for everything,” Sinclair said. 

“I was talking to Desi Scott and we were saying we’ve been waiting nine years for this chance to have this game again. And that we were going to do everything possible to have a different outcome. We did.”

WATCH | A redemption story 9 years in the making:

The Canadian women’s national team defeated the United States for the first time in 20 years, pushing their way through the Olympic semifinals and into the gold-medal match. 1:52

Much of the play early in the match was in Canada’s end of the pitch as the powerhouse Americans were wanting to apply pressure in the high-stakes game — in fact, for the first 10 minutes the Canadians struggled to move the ball past midfield. 

The play was physical, feisty and it was clear the player’s emotions were running high. 

Canada’s first somewhat threatening chance came 14 minutes into the game when Nichelle Prince was trying to track down a ball in the U.S.’s penalty area but was thwarted.

That charge from Prince seemed to spark the Canadians, getting rewarded for their much more organized play with two corners.

“I’m so proud of my team. They’re my best friends. I’m so glad we’re bringing back a better medal than bronze,” said player Quinn, who goes by one name.

“I’m doing this for the people I grew up looking up to. Like Sincy.”

American goalkeeper injured

At the 19-minute mark, U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher shot into the air to clear away a threatening ball from Canada and landed awkwardly on her right knee. She was down on the pitch for minutes before getting up and putting weight on her right leg.

After a delay of more than seven minutes, she was good to go and stayed in the match — but it lasted only minutes. After one kick, Naeher was visibly in pain and left the game.

Adrianna Franch took over the rest of the way.

WATCH | U.S. goalkeeper Naeher injured:

U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is taken out of the game after suffering an apparent knee injury during the first half of their semifinal match against Canada. 1:46

After a frantic few minutes, the game settled down as both teams found their footing. Not a single shot on target was registered for either side in the first half.

An old score settled

Sinclair and Scott were the only two players on the pitch Monday for Canada who were also on the pitch nine years earlier at Old Trafford for that infamous game.

Sinclair put forward one of the greatest performances ever by a Canadian soccer player that day, scoring a hat trick. But it wasn’t enough.

What happened that day on the pitch in August of 2012 will never be forgotten. 

Those chaotic late minutes in the game, laced with confusion, chaos and frustration still linger.

In what can only be described as a baffling call made by referee Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen, Canadian keeper Erin McLeod was penalized for a delay of game for holding the ball for more than six seconds. It’s a call rarely ever made. 

The Americans were awarded a free kick outside the Canadian. On that kick Canada’s Marie-Eve Nault was charged with a handball in the penalty area.

Abby Wambach of the United States tied the game. 

After the game, then coach John Herdman was livid.

“She’ll have to sleep in bed tonight after watching the replays. She’s got that to live with,” he said on that August day. “We’ll move on from this, I wonder if she’ll be able to.”

The team has moved on. Sinclair has moved on.

Canada is moving on to the championship game.

“Job one is done for us, changing the colour,” Sinclair said. 

“Now that we’re in the final we go for it. We’re ready.”

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