In short no, regardless of how they are charged.
Australian vehicle emissions are at a record high and fast adoption of electric car technology will substantially reduce our carbon footprint.
Australia has the highest emissions per capita in the OECD* and is also one of the only developed nations in the world that doesn’t have a carbon emissions scheme. Many cars on our roads produce more pollution that similar cars in other developed nations, due to our poor emissions standards.
An important consideration for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure is the source of electricity used to power EVs. Analysis across all states and territories in Australia shows that an average electric vehicle charged from the grid in 2016 emitted less than an average internal combustion engine vehicle except in Victoria where it’s slightly higher (due to dirtier brown coal-fired power plants). An average new liquid-fuel car emits around 185g CO2/km, but an average new EV in Australia is only responsible for around 98g CO2/km. This will only improve as the electricity grid becomes greener with more solar and wind farms entering the generation mix.
This is good for the environment and improved health particularly in big cities.
If you own an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, it gets cleaner every day without you having to do a thing. A petrol or diesel car does not have this virtue.
*Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 34 democracies with market economies work with each other, as well as with more than 70 non-member economies to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development.
[June 15th 2019]