Do electric cars have a catalytic converter?

ELECTRIC cars have increased in popularity as the world moves away from gas-fuelled vehicles.

Catalytic converters have been present in cars since the 1970s and help  reduce toxic emissions, so do electric cars need them?


There has been an increase in catalytic converters being stolen from 2020.

What is a catalytic converter used for?

Catalytic converters use heat to convert exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less harmful pollutants.

The toxins include carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, that are transformed into carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and water by the catalytic converter.

They work at high temperatures of up to 400 degrees and there are different types.

Two-way converters that turn carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water, and three-way converters which also reduce nitric oxide and dioxide emissions – a major cause of localised air pollution.

Do electric cars have a catalytic converter?

Electric cars do not have internal combustion engines and therefore do not produce these harmful gasses.

There is no need for the catalytic converter in an electric car and for this reason they are considered more environmentally friendly.

The absence of catalytic converters in electric cars can make them safer to own and less likely to be a target of catalytic converter thefts.

Unfortunately the devices are a target for thieves and are expensive to replace.

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Catalytic converters are considered valuable according to Auto Express, who explained the devices use precious metals such as like palladium, rhodium and platinum.

The publication said: “These have an intrinsic value that means they’re worth salvaging and recycling when the car is scrapped.”

Thieves also have easier access to the converters as they are placed towards the exhaust outlet under a vehicle.

This has led to an increase in catalytic converters being stolen from 2020.

Do hybrid cars have catalytic converters?

If your car is a Hybrid Electric Vehicle, there will an internal combustion engine even if it is not being used the whole journey.

Therefore there will be a catalytic converter present in a hybrid.

The rule is if it burns gas or diesel then it will have a catalytic converter – if it doesn’t then it will not need one.

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