The average electric vehicle on U.S. roads today emits so little in the way of climate-warming pollution that it's like driving a petrol-powered car that gets 80 miles to the gallon, according to a new analysis by a scientists' organization.
Culver City, California, January 25, 2018 (Photo by Chris Goldberg)
The analysis by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) considers the emissions of the power plants supplying the electricity that EV drivers use to charge their batteries as well as the emissions of the EVs on the road.
The scientists conclude that electric vehicles emit lower amounts of heat-trapping gases than the average new gasoline car everywhere across the country - even when the electricity to charge the EVs comes from the dirtiest coal-dominated part of the U.S. electric grid.
The robust development of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar means electric driving is cleaner and less environmentally damaging than ever.
"Electric vehicles will continue to get even cleaner as more coal-fired power plants close in favor of wind and solar power, whose prices continue to drop," predicts the UCS analysis.
Coal already has fallen from providing 50 percent of the power on the U.S. grid to just 30 percent and renewables now provide 10 percent of America's electricity.
Electric car technology is improving, too, the UCS reports. Driving the most efficient electric models, 99 percent of Americans could drive cleaner on electricity than they would in a 50 mile per gallon (mpg) gasoline car.
Electric driving is cheaper, too. In another recent analysis, the UCS looked at electricity rates and gasoline prices in 50 of the biggest U.S. cities. The scientists found that charging an electric vehicle can be cheaper than fueling a car with gasoline in each of the 50 cities.
The average driver can save nearly $800 a year by driving electric instead of on gasoline. With fewer moving parts, battery electric vehicles require less scheduled maintenance than gasoline cars, saving drivers even more.
American motorists have only just begun to see the advantages of electric vehicles, as the industry is less than a decade old. While electric vehicles are still a small part of the auto market, there are now 40 models available in the United States, with automakers planning to introduce more.
People can go online and use a new UCS tool to find out how clean the electricity is where they live.
Click here to use the tool.
"The trend is clear: the future is electric," proclaims the UCS. "As a greater segment of the public recognizes the advantages of these vehicles, more drivers will save at the pump as they reduce the risk of climate change.
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)
May 21, 2018