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Escaping The Fossils: How Much Will Electric Cars Save The Environment Through Cleaner Air

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I am quite sure that you weren’t aware that cleaner air from zero-emission vehicles could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Last month, an incident happened that made me so reflective of how much pollution we release in oceans and air and then expect clean air. I was driving home, I can’t remember the time well, but what I do know is it was a chilled evening. So I’m driving 50Mph and suddenly I see black smoke ahead of me, I thought well, it must’ve been an accident because there’s no way such a vehicle would be allowed on the road. To my surprise, as we pull up to the traffic lights, I notice there wasn’t an accident, it was actually a vehicle on the road! It made me think, what about there were ten or even 20 trucks like that… imagine the damage we are putting out!

One study by the America Lung Association revealed that billions could be saved once we make a transition from fossil fuels. Even without looking at the monetary gain of doing the right thing, imagine how many lives would be saved.

The study continues to say that thousands of premature deaths could be averted and health care costs significantly reduced.

The report “The Road to Clean Air” is a national report that highlights the potential for major public health benefits that would accrue to the nation as a result of widespread electrification of the transportation sector especially if this transition happens along with a similar move to have renewable energy power to homes and businesses.

Prior to this report, there was another study that found that nearly half of Americans are living with and breathing unclean air and there are direct traces of this unhealthy air in the transportation sector. More so,  this huge industry has been linked to climate change and massive air pollution.

“America stands to benefit from cleaner air through a transition to electric vehicles,’’ said American Lung Association CEO and president Harold Wimmer. “Electric vehicles mean zero emissions from cars, buses, and trucks, translating to cleaner air and better health for all Americans.’’

Speaking of electric cars, did you know that a decade ago there was only a handful of these, in fact, less than one-quarter of one percent of the total U.S. car sales. After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the country is on track to install thousands of electric charging stations all across the country.

This matters a lot and I loved that the federal government took an active role in this.

In our country, the transport sector contributes the most to climate warming gases with the majority of these emissions coming from the cars and trucks that we use every day. Recognizing this fact,  Environment America has been working to increase the adoption of clean, emission-free electric vehicles and has also called for a 100% of car sales to be fully electric by 2035.

Getting it isn’t easy, but it’s doable, and to that end, we need three things;

  1. to make electric vehicles cheaper and easier for people to buy.
  2. strengthen regulation standards for all emissions.
  3. layout and build infrastructure necessary to support electric cars.

Among the many barriers towards the adoption of fully electric vehicles, one of them stands out and that is the lack of access to public charging stations. Many drivers feel anxiety fearing that they could be stranded on the road without access to fuel. As such, to support the transition to electric vehicles, the country needs to increase the buildout of charging stations all across the country.

Before the current administration, Environment America published a report where it outlined the need for increased charging infrastructure both at the state and national levels to support the transition to electric vehicles. After Biden took office, he promised to do that. In March last year, the president set a vigorous goal to build a network of 500,000 public EV charging Stations by 2030 as part of his wider American Jobs Plan.

The Bipartisan Bill raised $7.5 Billion which is more than enough to get the country halfway to Biden’s goal. It will also provide critical access to chargers for millions across the country. While people will be able to access their own driveway chargers, the public chargers are necessary for the many that don’t have access to off-street parking. In addition, the plan will see to it that the hard-to-reach areas that currently have little access to EV chargers are prioritized. These EV chargers will be extremely essential for long-distance travel. The support from both the Republicans and Democrats is overwhelming. The bill passed with overwhelming support at the senate with 19 republicans voting for the bill in addition to all the Democrat senators.

The developments happening in an effort to combat climate change can’t come fast enough. Last year’s summer saw one in three Americans being impacted by a climate-related disaster. Scientists are in agreement that moving forward, the disaster might be far more severe and faster than previously expected. While the EV’s alone can’t do that much to combat climate disasters, they are a huge start towards creating a future powered by clean, electric transportation.

 

Sources:

https://environmentcalifornia.org/blogs/environment-america-blog/ame/charged-electric-vehicle-future

https://www.njspotlightnews.org/2020/09/zero-emission-vehicles-electric-vehicles-asthma-heart-disease-transportation-pollution-fossil-fuels/

https://carfromjapan.com/article/industry-knowledge/are-electric-cars-eco-friendly-when-they-use-fossil-fuels/

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/luke-tonachel/study-electric-vehicles-can-dramatically-reduce-carbon-pollution

https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/how-clean-are-electric-cars/

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