The general benefits of all-electric vehicles have been fairly understood for a while now. It’s why there are several federal and state incentives for consumers to buy them and automakers to make them, but now a new study is giving us a more detailed look at the health and climate costs associated with gas-powered cars in the US, and the impact of a transition to a mostly all-electric fleet.
The study called ‘Clean Air Future: Health and Climate Benefits of Zero Emission Vehicles’ has been conducted by American Lung Association. The report can be found in full below.
They envisioned that all new passenger cars will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), primarily battery-powered, by 2050 and that 65% of the fleet will be zero-emission. The vision is in line with the goals set by states with ZEV mandates: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In those states alone, the American Lung Association estimates that the 2015 fleet of passenger cars had a total health and climate cost of $37 billion. They represented the current costs and the potential savings with a ZEV fleet in the charts below:
The costs manifest in a lot of different ways, but here’s a brief summary from the study that lists some of the health impacts attributed to the emissions of the current fleet in the 10 ZEV states last year:
- 109,637 asthma attacks;
- 220,199 days of work lost to respiratory illness;
- 2,580 premature deaths;
- 1,895 heart attacks; and
- 1,868 ER visits/hospitalizations.
The American Lung Association sees the potential to greatly reduce those impacts with a fleet of all-electric cars and an increasingly cleaner electric grid.
They broke down the costs per state:
The association concludes that it is crucial to reach the goal for ZEVs having a 100 percent market by 2050, but as we reported earlier today, some countries, like Norway and the Netherlands, are exploring much more aggressive ideas in order to reach that goal by 2025.
The American Lung Association recommends that more states adopt ZEV mandates, to increase the rebates and tax incentives at the local, state and federal levels, to accelerate the deployment of EV infrastructure, and finally to conduct consumer outreach for electric vehicles.
Here’s the report in full: