No Matter Where You Plug-In, EVs are Cleaner
Multiple studies have shown that EVs are the cleaner choice – no matter where you charge your plug-in vehicle in the United States. Most recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) studied the total emissions reductions of electric drive in every region of the country. They concluded that regardless of where in the nation an EV is charged and operated, electric drive vehicles have fewer well-to-wheel emissions than the average gasoline-powered vehicle sold today.
The Los Angeles Times asked, “What kind of car is the most green, fuel efficient and budget-friendly?” They collaborated with UCS to examine “seven powertrain options, analyzing their greenhouse gas emissions” — including the power plant emissions associated with producing electricity — along with their “relative fuel efficiency and cost of operation.” They concluded that “battery electric cars — those that run solely on electricity — are the cleanest and least expensive to operate.”
Outside of the UCS studies, there is a substantial library of scholarship supporting the environmental benefits of electric drive, including recognized research from organizations like the Argonne National Laboratory, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and others.
EVs Can Play a Central Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Electric drive can play a central role in greenhouse gas emissions reductions. If 60 percent of U.S. light vehicles were powered by the electric grid, carbon emissions from the transportation sector would drop by one-third. This reduction is equivalent to taking 82.5 million conventionally powered cars off of our roads, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
According to the American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air report, “nearly 138.5 million people—almost 44 percent of the nation—live where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe.” The reduction of transportation pollution with low, or zero, emission EVs can have immediate impact locally that grows as adoption expands nationwide. Further, the American Lung Association has stated that cleaning up fleet vehicles and making city transportation more efficient is an area of opportunity for hybrid, battery and fuel cell electric drive vehicles.
EV Advantages Increase as Electricity Gets Cleaner
The generation of electricity is getting cleaner and cleaner in the United States as feedstocks from natural gas to renewables are added to utility portfolios. Natural gas is now the top source of generation for electricity in the United States, the cost of renewable energies is dropping rapidly and greater efficiency and intelligence are being added to the production and transmission of electricity. As a result, plug-in vehicles are the only ones that are cleaner and more efficient the longer they are on the road.
Charging a plug-in vehicle directly from a renewable source, such as a solar powered charger, amplifies the benefits of driving emission free.