Most developed countries are on track to replace traditional gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles over the next two decades. Not only do they run on clean, renewable energy, but they also produce minimal emissions and widespread adoption of EVs will significantly reduce the amount of pollution on our roads. Less carbon in the air means less heat is trapped in the atmosphere, and according to the American Lung Association, fewer health problems.
According to a recent “Road to Clean Air” report from the Lung Association, Maryland could save up to 100 lives and $1.3 billion in public health benefits in 2050 by transitioning to electric all-electric vehicles over the next 30 years. The key to this plan is to lay out the infrastructure, such as transitioning to more public transportation and having legal and economic incentives to encourage electric vehicle use, says Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health at the American Lung Association.
“That kind of investment is something the American Lung Association believes we really need to do because this, (transportation), is the largest sector of the economy as far as causing air pollution problems in the United States,” he says. As they are powered by rechargeable batteries, EVs do not have carbon emissions. Additionally, electric vehicles use regenerative braking in which the motor works in reverse to slow down the vehicle, putting kinetic energy back into the battery and reducing particle pollution from brake dust.
Ronald Kaltenbaugh, president of the Electric Vehicles Association of Greater Washington, D.C, has driven an electric vehicle since 2012. When he recently tried driving his last gas-powered car, which he passed down onto his daughter, all he could taste and smell were the fumes. He vowed never to go back to gas-powered vehicles and encourages others to do the same. He does 90% of his car charging at home and thanks to locator apps like Plugshare, he has never experienced a problem finding a charging station while on road trips.
On top of being cleaner, electric vehicles are cheaper to run and maintain over the course of their lives. A study by AAA found that driving 15,000 miles per year in a compact electric vehicle costs an average of $546 while driving the same distance in a gas-powered vehicle costs around $1,255. Electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts, thus they require less maintenance. Although they tend to be more expensive, EVs are better for your health and they are cheaper in the long run.
“Not only are their lifestyle costs cheaper,” says Kaltenbaugh, “they’re easy to maintain, and they help with healthy air.”
There are many companies specializing in manufacturing electric vehicles, and one interesting one you should watch is Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI). It is a Chinese EV maker that has recently started selling its electric vehicles on the U.S. market, and it would be interesting to watch how this company fares in North America.
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