Report Reveals How Health Would Improve If Americans Transitioned to Electric Vehicles

Transitioning from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles will do a lot more than cleanse the atmosphere of harmful carbon emissions, a new report has found. According to the new report by the American Lung Association, phasing out vehicles that rely on fossil fuels will result in remarkably cleaner air. Transitioning fully to electric vehicles (“EVs”) by 2040 would result in fewer deaths, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and other health problems related to air pollution, says Director of Clean Air Advocacy at the American Lung Association, William Barrett.

“Out report is grounded in a scenario wherein electric vehicles account for 100% of new passenger vehicles sales by 2040, and of heavy-duty truck sales by 2045, with heavy-duty vehicle classes advancing along the way,” Barrett, who is also the lead author of the “Road to Clean Air” report, says. “Through a scenario like this, we could virtually eliminate on-road emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide, fine particle pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Based on this scenario, the pollution reduced in 2050 alone could yield up to 6,300 avoided premature deaths, 93,000 avoided asthma attacks, 416,000 avoided lost workdays and many additional health impacts avoided.” According to industry group Edison Electric Institute, electric cars represent only 2% of the cars sold in the US, with nearly 1.2 million EVs on the road in 2019. The new report estimates changes in air pollution “if we accelerate that progress out over the coming decades, really looking at ways we can help advance that and accelerate that progress and that transition to electric transportation,” Barrett says.

“Transportation is the leading source of harmful air pollution in the United States. It represents half of the total ozone as well as nitrogen oxide emissions,” notes Dr. Meredith McCormack, medical director of the Johns Hopkins University Pulmonary Function Laboratory in Baltimore. This, coupled with the fact that close to half of Americans live in counties affected by ozone and particle pollution, which is largely caused by cars, trucks, and other vehicles indicates that switching to EVs is crucial to keeping the populace healthy.

The report estimates that a full transition to electric vehicles by 2050 would reduce ozone and particle-forming nitrogen oxides by 1 million tons a year (an 82% reduction), fine particle pollution from tailpipes by nearly 30,600 tons (a 62% reduction), and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.4 billion metric tons (a 90% reduction). Additionally, we will have to transition power plants away from coal and fossil fuels to ensure the air stays clean.

“We know that as we transition to electric vehicles, at the same time we need to be on a parallel track to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel-generated power. As more coal and more fossil fuels come offline, the benefits of electric vehicles will only grow. There’s no doubt that we need to address both the tailpipe and the power sources.”

This clarion call for switching to EVs is one that carmakers like NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) fully support since it would help them attain their long-term objectives.

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