Study Links EV Adoption to Reduced Pollution, Health Improvements

EVs are frequently touted as being a crucial tool for reducing emissions as well as combating climate change; however, research on the combined advantages of cleaner air and better health has proven to be more speculative.

Research on the actual effects of the adoption of electric vehicles has commenced at the USC Keck School of Medicine. The first research used actual data to examine the connection between electric cars, air contamination and health. The researchers did an observational study of California as a state where citizens quickly switched to electric vehicles. “The Science of the Total Environment” journal just released the findings.

Additionally, the researchers received information on area-code emergency department visits caused by asthma from the US EPA on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations, a pollutant linked to traffic. Asthma has long been connected to air pollutants such as NO2. These pollutants could also worsen or develop various respiratory illnesses and issues with other organ systems, such as the heart and brain.

The researchers analyzed data on the state’s total number of registered zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), the levels of pollution in the air and the number of asthma emergency cases in ERs from 2013 through 2019. Locally polluted air levels and emergency room visits decreased as ZEV adoption rose in a specific zip code.

The research team also discovered that although the overall number of ZEVs rose over a period of time, their adoption was quite slow in zip codes with limited resources. This gap indicates the chance to reinstate justice to the environment in areas that are negatively affected by pollutants and health-related issues.

Erika Garcia asserts that whenever people reflect on the behaviors linked to changes in the climate, they do so on a global scale. However, the notion that local improvements might have a positive impact on neighborhood health can send a strong message to the general public and decision makers. Garcia added that if further research confirms its findings, the group would like to ensure that those areas suffering severely from polluted air caused by traffic are the greatest beneficiaries of the effort to mitigate climate change.

Although climate change poses a significant risk to human health, addressing it presents a significant health possibility. The research can help show the effectiveness of such a mitigation strategy, including potentially lowering health-care usage and costs. The future solution includes more than just switching to zero-emission vehicles. Other significant strategies targeting environmental improvement and protection include switching to public transportation and engaging in physical activities, such as walking and biking.

As the models from startups such as Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) filter through to more people, the health and environmental benefits discussed in the study above will only become more pronounced.

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