Study Says US Switch to EVs Could Save at Least 100K Lives by Mid-Century

The road to electrification will be long and fraught with plenty of challenges, chief of them being the high cost of EVs and poor EV charging infrastructure. At the moment, zero-emission electric cars make up less than 1% of all the vehicles on American roads. Over the next few decades, government investment in charging infrastructure coupled with reducing production costs could significantly increase EV adoption.

The move to electric vehicles is part of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat runaway climate change. According to a recently released report, transitioning to EVs that rely on green energy will also have a significant impact on public health by reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment.

Analysis from the American Lung Association reveals that a countrywide shift from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric cars over the next 30 years has the potential to save more than 100,000 lives as well as $1.2 trillion in public health expenses. The report estimates that such a transition would result in 2.8 million fewer asthma attacks, 13.4 million fewer sick days and 110,000 fewer fatalities by 2050.

Transitioning to zero-emission electric cars would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 92%. The resulting benefits such as preserving ecosystems, ensuring the continuation of agriculture, and preserving infrastructure from rising sea levels as well as extreme weather events could save the country a whopping $1.7 trillion.

The study states that electrification will be especially beneficial to communities of color and low-income neighborhoods because the poor tend to suffer more from pollution. However, a large percentage of this community may not be able to afford EVs due to the high costs involved with purchasing an electric car and installing a home charger.

Note that the American Lung Association’s calculations are based on a couple of assumptions, including 100% EV sales by 2035, 100% electric truck sales by 2040,and 100% transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as solar by 2035. However, it is unlikely that America will have banned the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035.

This is partly because of little political urgency regarding electrification. Furthermore, there is little chance of oil and gas companies stopping their drilling operations in the next 20 years given how profitable the sector is. Will Barrett, the author of Zeroing in on Healthy Air, says that the move to zero-emission energy and technologies will hinge on the presence of strong political leadership.

As more enabling policies are implemented, there is likely to be a surge in the EV sales of companies such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) as more people make the switch to electric vehicles.

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