Electric vehicles save dollars and lives, says study


According to data from a Northwestern University survey, if 25% of the U.S. internal combustion-powered vehicle (VCI) fleet were replaced today with electric vehicles (EVs), the savings would be $ 17 billion a year. By raising this rate to 75% (and still increasing the generation of clean energy), the amount saved would reach US $ 70 billion annually.

The economy would be accompanied by a drastic reduction in carbon emissions and, consequently, in its effects on climate change and air pollution, impacting on the improvement of the population’s health.

Saving dollars and lives

“Vehicle electrification in the United States can prevent thousands of premature deaths annually, while reducing carbon emissions by hundreds of millions of tons,” computer engineer Daniel Peters, who led the study, said in a statement.

To achieve these results, Peters and his team used climate models combined with data such as those from the US public health system, carbon emissions and the vehicle fleet (base year: 2014) to assess the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) ) in the lives of Americans and the country’s economy.

Electric past

The conclusion they reached is that replacing 25% of the VCI fleet with electric cars would have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 250 million tons.

In 1900, 25% of the 4,192 cars produced in the USA were electric, reaching 37% in 1910, while those powered by combustion represented only 22%; a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), however, predicts that in 2030 the VCI market will be reduced to 50%.

“From the point of view of engineering and technology, solutions for climate change have been developing for years. This study found that the adoption of EVs not only reduces greenhouse gases, but also saves lives. The social cost of carbon and the value of the human being, statistically, are widely debated metrics, usually used to make political decisions. The work will help to assign a tangible value to the intangible consequences of the emission of gases into the atmosphere ”, explains climate scientist Daniel Horton, co-author of the study.

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