Tuesday, April 17, 2012

EVs can curb greenhouse gas regardless of electricity source

 A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says no matter where one lives in the United States, electric vehicles can help  reducing global warming emissions and saving money on fueling up. While emissions levels associated with the electricity an EV consumes  vary widely by region,depending  on the fuel used to produce electricity at  local power plants, drivers can expect to reduce emissions compared to average gasoline-powered vehicles. Critics of EVs have argued electric vehicles do nothing to reduce global warming if they use electricity from coal- or oil-burning power plants.
Broken down by category and divided by electric grid regions, the UCS  analysis concludes that in every part of the country, EVs outperform most gasoline-powered vehicles when it comes to global warming emissions. The analysis breaks the country into regions that are ‘good,’ ‘better,’ or ‘best’ for an EV.
“This report shows drivers should feel confident that owning an electric vehicle is a good choice for reducing global warming pollution, cutting fuel costs, and slashing oil consumption,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program. “Those in the market for a new car may have been uncertain how the global warming emissions and fuel costs of EVs stack up to gasoline-powered vehicles. Now, drivers can for the first time see just how much driving an electric vehicle in their hometown will lower global warming emissions and save them money on fuel costs.”
While the environmental benefits of driving an EV vary depending on where the driver charges the EV, electric grids across the country are getting cleaner. In fact, 29 states and the District of Columbia are implementing renewable electricity standards while a greater number of older and dirtier coal plants are retired.
Even in regions where coal dominates the electricity grid, EVs are still ‘good’ when it comes to global warming emissions. In parts of the Rocky Mountains region, driving an EV produces global warming emissions equivalent to a gasoline vehicle with a fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, similar to the best non-hybrid compact gasoline vehicles available today – all while cutting our nation’s oil consumption.
“The good news is that as the nation’s electric grids get cleaner, consumers who buy an EV today can expect to see their car’s emissions go down over the lifetime of the vehicle,” said Anair.
Most of Michigan falls in a ‘good‘ region, with the emissions from charging on the regional grid equal to a 38 mpg gasoline vehicle. However, a proposal that may be on the ballot this fall could help change that. It would require that 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2025, boosting the state’s current standard of 10 percent by 2015 and helping to ensure that the electricity grid, and EV charging, gets cleaner. By Joseph Szczesny


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home