Air pollution is a major problem in the United States, and tailpipe emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) are a major contributor. According to the American LungAssociation (ALA), half of Americans— 150 million people—live in counties and cities affected by unhealthy levels of smog and soot pollution produced in large part by burning gasoline and diesels in our cars, trucks, and tractor trailers.
Dangerously high levels of exhaust from ICEVs not only threaten the health of our communities, but also the planet. Fortunately, due to decades of innovation from the automotive sector, electric vehicles have now surpassed ICEVs in cost and performance—giving us the opportunity to clean up our air and protect our environment.
Tailpipe emissions are a leading source of air pollution, representing more than half of the total smog- and particle-forming oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, and are currently the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. A widespread transition to zero-emission transportation technologies like electric vehicles would dramatically reduce harmful emissions, saving $72 billion in healthcare related costs by 2050.
The same ALA study estimates that decarbonizing transportation would:
When coupled with electric grid decarbonization, the United States has a fantastic opportunity to not only enhance its transportation infrastructure and energy technology, but also reduce harmful pollution and carbon emissions. And it’s already happening: sales of electric cars, trucks, buses, vans, and boats are increasing year-over-year and strong state and federal policies are spurring additional growth. There is still more work left to do, so it’s important to keep supporting policies and organizations that work to speed the transition to an equitable and clean transportation future.
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