The latest study by Northwestern University showed the replacement of 25% of conventional vehicles by electric versions would save the United States approximately $17 billion yearly. The scheme will also improve the environmental conditions was reducing air pollution and emission. If 75% of the vehicles are replaced, the US would save $70 billion yearly.
The Electric Vehicle Study
The researchers of the university studied data regarding climate change, the impact of vehicles on public health, and the economy.
Daniel Peters, who heads the team, said that vehicle electrification in the US could prevent thousands of premature deaths that occur annually due to emissions, as it will reduce hundreds of millions of tons of carbon. He highlighted that a co-beneficial solution which saves the dollars as well as improving the environment condition at the same time. Daniel added that engineering and technicians have been researching and working on different technologies that can become a potential solution to climate change, but the efforts need to be more aggressive, as well as the adoption of these solutions. The study was published on 13th August in the journal GeoHealth.
To conduct the research, Daniel and Horton, who is an assistant professor of Earth and Planetary Science in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Science, studied fleets of vehicles and their emission data since 2014. The data regarding carbon dioxide emission is very well documented, but the emissions produce other harmful pollutants as well, such as particulate matters. These are the cause of many health issues including chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, and all these lead to premature deaths.
Explaining the other released chemicals, Daniel said that Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are a great example to look into. NOx is extremely damaging for the respiratory system, but when exposed to sunlight, it converts into ozone and other particulate matters. To measure these chemical reactions and conversions, they studied a chemistry-climate model, which was developed by Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
They took help from Jordan Schnell, who is a postdoctoral fellow in Horton's laboratory. He simulated the atmospheric conditions, weather, and chemistry in the air, along with the emissions, and the simulation showed how the emissions from the vehicles interact with the elements in the air. The simulation also combined the information available about the health data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This data helped them access the consequences of these emissions on the public and how it will affect their health.
The team used the concept of price-tag, were the assigned dollar value to health damages caused that could be saved by using electric vehicles.
Carbon Footprint of Electric Vehicles
They are an ongoing debate about whether electric vehicles are as useful as they are promoted to be. Many people claim the manufacturing of electric vehicles produces more carbon than that of a conventional car. And that is true. Manufacturing of electric vehicles produces 15% more emission than manufacturing a similar-sized gasoline car. For larger cars, the percentage can go as high as 68%. But still, electric vehicles are much better.
The emission is compensated for as soon as the car is driven. Electric vehicles are powered with electricity, hence zero-emission. While gasoline will emit less during the manufacturing process, but the emission that it will do throughout the life-cycle is much much higher than what the manufacturing of electric vehicles produces.
Electric vehicles will compensate for the manufacturing-emission within the first 18 months of use, the rest of the lifetime, no emission at all. Electric vehicles have a much lower carbon footprint than conventional vehicles. Hence it is very clear why electric vehicles need to be adopted quickly.
Want to protect the environment? Read this article to understand how YOU can reduce your carbon footprint. https://www.projecthelpngo.org/post/reduce-your-carbon-footprint
Author: Subhasri Banerjee
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