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American Lung Association releases report highlighting benefits of shift to electric vehicles

Thousands of electric car charging stations coming nationwide
Posted at 10:43 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 10:43:11-04

CLEVELAND — Today the market is exploding with electric vehicles. There are currently more than 50 models available in the U.S and according to a new report from the American Lung Association, if we don't make a larger shift towards electric vehicles the consequences could be dire.

The report, called "The Road to Cleaner Air," highlighted the benefits of electric vehicles for our public health and climate change.

If the nation made the transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2050, it could produce annual benefits of $72 billion in avoided health harms, saving approximately 6,300 lives per year, avoiding more than 93,000 asthma attacks and 416,000 lost workdays.

The researchers also looked at the benefits specifically for Cleveland. They found it would result in $850 million worth of health benefits, including 74 avoided premature deaths, 774 asthma attacks and more than 3,400 fewer lost workdays.

"We show tremendous public health and climate change benefits by driving this transition with not only cleaner cars but a cleaner electricity grid to support the electric transportation," said Paul Billings with ALA.

Billings said while Cleveland doesn't have near as many issues with air pollution, compared to Los Angeles, he said this issue is still relevant.

"While Cleveland is doing better than some, there's still far too many days of unhealthy air in Cleveland," he said. "People in Cleveland are breathing dirty air that has adverse health consequences on children, seniors and people with chronic diseases like asthma and heart disease. Folks like to exercise outdoors. No one wants to go work out and breathe that dirty air and get that burning in their lungs and watering their eyes."

The report also found that electric vehicles would result in significant air quality and climate benefits by reducing:

  • ozone- and particle-forming oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 1 million tons in 2050 (an 82% reduction compared with the “Business As Usual” Scenario)
  • directly emitted fine particle pollution (PM2.5) by 30,599 tons in 2050 (a 62% reduction)
  • greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change by over 1.4 billion metric tons in 2050 (a 90% reduction)

To read the full report, click here.