Study Finds Electric Vehicles to be Cleanest Form of Personal Transport in Arizona


Electric vehicles are the cleanest form of personal transportation in Arizona, according to the results of a report released by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).

This Too is Somewhere in Arizona

This Too is Somewhere in Arizona

SWEEP examined electric, compressed natural gas and gasoline automobiles to determine which fuel type was the cleanest in Arizona.  The results are not a surprise.

Mike Salisbury, transportation research associate at SWEEP, had this to say:

“Electric vehicles are becoming more common on roads in the Southwest, and policymakers need to know if they are cleaner than conventional gasoline and natural gas-fueled vehicles.”

SWEEP says that Arizona’s relatively clean electricity mix means that electric vehicles are the right choice for those trying to “clean up their act.”  With only 35% of the state’s electricity coming from coal, electric vehicles emit the lowest amount of greenhouse gases.  Natural gas vehicles (CNG) landed in second place and traditional gasoline automobiles in dead last (third).

SWEEP discovered that electric vehicles could go down the road 100 miles on the same amount of energy that could get CNG only 78 miles and gasoline autos 70 miles.

So, if you’re an Arizonian and owning the cleanest form of personal transport tops your priority list, then electric is the choice.



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8 Comments on "Study Finds Electric Vehicles to be Cleanest Form of Personal Transport in Arizona"

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Here is an interesting fact: Over time, electric cars get cleaner whereas gas cars become dirtier. How is that possible? Over time, the electricity gets cleaner and cleaner due to renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in most states that require utilities to generate more and more of their power with renewable sources. With gasoline, we have been transitioning from cheap conventional crude oil to more expensive and dirtier nonconventional sources. Tar sands oil, hydrofractured oil from shale, and ultradeepwater oil all require burning up more natural gas and diesel to extract such that these oil sources now emit more pollution than the conventional oil we would get out of a conventional oil well.

Well, the Phoenix area does have a great nuclear power plant that even helps other states as well. This makes it possible to make EVs cleaner, along with some solar projects too. We have some coal power in Tucson and our home is not positioned optimally for solar. We do help by driving our Volt; mostly on electrons in town. I just wish our Legislators would recognize our Volt as an AFV (alternative fuel vehicle) so we could pay much much less on our annual registration, instead of $685. I think when we purchased our Volt.

“Well, the Phoenix area does have a great nuclear power plant that even helps other states as well. This makes it possible to make EVs cleaner.”

10/4 on that Blind Guy.
California doesn’t get it.
Most in Ca don’t like NP and would prefer to burn gas.
They are concerned they might get more bad dose of Radiation,,,even more than dental XRay (oooh noooo)

We in AZ are sympathetic to their concerns.

As such the AZ Corp Commission has started proceedings to cut Ca off from any more electricity production from our NPP (Palo Verde)

Soon all Ca residents will be able to just burn gas for 100% of their requirement. .

Nice stereotyping there. Actually, California still has the Diablo Canyon reactor running just fine. San Onofre shot itself in the foot with bad repair job. And we are certainly not 100% gas. We have wind, solar PV, hydro, concentrated solar, geothermal, natural gas, nuclear, and other things. The natural gas has grown . . . and why not? It is really cheap right now. But it is less than a 1/3rd of the mix.

GeorgeS, you realize that Arizona’s #1 power plant fuel remains coal, right?
California may use less nuclear and way more natural gas, but compensates with renewables — and on that front, even though it has huge potential for solar which would come really handy for its extremely high air conditioning load, it’s Arizona which “doesn’t get it”.
There’s good and bad on both sides.

Anyway, I’m sure everyone will decide to interpret the data differently, so here it is for you to draw your own conclusions:
AZ vs CA generation and other stats:

CA power mix, detailing local generation vs imports:

Did they take into account the environmental impact of producing CNG?

Did you take into account the environmental impact of producing gasoline/diesel/oil?

Everything we do has an environmental impact. We just have to do the lesser of the evils of our environmental impact.

Of course I did, which is why EVs are even better. Some studies think that the average ICE produces 400g CO2 / km, when the production of gas is taken into account. That makes your 60g/km ‘dirty electricity’ MUCH cleaner.