Turns Out Electric Vehicles Can Actually Reduce Urban Pollution


EVs Reduce Urban Pollution...Study Says So

EVs Reduce Urban Pollution…Study Says So

Earth Techling opens a recent article with this statement:

“One thing we’ve come to expect with the rise of electric vehicles is that pollution levels in areas where these are driven will drop, even if just slightly. Given the newness of mass adoption though, there’s only so much data out there to collaborate our assumption. A new three year study out of the United Kingdom does, in fact, support this viewpoint, which is certainly good to hear.”

LEAF Taxi in NYC Reduces Pollution

LEAF Taxi in NYC Reduces Pollution

Yes, good to hear indeed.  Now there’s at least some evidence to support the pollution-reducing aspect of electric vehicles.

Though we always believed this to be true, it’s welcome news that it’s been proven, even if only through a rather limited bit of research.

That three-year study was conducted by Newcastle University, who concluded that

“Not only could electric vehicles reduce transport-related pollution in our cities, they also produce less CO2 per km than a combustion engine, even when the pollution associated with electricity generation at power stations is taken into account.”

Another win for the electric vehicle!!!

As Earth Techling points out, the specific findings from the study include:

  • For all the electric vehicles in the study, their carbon efficiency was better than an equivalent internal combustion (IC) engine vehicle.
  • An average new build IC produces around 140g CO2/kg (not counting CO2 produced during fuel production / transport, which adds around 15% to the total emissions)
  • The average carbon output for the EV’s used in the trial was 85g CO2/kg (based on a UK electricity grid mix).

    Smog in Beijing

    Smog in Beijing

The research study included more than 200 volunteer drivers (44 electric vehicle drivers).  The electric vehicles used in the study logged a combined total of 403,000 and recharged 19,900 times.  Data logging systems record “details such as distance traveled, route, driving behavior and re-charging times.”  In the end, those 44 electric vehicles saved “76,000 kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere,” says Earth Techling.

Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University,  “And what we’ve demonstrated is that EVs are a viable alternative to combustion engine vehicles for many drivers and would help us tackle rising pollution levels.”

So, there it is.  EVs can indeed combat rising pollution levels.  Now we just need hundreds of millions on the roads to see and feel the impact for ourselves.

Source: Earth Techling

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8 Comments on "Turns Out Electric Vehicles Can Actually Reduce Urban Pollution"

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What they have demonstrated is that electrifying all cars would decrease pollution by 40%. Except we know that the number of cars will rise by more than that, and offset any gains.

Cars make cigarettes look like health food.

Good idea, let’s wait until someone finds the perfect, 100% reduction solution, and just do nothing in the meantime… [rolls eyes]

EVs not only cuts CO2 and other pollutants more than pretty much any ICE improvement could achieve, as has been shown here. Btw, it’s ~50% reduction today taking into account oil transport etc (if we account for electricity production, it’s only fair to do so with other fuels too; gas doesn’t magically materialize in tanks).
Next, this is now, with the not-so-clean UK grid. Unlike ICEs which only get dirtier with time, both new and existing EVs get greener as the grid does. Solar is becoming so cheap, it now makes financial sense even in poor weather areas like UK…

Sure, electrification isn’t the one solution, but along with other measures (encouraging bicycling or public transit, better urban planning, etc) it does make a tangible, positive difference.

Electrification is only real solution indeed. The power generation to make 100% clean is very easy and affordable. The technologies are available for many years and they will not increase existing electricity price level or could increase no so dramaticaly – nothing close to five fold oil price increase. Just political will is needed. Moreover CO2 is not real polutant. It couses climate change (may be) but no direct harm to our healf. Real polutants are particles, NOx, CO and other tailpipe emissions which are 100 times smaller in electricity generation than using ICE automobile.

I didn’t say we should do nothing. I think we should ban cars. Think of the work for bus drivers. Of course there would soon be a surplus of doctors, as Americans would become as healthy as folks in Holland, and Japan. 🙂

Insert UK, or most countries here.

I’m shocked, shocked I say, to find that EV’s have a very long tail pipe!

Really now? I would have thought by now we all would know that EV’s on the road are only one piece in the puzzle. But why ignore one step towards a solution while slowly working towards the ultimate goal?

“Slowly…ultimate solution.” Come on. We all know how this goes. We pretend to give a rat’s behind about other people, and the future, while doing whatever we can to hang onto what we have, for as long as we can. In the end, a few lucky ones will be sitting on top of the smoldering pile of rubble, thinking life is good. 🙂

Warren, at least we have California to show us the error of our ways. 🙂