Happy World Environment Day! First established by the United Nations in 1972, June 5 is a day for individuals, businesses, and governments to recognize our impact on the environment and take action to preserve Earth for the next generation. Here are a few facts about emissions, air pollution, and electric vehicles.

Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

When we talk about greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, we’re mostly talking about carbon dioxide (CO2). However, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) produced by fossil fuels and organic waste also contribute to air pollution. According to the newest EPA “Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2018” report that was just released in April, transportation accounted for 28.2% of all US greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Air pollution impacts respiratory and cardiovascular health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and World Health Organization all agree: air pollution has a vast impact on public health. According to NIEHS, air pollution can affect lung development and is a contributing factor towards asthma, emphysema, and COPD. Particulates and transportation emissions increase risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. And exposure to air pollution may cause certain types of cancer.

Electric cars provide social benefits.

This week, the University of Toronto released a report on air pollution and electric vehicles. Entitled “Clearing the Air,” this report modeled the number of lives that could be saved by switching to electric vehicles. Researchers found that in the Greater Toronto region alone, switching to electric cars and SUVs could prevent 313 premature deaths per year. They also found that each electric car that replaces an internal combustion engine (ICE) car brought about $10,000 in social benefits, and that switching to electric vehicles in the region “would bring Ontario halfway to meeting its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.” Converting a fleet or buying a new car may cost money, but the social benefits far outweigh the costs.

Electric cars are truly better for the environment.

Climate skeptics and EV skeptics sometimes point out that because electric vehicles run on the local energy grid, they’re not truly Zero Emission Vehicles. This concept is referred to as “Well to Wheel Emissions.” It’s true: electric vehicles are dependent on the local energy grid. In some states, the majority of electricity comes from coal. In other states, renewable energy is more common. But regardless of the mix, electric vehicles produce fewer emissions according to the Department of Energy.  And as more utilities transition to renewable energy, the energy grid will become more clean, further lowering the well to wheel emissions of the electric car.

Many people are concerned about air pollution, public health, and climate change right now. The health and financial benefits of electric vehicles are just two reasons why governments and utilities are funding EV charging installations or providing tax rebates for drivers who switch to electric cars. Healthcare facilities are even using electric vehicle charging stations to reduce emissions in their communities. Want to learn more about supporting electric vehicles and reducing emissions at your property? Click here to request your quote for smart EV charging stations today.