EVs can Save Lives & Generate US$1.2trn in Health Benefits

A new report from American Lung Association shows how zero-emission electric vehicles can save lives & create huge health benefits

Each year, 8.8m people die prematurely because of air pollution, according to the American Lung Association. A new report from the group suggests that zero-emission vehicles would create more than US$1.2trn in health benefits for the US, by 2050.

Inhaling polluted air causes a range of healthcare issues, from coughing to the aggravation of pre-existing conditions. The fine particulate matter emitted by ICE vehicles can enter the bloodstream, damaging the heart and blood vessels. This can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. For pregnant women, air pollution can increase the risk of complications and contribute to low birth weight.


The impact of air pollution on children alleviated by electric vehicles

In busy cities or in poorly ventilated homes, air pollution can kill. For children specifically, exposure to air pollution can cause a lifetime of healthcare problems. This starts with a high chance of respiratory symptoms, poor lung function and exacerbation of asthma. 

Fresh research also suggests that air pollution is a factor in attention-related disorders. Pollutants attack the immune system, making children more vulnerable to illnesses such as pneumonia.

As a result, children experiencing these health conditions will be forced to take time off school, impacting their learning and potentially forcing parents to take a day off work. 

Calculations from the US Department of Energy show that electric vehicles create 1,783 kg of carbon emissions, compared to 5,186 kg for gas powered vehicles.

The report suggested that children’s health could be vastly improved if: 

  • By 2035, all new car shoppers choose zero-emission options  
  • By 2040, drivers only buy zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailers 
  • By 2035, the nation’s electric grid switches to clean and renewable energy.

“Air pollution and climate change are putting children at risk today,” said Will Barrett, the association’s Senior Director of Advocacy for Clean Air, who authored the report. “The impacts of climate change continue to intensify, and that will just add to the risks that children in the United States face as they’re growing up.”

 

Additional forms of electric transport support health

Besides electric cars, electric buses can also support their communities and decrease air pollution. In Europe, there are up to 87m regular bus users - and more of them are going electric.  

A report from CME Solutions showed that in 2023, the European e-bus market saw a 53% rise in registrations, with more than 42% of city buses being zero-emission (including Hydrogen).

Over 80% of trips taken are shorter than 10km - so for those who can fit everything in their backpack, an electric scooter might be the way to go.

Read our ‘Top 10: Electric Scooters’ here


 

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