How ‘green’ are electric cars?
Electric cars are touted as great for the environment, but a new study suggests you may be better off in a battery-powered vehicle, depending on where you live.
A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says that, in some regions, the traditional automobile is cleaner than most anything else on the road – and can save consumers $1,000 a year.
The study tracked total energy use on a wells-to-wheels basis, measuring everything from energy used to pump to the energy used to run an internal combustion engine.
Roughly 45 percent of Americans live in regions where battery vehicles result in reduced energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions than even the best hybrids or internal combustion-powered automobiles , which get 50 miles to a gallon.
However, driving an electric vehicle in coal-producing states would require more coal consumption, which is less safe for the environment and may lead to more emissions than traditional fuel based vehicles.
According to the New York Times, “The good news is that as the nation’s electric grids get cleaner, consumers who buy an EV today can expect to see their car’s emissions go down over the lifetime of the vehicle,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program.