Report Suggests Transition to Electric Vehicles May Save Hundreds of Lives and Prevent Millions of Illnesses

An American Lung Association report is making it clear: a clean energy grid and more zero-emission vehicles could make our children breathe easier. With a full switch to green energy by 2035, we’re looking at millions of fewer pediatric asthma attacks and respiratory issues, plus hundreds of young lives saved. But here’s the real tea, not only will we be kicking carbon pollution to the curb, but we’ll also be making environmental justice history. So, let’s buckle up for a future with cleaner air, healthier kids, and a cooler planet!

Shifting to Clean Energy and Zero-Emission Vehicles Could Save Lives and Improve Health

A recent report by the American Lung Association suggested that a full transition to clean power and zero-emission vehicles could safeguard infants’ lives and improve respiratory health for millions of children across the U.S.

“Air pollution and climate change are putting children at risk today,” said the report’s author, Will Barrett, emphasizing the growing climatic challenges faced by children across the U.S.

The study found that if all new car shoppers chose zero-emission options by 2035, coupled with a clean and renewable energy grid, it could dramatically improve children’s health. Even though electric vehicles still produce some emissions during their manufacturing and charging processes, their overall emissions throughout their life cycle are significantly lower than their gas-powered counterparts, according to the US Department of Energy.

By 2050, a move to zero-emission vehicles and a decarbonized power grid would result in millions of fewer childhood asthma attacks and acute bronchitis cases. It could also reduce other respiratory issues and potentially save 508 infants’ lives, the report estimated.

It further highlighted that traffic holds a substantial portion of the country’s carbon pollution, making up 28% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, followed by electricity production at 25%.

The report also suggested adverse effects of pollution on child development. It can even impact prenatal health, leading to preterm birth or low birth weight, studies showed.

Furthermore, exposure to pollution has been linked to higher risks of respiratory and heart problems, mental health issues, and premature deaths. Globally, air pollution contributes to an estimated 8.8 million premature deaths each year, studies predict.

Dr. Daniel Horton, an assistant professor at Northwestern, emphasized the importance of reducing transportation emissions and how it would be beneficial to climate change mitigation and air quality.

Despite the increase in electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, EVs still represent a small fraction of vehicles, just over 5% in 2022. However, with the decrease in prices and the availability of financial incentives, the number of EVs is expected to rise, according to government data.

Regardless, Barrett argued that stronger federal policies are needed to drive a larger change towards cleaner energy sources. The Biden administration is set to announce new tailpipe emissions standards and regulations for power plant emissions in the coming months.

Original Story at