Livingston Energy Group encourages all current and future EV drivers to celebrate National Drive Electric Week! Running through October 4, 2020, this week is an opportunity to shine a light on the benefits that EVs bring to society. Aside from the countless benefits electric vehicles provide to the health of the environment, EVs are more cost-efficient to consumers, are cheaper to fuel than gasoline vehicles, promote local jobs and boost local economies, and work to cut down on the United States’ dependence on foreign oil.
A recent report, the “Road to Clean Air” compiled by the American Lung Association (ALA), scratches the surface of the benefits the predicted EV boom will bring to the United States and its citizens. Four significant findings of the ALA’s report are as follows:
It is imperative that all states and their localities “Support affordable zero-emission infrastructure readiness and deployment through electric vehicle-ready building codes, access to utility infrastructure for charging connections, streamlined permitting processes and parking policies that support accessible charging infrastructure for all communities, including for multi-unit housing.” (pg. 15).
“The widespread transition to zero-emission transportation technologies could produce emission reductions in 2050 that could add up to $72 billion in avoided health harms, saving approximately 6,300 lives and avoiding more than 93,000 asthma attacks and 416,000 lost workdays annually due to significant reductions in transportation-related pollution.” (pg. 6).
“Annual benefits could yield over $113 billion in avoided global climate change impacts.” (pg. 16).
Five of the United States’ most populated cities, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas, stand to gain the most benefits from the EV transition. Another 18 states would minimally gain $1 billion each in public health benefits. (pg. 12).
If you have been following EV news or any news related to New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA, 2019), you know that one of the major parts of this legislation includes an environmental justice bill. This bill establishes an environmental justice advisory group under the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) supervision whose duty is to ensure that all New Yorkers are treated fairly when it comes to environmental policies, highlighting the fact that low-income communities of color more often than not are burdened with the negative impacts of the fossil fuel industry.
The President and CEO of the ALA, Harold Wimmer, also emphasizes the important role EVs play in environmental justice, explaining, “Far too often, clean air is out of reach for communities living near major pollution sources, including highways, ports and power plants. Communities of color are disproportionately harmed by poor air quality in the United States. The time to act on electric transportation is now.”  An increased presence of EVs on the road results in a decreased amount of pollution and the clean air these, and all, communities rightfully deserve.
Although COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of many in-person events scheduled for National Drive Electric Week, Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association have presented a website full of virtual events that anyone can register for to learn more about the benefits of driving electric! Choose from multiple categories of virtual events, including how to choose an EV that fits your lifestyle, charging your EV on road trips, different incentives for EV drivers, and the future of EVs and how they are growing to reshape the auto industry. To learn more and register, please follow this link: https://driveelectricweek.org/events-online#cat-4.
Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association. (2020, September). National Drive Electric Week 2020. Retrieved from Drive Electric National Drive Electric Week: https://driveelectricweek.org/
American Lung Association. (2020). The Road to Clean Air. American Lung Association. Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/clean-air/electric-vehicle-report