Sunday, July 25, 2010

Electric Vehicles Combat Global Warming

Fully electric vehicles and hybrids are effective weapons in the war against global warming. According to an Environment America report, plug-in cars are an effective way to lower CO2 and use less oil. More than 40 studies demonstrate that plug-in vehicles produce substantially less carbon dioxide than traditional gas powered vehicles.

America can reduce emissions even further by increasing renewable energy production. A study by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council found that a plug-in hybrid with a 20 mile electric range running on clean electricity would emit less than half the global warming emissions of a plug-in hybrid running on electricity from coal-fired power plants.

Fueling plug-in cars costs two to five cents per mile, or the equivalent of $0.50 to $1.25 a gallon of gasoline. Over a ten year period, fuel savings and federal incentives can reduce the lifetime cost of a plug-in car by as much as $17,000.

Although plug-in hybrids are currently more expensive than conventional vehicles, they will become cheaper over time as battery technology improves and as they are mass produced.
By making use of the energy grid at night when there is lower demand, the current US electric system could fuel 73 percent of US vehicles without requiring any additional power production.

One million plug-in cars charging simultaneously uses only a bit more than one tenth of one percent of America’s current electric capacity.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, plug-in hybrids alone could double wind power in the US by 2050. If three quarters of vehicles in the US were powered by electricity, oil use would be reduced by more than half. Electric vehicles can drive the production of renewable energy and reduce oil dependence.

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