Academic journal article Science Scope

Electric Vehicles Can Make a Dent in Climate Change

Academic journal article Science Scope

Electric Vehicles Can Make a Dent in Climate Change

Article excerpt

Despite their limited driving range, existing electric vehicles could bring about a meaningful reduction in the greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global climate change, according to a recent study. The study found that a wholesale replacement of conventional vehicles with electric ones is possible today and could play a significant role in meeting climate change mitigation goals.

"Roughly 90% of the personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced by a low-cost electric vehicle available on the market today, even if the cars can only charge overnight," says Jessika Trancik, an author of the study.

Overall, when accounting for the emissions today from the power plants that provide the electricity, this would lead to about a 30% reduction in emissions from transportation. Deeper emissions cuts would be realized if power plants decarbonize over time. What's more, such a large-scale replacement would be sufficient to meet the nation's near-term emissions-reduction targets for personal vehicles, which accounts for about one-third of the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions, a majority of which come from privately owned vehicles.

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Critics of electric vehicles cite anxiety as a barrier to transportation electrification. …

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