The Role of Electric Cars in Reducing Urban Pollution and Improving Air Quality
Air pollution is a global problem affecting 99% of the world’s population, with motor vehicles being the main cause of air pollution in cities. This leads to health issues and greenhouse gas emissions. Mayors worldwide are promoting public transport, walking and cycling, low and zero-emission areas, and transitioning to electric vehicles to address air pollution.
Successful Initiatives in Reducing Urban Pollution
London’s ultra-low emission zone has reduced NO2 concentrations by 44% and PM2.5 concentrations by 27%, resulting in a cost saving of £4.2 billion by 2050. Amman has placed air quality sensors in traffic-congested areas, launched a Bus Rapid Transit Network, increased walkability, and introduced more sustainable transportation options. Lima’s Respira Limpio campaign identifies vehicles with high emissions and facilitates their repair, and a low-emission zone has been established in the historic center.
Electrifying Trucks and Buses in Washington State
Washington State Legislature invests $120 million in funding over two years to electrify trucks and buses, including drayage trucks. These trucks are ideal candidates for electrification due to their short distances and the ability to recharge during stops. Electrifying the drayage fleet would substantially reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in near-port communities.
Increasing Electric Vehicle Adoption in the US
Electric vehicles (EVs) make up around 1% of all vehicles on the road in the US, but one in seven-passenger vehicles sold globally last year was electric. States like California, New Jersey, and New York will phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Private and public sectors are working to electrify their diesel fleets to meet US emissions reduction goals. Increased EV adoption leads to improved air quality and fewer asthma-related hospital visits, sparing people billions of dollars in annual healthcare costs.
Electrification of Public Transport in South America
South America sees a disproportionate amount of emissions from the transportation sector, with 35% of carbon emissions coming from this sector. 27 Latin American countries have included the electrification of public transport as a priority in their plans to reduce emissions. Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia are leading the way in electrifying public transport. A shift to electric buses and taxis can improve the quality of life of people living in Latin America and reduce the number of people who die because of air pollution. The electrification of 100% of transport in cities can save thousands of lives.