According to Transport and Environment.org studies: “In Europe electric cars emit, on average almost three times less carbon emissions than equivalent petrol or diesel cars”. Also every year electricity generation gets cleaner thanks to more renewable power coming online. That means every year electric cars become cleaner too and the clean air benefit ratio between EV’s and petrol/diesel cars gets greater.

Every car incurs some sort of carbon and environmental cost during the manufacturing process. This will vary and depend on the manufacturer, of course, and many are investing in more sustainable methods of production.

Once the car is on the road, though, electric vehicles are far better (3 times) for air quality and the environment. Around 40% of the UK’s energy is produced by renewables and the country is on target to stop producing power from coal plants by 2025.

While electric cars are already more sustainable and better for air quality compared to petrol or diesel, they will actually become progressively cleaner as the country shifts towards renewable energy sources, whereas a traditional internal combustion engine car cannot do this once it rolls off the production line.

Even if the electricity to power EVs were from “dirty” sources, it is still a far more efficient and environmentally friendly way of moving a vehicle from A to B. Beyond that, the zero emissions from the vehicle itself is a big positive for air quality in our towns and cities.

Air Quality impact:

Below is an editorial comment from cleantechnica.com, that sums this up very well.

“One crazy thing about us humans is that we’ll put up with all kinds of nonsense if we’re used to it. This apparently even includes premature death, premature death that we could avoid if we simply had a little foresight and concern for our collective good. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report found that air pollution causes 3 million premature deaths a year worldwide. This includes various types of air pollution, but it’s obvious that air pollution from gasoline and diesel vehicles is a huge culprit here.

“Air pollution from road transport costs OECD countries approximately $1 trillion a year in negative health effects (cancer, premature death, asthma, heart attacks, etc.),” as I noted in another article. $1 trillion ain’t pocket change — and there’s suffering that goes along with it.

Let’s be frank: If a terrorist organization was causing 3 million deaths a year or $1 trillion a year in health damage, you’d be flippin’ your xxxxx’ xxxx about it. You, your neighbour, your neighbour’s dog, even your neighbour’s little yellow fish — the world would be up in arms and media networks would be in full crisis mode.

Ah, but it’s not terrorists — it’s just us, and the air pollution we create. Mmkay, move along now.

It’s not just about the people, though — it’s also about the animals. We’ve initiated the world’s 5th mass extinction, and it’s only going to heat up if we don’t electrify transport, use clean electricity, stop deforestation, and stop mindlessly treating horns and bones as medicine.”