Mainstream adoption of plug-in EVs will help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imported oil while reducing your energy costs.
We will not need additional generating capacity in the U.S. electrical grid for EVs for decades to come. During that time we can shift to cleaner, renewable power options that cause less environmental harm than fossil fuels and nuclear plants. Consider these findings from the U.S. Department of Energy: the existing electrical grid's off-peak capacity for power generation is sufficient to power 70% of the U.S. light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet, if they were plug-in hybrid electrics, without building a single new power plant.
Today, with more than 40% of New England’s power generation from natural gas, EVs further support the overall reduction of emissions and greenhouse gases and most other pollutants compared with conventional vehicles. Compared to a conventional vehicle, EVs achieve about 40-60% carbon footprint reduction (depending on type of EV) even after taking into account electric energy production from different resources. EVs also allow you to use 100% clean renewable electricity from the sun or wind, for instance, eliminating emissions entirely. Getting more EVs on the road will incentivize our society to move more rapidly to clean and renewable generating methods. EVs get cleaner as the electrical grid gets cleaner.
The batteries for plug-in vehicles have been designed to be self-contained, non-hazardous and recyclable. Lithium-ion batteries, utilized by most EVs, do not contain toxic materials. These batteries are entering the recycling system and are getting better and better recycling rates, utilizing the recycled components in manufacturing of new batteries. In addition, extensive research is currently in place to identify a second life for EV batteries in other uses such as energy storage.
Electricity is an inexpensive, relatively stable transportation fuel compared to gasoline. Fluctuating prices of gasoline over decades compared to electricity are a major factor in considering EVs.
Source: EPRI Transportation Electrification