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EV Revolution is a Climate Solution

SUMMARY:  Battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) can cut the climate impact of transportation, which is now the United States’ leading source of greenhouse gases. The average EV in the US emits as little climate pollution as a 68-mile-per-gallon gasoline car, and will only become cleaner as the electric grid draws on cleaner sources of energy. The main barriers—range, availability of public charging, and price—are being addressed. EV batteries can also help the grid absorb wind and solar power during the times when it is most plentiful. As battery prices continue to drop, electric cars will be no more expensive than gas vehicles within 5 to 10 years. At that point, why wouldn’t you buy the car that has better performance, runs on cheaper fuel, requires less maintenance, and is better for the climate?



BIO:  Seth Zuckerman delved into the climate benefits of electric vehicles as a senior writer and research analyst for Seattle-based Climate Solutions, where he worked from 2013 to 2017 and produced ClimateCast, a curated round-up of the week in climate and clean energy. His work as an environmental journalist has appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, Sierra, Orion, Newsweek, and the Christian Science Monitor.  He is the co-editor and co-author of Salmon Nation: People, Fish, and Our Common Home (Ecotrust, 1999) and author of Saving Our Ancient Forests (Living Planet Press, 1991). He directed the forestry programs of northern California’s Mattole Restoration Council from 2006 to 2011, and now serves as Executive Director of the Northwest Natural Resource Group, promoting the practice of sustainable forestry on private lands in Washington and Oregon. He holds an A.B. from Stanford in Energy Studies (1983), and an M.S. from UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group (1990).


Links for Learning More:

Why Electric Vehicles Are a Climate Solution, by Seth Zuckerman, 2016. This report looks at how electric vehicles reduce climate pollution, and explains how to reckon the short- and long-term impact on the power grid of switching from petroleum power to electricity as a transportation fuel. (blog post) and (report)

Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave, by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015. This report looks at the entire life-cycle of the electric car compared with its petroleum-powered equivalent.


Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis, by Tom Randall, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2016. Combines predictions of battery and electric vehicle prices with an analysis of the oil market to show how the rise of the electric car can spell doom for the oil industry.


We’re probably underestimating how quickly electric vehicles will disrupt the oil market, by David Roberts in Vox. Great synthesis of reasons to be optimistic about the rise of electric vehicles.


PlugShare, a map just for electric car-charging, shows public chargers (fast and regular speed) as well as home chargers that people make available for fellow EV drivers.


Fuel economy of all-electric cars, provided by the US Department of Energy. This directory enables you to compare the efficiency and range of the electric cars currently on the market.


TransAtlas, produced by the Alternative Fuels Data Center of the Department of Energy. This is a nationwide map of public charging stations, as well as the availability of other alternative fuels.

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