Report: Electric Cars Offer $10K in Social Benefits

A new study offers an interesting take on electric vehicles

Nissan Leafs
What are the benefits of getting an electric car?
Mariordo/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / June 14, 2020 1:59 pm

What are the advantages of owning an electric car? The most obvious answer to this has to do with fossil fuels — namely, that with an electric car you won’t be using any gasoline. But that’s not the only benefit that comes from driving an electric car. In a new report at InsideEVs, Tesla accessory supplier EVANNEX offers another take on the benefits of electric vehicles — one which provides a very different perspective on EV ownership.

This article begins by citing the environmental impact of coronavirus quarantines around the globe, which briefly offered observers a vision of what a healing planet could look like. As quarantines have let up around the world, however, pollution levels have risen back to what they were before.

The report at InsideEVs cites a new study, “Clearing the Air,” from Environmental Defence and the Ontario Public Health Association. The study explores the impact of electric vehicles on the environment in Toronto and Hamilton. Among its findings: that driving an electric car or truck can offer substantial social benefits outside of what drivers might expect.

Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou of the University of Toronto, the study’s lead researcher, is quoted in the article with an explanation of those unexpected benefits. “When you have an electric vehicle with no tailpipe emissions, you’re removing a wide range of contaminants—from nitrogen oxides to fine particulate matter—from the near-road environment and shifting them to power plants,” Hatzopoulou said.

What does that reduction in pollution mean? “If you bring it down to an individual level, each electric vehicle replacing a gas-powered one brings nearly $10,000 in social benefits,” said Hatzopoulou. It’s an interesting argument — not just that electric vehicles benefit their drivers, but that they also help the larger community. We’ll see if it’s one that resonates with car buyers.

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