Electric cars

US policy shift to electric vehicles and renewables could save $1.2 trillion in healthcare costs

US policy shift to electric vehicles and renewables could save $1.2 trillion in healthcare costs

According to the latest periodic report from the American Lung Association (ALA), a rapid shift in new vehicle sales to all-electric would bring huge health and climate benefits.

the report, called Zeroing in on Healthy Air, makes electric vehicles and renewable electricity sources more urgent than ever and the need for supportive policy. It finds that a national shift to 100% zero-emission passenger vehicles – as new vehicle sales – by 2035 and to medium and heavy trucks by 2040 would generate more than $1.2 trillion in benefits. for public health from 2020 to 2050. This adds up to projected annual health benefits ranging from $27.8 billion in 2030 to $62.4 billion in 2050.

In addition, cleaner air would prevent 110,000 premature deaths, nearly 3 million asthma attacks and more than 13 million lost working days.

It’s just for the United States. The report also projects that such a change would avert more than $1.7 trillion in global climate damage.

ALA asked for more electric vehicles for over a decade. This report, which is based on organizational precedents while updating “engineering models, assumptions, and methods,” points out that there are huge disparities in exposure to transportation pollution, communities of color, low-income families, and those living near travel centers are all at higher risk.

American Lung Association Report – Focus on Healthy Air – 2022

The policy shift would begin to pay off in public health even by 2030, with a projected 6% and 8% drop in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), respectively. 2030 would also bring a projected 8% drop in PM2.5 fine particulate emissions, a 16% drop in sulfur dioxide and a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The electrification of heavy vehicles is particularly important, argues the ALA. They represent about 6% of the country’s road fleet (in 2020), but generate 59% of ozone-forming and particulate NOx emissions and 55% of particulate pollution, including sources of brakes and tires.

The organization has a list of policy recommendations, building on the bipartisan infrastructure law passed in November 2021. Among them, it wants public fleets to be converted immediately to zero-emission models, incentives and subsidy programs to purchase of these vehicles, and an update from the United States. Ambient air quality standards.

President Joe Biden with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV

President Joe Biden with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV

It’s also pushing for increasingly strict rules beyond the 2023-2026 model year rules finalized by the EPA – to meet President Biden’s announced goal for half of US vehicles sold will be electric vehicles by 2030. And he wants approval of tougher heavy-duty truck emissions standards from the EPA — which, in their proposed form, environmental organizations say, we are not going far enough to encourage the development of electric trucks.

Electricity generation policy must also be coordinated, according to the organization, for 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. With a modest coal rebound in 2021it also seems more and more urgent.