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New study shows electric vehicles can have significant climate and air quality benefits compared to gasoline cars

22 December 2014 | Union of Concerned Scientists

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A new study from the University of Minnesota shows that plug-in electric vehicles have both an air quality and global warming emissions benefit when they are charged using electricity generated from natural gas or renewable sources. However, the research finds that using electricity from coal-fired power plants in an EV is likely to have worse emissions than an average gasoline vehicle. This result isn’t surprising, but it’s also important to put in context.

Many regions in the US use very little coal to generate electricity and the fraction of electricity in the US produced from coal has been dropping – meaning many EVs are delivering emissions benefits today and have the potential to deliver even more in the future.


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