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Study suggests radical change to driving habits that could save nearly 90,000 lives: 'There are very clear benefits'

"Protecting health and protecting our planet."

EV adoption could prevent thousands of premature deaths

Photo Credit: iStock

Switching to all-electric vehicles (EVs) by the year 2035 could save nearly 90,000 lives in the U.S., according to a report by the American Lung Association.

As the research showed, a switch from gas-reliant vehicles to EVs would see 89,300 fewer premature deaths by the year 2050. This change would only be part of the solution, though. 

In order to see the fullest health benefits possible, we'd also need to move further toward energy sources that don't rely on combustion — like coal and gas do. Examples of non-combustion energy sources include solar panels that capture the sun's rays and wind turbines that turn the energy of the wind into power.

The pollution caused by gas vehicles and other dirty energy sources increases issues like asthma, heart disease, and depression, all of which contribute to premature death. 

Thankfully, this transition is already taking place.

In 2022, more than 10 million EVs were sold worldwide, and the clean car industry is expected to keep growing. Additionally, the U.S.'s ability to produce clean energy increased by 16% last year. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is cracking down on pollution. The federal government has implemented stricter vehicle emissions standards and created stricter pollution limits for manufacturers in the energy field, which aims to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. 

"Today we're proposing new technology standards that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants, protecting health and protecting our planet," said EPA Administrator Michael Regan, according to Reuters.

And we've already seen measurable results. One study found that areas with high numbers of EVs have lower levels of air pollution and fewer emergency room visits due to asthma.

"There are very clear benefits of zero-emission technologies," William Barrett, the author of the report, told CNN.

"It's not just switching to electric vehicles but providing the extra electricity needed for those electric vehicles. So that would be renewables, wind and solar or possibly nuclear," Dr. Jason West, a professor of environmental science, told CNN.

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