With sporty, electric vehicles getting plenty of attention at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, a Connecticut environmental advocacy group has released a report looking at the environmental impact of plug-in electric vehicles. WNPR's Ray Hardman has more:
The report released by Wednesday by Environment Connecticut uses existing data to show the dramatic energy and environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles. Christopher Phelps is the program director for Environment Connecticut:
"Just on America's existing electric grid, we're talking about the opportunity to cut global warming pollution from our cars and trucks from fueling our cars and trucks by as much as 25% or more. And when it comes to more traditional air pollutants like smog-forming pollutants, electric vehicles can actually cut those pollutants by as much as 93% over traditional gasoline-powered cars. Those are enormous environmental benefits that we can realize."
The study also looks at the cost for the consumer - where electric cars costs 3 to 5 cents per mile to operate, gas-powered cars cost anywhere from 75 cents to $1.75 a gallon. But there are concerns about the high sticker price for plug-ins, and whether the northeast's aging power grid can handle a influx of electric cars. Environment Connecticut is urging state lawmakers to adopt smart grid technologies to allow for the increased electricity demand, and to continue to offer sales tax exemptions for energy efficient vehicles.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.