Electric Cars Worse For Health, Environment, Than Gas-Powered, Study Claims

Aric Mitchell

Think electric cars are the only form of transportation that can save the world from the dangers of the gas-powered engine? A new study warns that they could actually have the opposite effect.

Gannett’s Cincinnati website cites the findings of a study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences next week.

In it, co-author and University of Minnesota engineering professor Julian Marshall explains the findings.

“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline [for the environment]… A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.”

Electric cars would fall into this grouping if the source of combustion involves coal. These types of vehicles actually make the “air dirtier, worsening global warming,” the news site states.

Furthermore, they lead to more critical health hazards.

Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press combed through the study and notes that if ignition comes from coal, “electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity.”

Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science wasn’t a part of the study, but he supported its conclusions.

“Unfortunately, when a wire is connected to an electric vehicle at one end and a coal-fired power plant at the other end, the environmental consequences are worse than driving a normal gasoline-powered car,” he said.

West Virginia, Wyoming, Ohio, North Dakota, and Illinois, are the biggest coal-producing states in the U.S.

In all, the study claims that there are 86 percent more deaths from air pollution as a result of coal-powered automobiles compared to those powered by regular gasoline.

What may be concerning for some after this study is released, is how politicians seem to be blindly supporting adoption of electric cars without understanding the full effects.

For instance, Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch would like to see tax credits “to $10,000” for anyone who moves away from gas-powered vehicles.

Welch feels increasing the size of the tax credit to $10,000 would make the cars more affordable for middle-income people. Moreover, he believes it is important to insure these credits are easily accessible for buyers, preferably instantly, thereby encouraging more citizens to buy electric cars and curtail pollution.

No mention of electric car type was made when the Inquisitr covered his push in May, 2014.

What do you think, readers? Should the advent of electric cars be receiving greater scrutiny than it has thus far?

[Image via ShutterStock]