The quest to reduce global carbon emissions continues, with much of the attention focusing on fixed sources, such as fossil-fueled electric generating stations or industrial processes. But another leading source of carbon and other emissions is the ubiquitous internal combustion engine and its diesel counterpart. Besides greenhouse gases, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and oxides of nitrogen also pose significant health hazards coming from vehicle tailpipes. The American Lung Association reports emissions will be significantly reduced through the adoption of electric vehicles.
The lung association’s recent report on emissions quantifies expected reductions in the U.S. from a national shift to EVs by 2035 and trucks by 2040. Their estimates also assume a carbon-free grid, also an ambitious goal. Nevertheless, by 2030 the report claims nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other greenhouse gases would be reduced by more than 50 percent compared to 2020. By 2040, VOCs and particulates would be reduced by more than 40 percent. In 2050, nitrogen and sulfur dioxides and greenhouse gases would drop more than 90 percent, VOCs by 78 percent, and particulates by 61 percent.