How EV Adoption Can Contribute to Improve Air Quality?

How EV Adoption Can Contribute to Improve Air Quality?

Do you ever wonder how much an electric vehicle (EV) adoption can actually matter for the environment? According to a recent study, evidence indicates that switching from a petrol powered vehicle to an electric vehicle can improve the overall air quality in the atmosphere. Unlike a petrol powered vehicle, an EV runs on electric charge. Hence, the carbon emission from such vehicles is bare minimum which altogether contributes to the improvement of air-quality. 

According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, a comparative analysis was done between the normal battery-powered vehicles versus the internal combustion engines. Researchers found out that comparatively, when an electric vehicle underwent combustion using electricity sources, the net positive impact of such combustion was a better air quality and had zero effect on climate change. 

As Daniel Horton state, 

“In contrast to many of the scary climate change impact stories we read in the news, this work is about solutions, we know that climate change is happening, so what can we do about it? One technologically available solution is to electrify our transportation system. We find that EV adoptions reduce net carbon emissions and has the added benefit of reducing air pollutants, thereby improving public health.” 

Horton, who is the assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences stated this fact in his journal, the Atmospheric Environment on April 5th. Working in collaboration with Jordan Schnell, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Ubben Program for Climate and Carbon Science, the two researchers calculated the difference between the two vehicles. 

Both the researchers used an emission remapping algorithm to study the air quality model through simulation. This algorithm mostly focused on studying the two common pollutants; the one emitted from electrical vehicles and the other from different power emission sources. It was found that both contributed greatly in triggering a range of health problems including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Both the researchers recorded multiple variables. These variables are as follows: 

  • What is the potential electric vehicles adoption rate? 
  • In which geographical location does the electric vehicle reside? 
  • In what season and during what times of the day the vehicle moves? 

They identified the difference between the Ozone levels and realized that the difference was relatively greater during the winter season, and lesser during the summer season. This study indicated that carbon emissions during the different seasons were versatile. The initial author of the page Mr. Jordan Schnell, a postdoctoral researcher who was working with the Ubben Program for Climate & Carbon Science in the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern state University further states, 

“Across scenarios, we found the more cars that transitioned to electric power, the better for summertime ozone levels,” Schnell said. “No matter how the power is generated, the more combustion cars you take off the road, the better the ozone quality.”

There were also instances where haze in the environment was considerably decreased during the winter season. Based on location, areas where there were coal power plants being operated observed a higher percentage of haze compared to areas where a mix of energy power systems were installed & used.

Many locations which implemented cleaner energy saw a great reduction in haze in the environment.  

As more technologies are adopting electric vehicles, the human-haze percentile is greatly reducing as their vehicles aren’t becoming a cause of creating haze in the environment. As more electric vehicles are becoming common in different parts of the United States, the need for sub-stations for charging has become eminent. With EV charger installation, electric vehicles can now easily be charged in the comforts of home, at the nearby coffee shops and on the highway fuel pit stops. 

With such implementations, it is now pretty evident the air quality in some of the developed parts of the world have become better. Now, it’s only a matter of time how EV charger installations will become more common and the world can become a pollution free place.