Electric Vehicles Seen Having Only Small Impact on Reducing Emissions

North Carolina State University study finds electric-drive vehicles contribution to reducing high-profile air pollutants.

Published: 22-Jan-2014

A new study from North Carolina State University indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles (EDVs) by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.

"EDVs" is a catch-all term that includes hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

"We wanted to see how important EDVs may be over the next 40 years in terms of their ability to reduce emissions," says Dr. Joseph DeCarolis, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper on the new model. "We found that increasing the use of EDVs is not an effective way to produce large emissions reductions."

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