Vehicle electrification is a common climate change mitigation strategy, with policymakers invoking co‐beneficial reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and air pollutant emissions. However, while previous studies of U.S. electric vehicle (EV) adoption consistently predict CO2mitigation benefits, air quality outcomes are equivocal and depend on policies assessed and experimental parameters. We analyze climate and health co‐benefits and trade‐offs of six U.S. EV adoption scenarios: 25% or 75% replacement of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, each under three different EV‐charging energy generation scenarios. We transfer emissions from tailpipe to power generation plant, simulate interactions of atmospheric chemistry and meteorology using the GFDL‐AM4 chemistry climate model, and assess health consequences and uncertainties using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Benefits Mapping Analysis Program Community Edition (BenMAP‐CE). We find that 25% U.S. EV adoption, with added energy demand sourced from the present‐day electric grid, annually results in a ~242 M ton reduction in CO2emissions, 437 deaths avoided due to PM2.5reductions (95% CI: 295, 578), and 98 deaths avoided due to lesser ozone formation (95% CI: 33, 162). Despite some regions experiencing adverse health outcomes, ~$16.8B in damages avoided are predicted. Peak CO2reductions and health benefits occur with 75% EV adoption and increased emission‐free energy sources (~$70B in damages avoided). When charging‐electricity from aggressive EV adoption is combustion‐only, adverse health outcomes increase substantially, highlighting the importance of low‐to‐zero emission power generation for greater realization of health co‐benefits. Our results provide a more nuanced understanding of the transportation sector's climate change mitigation‐health impact relationship.
Electric vehicles (EVs) constitute just a fraction of the current U.S. transportation fleet; however, EV market share is surging. EV adoption reduces on-road transportation greenhouse gas emissions by decoupling transportation services from petroleum, but impacts on air quality and public health depend on the nature and location of vehicle usage and electricity generation. Here, we use a regulatory-grade chemical transport model and a vehicle-to-electricity generation unit electricity assignment algorithm to characterize neighborhood-scale (∼1 km) air quality and public health benefits and tradeoffs associated with a multi-modal EV transition. We focus on a Chicago-centric regional domain wherein 30% of the on-road transportation fleet is instantaneously electrified and changes in on-road, refueling, and power plant emissions are considered. We find decreases in annual population-weighted domain mean NO2(−11.83%) and PM2.5(−2.46%) with concentration reductions of up to −5.1 ppb and −0.98
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- IOP Publishing
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Article No. 035007
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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