A recent American study has proven the positive impact of electric cars on health and on the reduction of respiratory diseases. However, not everyone is affected on the same scale.
Is the electric car the future of the automobile? No doubt about it. So much so that the public authorities see it as the only viable solution in the future, to the point of banning thermal models. It must be said that the qualities of this engine are numerous on paper, even if the electric is not always very clean, but always more than a petrol or diesel car.
A real impact
The detractors obviously have many arguments to oppose the electric car, concerning pollution during manufacturing, charging or recycling batteries. Not to mention the price or the autonomy, even if all these criticisms are less and less relevant. But there is one aspect that everyone generally agrees on. It is the absence of pollution in use.
Indeed, it is accepted thatan electric car does not emit harmful gases and fine particles in circulation and therefore does not pollute. That’s in theory. But in practice, can the impact of this motorization really be measured? And is it that visible?
That’s what a team of researchers from the University of Southern California wanted to know. And the results were published on the Science Direct website.
But then, is the electric car really cleaner as we often hear? Well, it would seem that the answer is yes. To reach this conclusion, the scientists compared air pollution in certain areas of the State of Californiaemergency room visits for asthma attacks and electric vehicle registrations.
And the result is final. According to this study, the researchers found a 3.2% drop in respiratory emergencies for every 20 cars without internal combustion engines per 1,000 people. But that’s not all, as nitrogen dioxide levels have also dropped slightly.
A previous American study had drawn the same conclusions.
Not all positive
Erika Garcia, one of the medical doctors who participated in this study recalls that this confirms the impact of small actions at the local level. The report also recalls that the cities studied during this experiment had an average of 1.4 electric cars per 1,000 inhabitants in 2013.
In 2019, this figure increased to 14.7 BEV (battery electric vehicle) for the same number of people. An incredible increase, which does not only concern California. In France, the share of electric cars is currently 15%, while it was only 11.9% last year according to PFA figures. However, and as the study confirms, the rise of this motorization also widens social inequalities.
Indeed, and while electric cars are still more expensive than thermal ones, only the wealthiest can buy one. And this despite aid such as the ecological bonus and more affordable models, such as the Dacia Spring. The massive influx of low-cost Chinese cars could solve this problem, as could the development of new technologies such as the solid-state battery.
Another solution would also be to reduce car weight, using smaller batteries. This is what Ford and Renault want to do. For its part, Volvo wants to reduce the share of steel and aluminum in its future EX30, in order to reduce its price and its CO2 footprint. Because these two materials would be more polluting than the battery according to a recent study.
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