Study: zero emission vehicles could save $142 billion in health care costs
This study's results will be discussed on March 27 when the California Air Resources Board (CARB) convenes to consider lowering their ZEV requirements. Obviously, the Lung Association will be pushing hard for no changes to be made, and they are planning to use these rather staggering monetary and health-related statistics to try and convince CARB not to lower their standards. More on the March 27 meeting here.
[Source: American Lung Association of California] Press Release:
The 'Road to a Cleaner Future' Study Finds Zero-Emission Vehicles Can Avoid
Health Costs From Premature Deaths and Illnesses, and Reduce Global Warming Impacts
According to a studysponsored by the American Lung Association of California,
$142 billion inhuman health and global warming reduction benefits would result from
converting the entire California motor vehicle fleet from gasoline vehicles
to zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies in the 2010-2030 timeframe, or
$96 billion more than relying on the lowest emitting gasoline technologies.
The $142 billion figure includes $38 billion in benefits to society from
reduced global warming emissions.
The study, conducted by TIAX LLC, a consulting firm specializing in
transportation and alternative fuels research, also found that California
can avoid at least $2.2 billion per year in health costs from reduction of
dangerous particulate matter by converting the motor vehicle fleet to ZEVs
instead of relying on the lowest emitting gasoline technologies. This
reduction in particulates means that California would annually avoid 300
cases of premature death, over 260 cases of chronic bronchitis, over 7,000
asthma attacks and more than 18,000 cases of upper and lower respiratory
symptoms by moving to ZEV technology.
"Maintaining our momentum toward cleaner cars will save billions in
health costs, and save lives," said Tony Gerber, MD, an American Lung
Association of California volunteer. "Now is not the time for the
California Air Resources Board (ARB) to weaken the state's key program that
leads to cleaner vehicle technology, and cleaner air." Dr. Gerber is a
pulmonary specialist and assistant professor at the University of
California, San Francisco.
American Lung Association of California Senior Policy Director Bonnie
Holmes-Gen will testify on the results of the study when the ARB holds a
hearing on Thursday, March 27 to consider amendments to its signature ZEV
program. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff proposal would
reduce the "pure ZEV" or "gold standard" program requirement from 25,000 to
2,500 vehicles in the 2012-2014 timeframe. The American Lung Association of
California will be urging the ARB Board to reject the low volumes of "pure
ZEVs" and plug-in hybrids recommended in the staff proposal.
"The Air Resources Board is at a critical juncture right now," said
Holmes-Gen. "The Board has a tremendous opportunity to set a bold new
vision for the ZEV program that includes strengthening the program to fully
support the state's goals for both healthy air and global warming
She added, "The American Lung Association analysis provides a stark
comparison of California's future transportation choices: pursuing the
existing pathway of primarily gasoline vehicles or pursuing a dramatic
change to widespread use of electric technology. Given the pressing need to
achieve the state's global warming pollution reduction targets, the ARB
should expand the ZEV program and establish a goal of integrating
electric-drive technology in all new vehicles as soon as possible." The
American Lung Association is urging ARB to both establish aggressive goals
for introducing pure ZEVs into the vehicle fleet and pursuing much broader
requirements for utilization of electric drive technologies, including
conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrids in addition to hydrogen fuel cell
and full function battery electric vehicles.
According to the American Lung Association of California's study,
approximately 110 million tons of greenhouse gases per year could be
avoided if all California vehicles were replaced with ZEVs by 2030. This
would make significant progress toward the transportation sector's portion
of the state goal for reducing greenhouse gases by 2050.
The study also addressed the current costs of gasoline motor vehicle use:
-- The total cost to public health and society of the existing motor
vehicle fleet is over $10 billion in 2010, and this cost only drops to
approximately $7 billion over the 20-year timeframe of the study with
normal fleet turnover.
-- The existing motor vehicle fleet generates health costs in terms of
hospitalizations, premature deaths and illnesses that add up to over
$7.4 billion per year (2010), including $4.4 billion per year linked to
one pollutant, nitrogen oxide (NOx).
-- The total greenhouse gas (well-to-wheel) emissions from the existing
motor vehicle fleet are 150 million tons per year, and drop only to 140
million tons per year in 2030 through existing programs and vehicle
turnover. This is far from the total reduction that is needed to meet
California's greenhouse gas reduction goals.
"ZEVs are the road to healthier air and a sustainable transportation
future," said Holmes-Gen, "and the American Lung Association of California
is looking to the California Air Resources Board to make the vision of zero
pollution transportation a reality."
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