Electric cars: clean today, cleaner tomorrow

Dear Reader,

At the Built by Michigan coalition, we know that Michigan is leading the way in electric-vehicle (EV) research and development. But the state lags behind other regions of the country when it comes to encouraging EV sales and use.  It also lags in taking full advantage of the environmental benefits of electricity as replacement fuel source.

The problem? We rely too much on dirty fuels to generate electricity at power plants. Michigan currently generates less electricity from renewable sources than nearly 30 other states, so we have plenty of room for improvement.

solar charging stationsThe solution? The environmental benefits of electric vehicles are maximized when the power grid is as clean as possible by reducing our reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.

Some improvement is already on the way as Michigan nears a state-mandated renewable-energy standard of 10 percent by 2015. But a recent report from the state government says we could boost that up to 30 percent pretty easily, and even more if recent trends in renewable energy costs continue. As state leaders in Michigan consider policy options for the state’s future standards, we’ll want to look at how those choices affect the pollution calculation for EVs.

According to an analysis we conducted earlier this year, EVs will achieve the equivalent of 72 miles per gallon greenhouse gas equivalent, or mpgghg if we maintains our 10 percent renewable-energy standard through 2025. But if Michigan could generate 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, new EVs would achieve up to 97 mpgghg.

Both projections top the projected best-performing gasoline and gas-hybrid vehicles of the future, which are not expected to surpass 60 mpgghg.. The facts are clear: more renewable energy leads to much lower emissions for grid-powered electric vehicles.

And what if Michigan decides to lead the country in its renewable-energy strategy? It’s possible that we’d see a positive impact on EV production and sales adoption as consumers come to appreciate the additional environmental benefit of owning a grid-powered vehicle.

That would be a clear win-win: the state’s electricity production becomes increasingly sustainable and low impact, while a home-grown automobile industry off-shoot thrives and gains greater popularity due to its impressive contribution to reducing global-warming emissions.

Together, we can help make that happen.

Until next time,

 

cgCharles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center 

- See more at: http://www.builtbymichigan.org/newsletter/2013/05/still-time-stop-ev-tax-and-new-report-links-renewable-energy-ev-performance#sthash.8k1oVhnG.dpuf

Thanks for all you do,

cgCharles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center 

- See more at: http://www.builtbymichigan.org/newsletter/2013/05/still-time-stop-ev-tax-and-new-report-links-renewable-energy-ev-performance#sthash.8k1oVhnG.dpuf

Thanks for all you do,

cgCharles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center 

- See more at: http://www.builtbymichigan.org/newsletter/2013/05/still-time-stop-ev-tax-and-new-report-links-renewable-energy-ev-performance#sthash.8k1oVhnG.dpuf

 

cgCharles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center