Automobiles historically represent America’s problem with dirty oil. A switch to plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), require no gasoline and emit no tailpipe pollution. They present a critical opportunity to slash pollution, create American jobs, reduce oil dependence, and forever change the impact of vehicles on our planet.
WHAT IS A PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
A fully electric vehicle uses electricity to power a battery. A battery means no gasoline, no dirty oil changes and no more internal combustion engine. Most new fully electric vehicles can drive 70-100 miles on one charge. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles run on electricity for a certain number of miles, and as their battery runs out of charge, a gasoline powered engine or generator kicks in.
Most EVs are charged at home overnight. Using a 220-volt outlet and charging unit, installed by an electrician, a plug-in hybrid electric recharges in about 100 minutes, and a pure electric vehicle in three to eight hours. A regular 120-volt wall outlet will significantly increase charging times, but is likely sufficient for plug-in hybrids and for fully electric vehicles for some people.
In almost every region of the country, carbon emissions from the electricity sources used to power EVs are lower than the emissions from conventional cars (during a full lifecycle analysis).
In some areas, like many on the west and east coasts that rely on cleaner sources of power, emissions are significantly lower for EVs. And that’s today. As we retire more coal plants and bring online cleaner sources of power like wind and solar, the emissions from electric vehicle charging drop even further.
WHY SHOULD I SWITCH TO A PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
EVs are good for the environment and they're fun to drive. They're also an instant conversation starter.
Each year, American passenger cars and trucks, through vehicle tailpipe and oil extraction and transport emissions, spew upwards of three trillion tons of carbon pollution into the air by burning about 121 billion gallons of gasoline. In addition to accelerating climate change, our dangerous dependence on oil has resulted in countless catastrophes like the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
One caveat: when coal supplies the vast majority of power in a given area (which is true in only a small number of US states), electric vehicles may emit more CO2 pollution than hybrid electric vehicles.
Visit www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide to learn where your electricity comes from, what plans Connecticut or community has for shifting to renewables, and whether you have options for switching to greener power.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There is a lot you can do to help the EV Campaign!
TELL THE GOVERNOR WHAT TO DO
The Sierra Club has a campaign initiative designed to target the governors of each state in order to urge them to pursue a path towards an EV friendly future. Become part of this here.
BUY AN EV
This one is pretty straight forward.
DONATE AN OLD VEHICLE
Donate your vehicle and support the Sierra Club Foundation. As the fiscal sponsor of the charitable programs of the Sierra Club, we provide resources to it and other nonprofit organizations to support scientific, educational, literary, organizing, advocacy, and legal programs that further our goals.
Interested in new ways to support our EV campaign in the future? No problem! You can go here to subscribe to our mailing list, after signing up we can send you up-to-date emails on when and how you can take action to make sure Connecticut is moving in the right direction!