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Earth Day 2011: The Year of the Electric Vehicle

Blog Post created by andrewklock Employee on Apr 22, 2011

<p>Around the globe, people are celebrating <a href="http://www.earthday.org/" target="_blank">Earth Day</a> in a multitude of ways that are designed to positively impact the way we treat our planet. Whether you’re planting a tree, cleaning a park or just recycling that soda can you had with lunch, any effort can make a difference.</p>
<p>Here at <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/" target="_blank">NFPA</a>, the <a href="http://evsafetytraining.org/" target="_blank">Electric Vehicle Safety Training</a> project is using Earth Day to look at the impact of electric vehicles on mother nature.</p>
<p>As more electric vehicles are introduced in markets across the U.S., it’s important to take a look at the environmental impact they can have. Widely considered as “green” vehicles, here are a few quick facts about the effect of vehicles on the planet:</p>
<ul>
<li>According to the <a href="http://energy.gov/" target="_blank">Department of Energy</a>, typical combustion engine vehicles release more than 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Each gallon of gasoline it burns creates 20 pounds of CO2. That's about 6 to 9 tons of CO2 each year for a typical vehicle. (<a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/climate.shtml" target="_blank">Source</a>)</li>
<li>A study from the Department of Energy’s <a href="http://www.pnl.gov/" target="_blank">Pacific Northwest National Laboratory</a> found that powering cars on electricity instead of gasoline would reduce smog-forming volatile organic compounds by 93% and nitrogen oxides by 31%. (<a href="https://www.environmenttexas.org/newsroom/energy/energy-program-news/plug-in-electric-cars-can-lower-global-warming-emissions-oil-consumption-and-unhealthy-air-pollution#kfybEU5o_BMBTT895RjPSQ" target="_blank">Source</a>)</li>
<li>According to the <a href="http://www.nrel.gov/" target="_blank">National Renewable Energy Laboratory</a>, plug-in hybrids alone could double wind power in the U.S. by 2050. If three quarters of vehicles in the U.S. were powered by electricity, oil use would be reduced by more than half. (<a href="http://www.environmentamerica.org/home/reports/report-archives/global-warming-solutions/global-warming-solutions/plug-in-cars-powering-america-toward-a-cleaner-future" target="_blank">Source</a>)</li>
<li>According to a study by the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/" target="_blank">Natural Resources Defense Council</a> and the <a href="http://www.ucsusa.org/" target="_blank">Union of Concerned Scientists</a>, a 60 miles per gallon standard in 2025 would result in Americans saving $101 billion at the gas pump in 2030 and cut annual oil use by 44 billion gallons in that year, or nearly one-third of the oil used by cars and light trucks in 2010. (<a href="http://www.environmentamerica.org/clean-air/clean-cars-amp-trucks" target="_blank">Source</a>)</li>
</ul>
<p>Preparing first responders to handle electric vehicles is vital to the public’s acceptance of this new technology. The sooner the public embraces these vehicles, the sooner they can start making a difference.</p>
<p>To all first responders out there who are signing up for NFPA’s electric vehicle safety training, you are helping to get these vehicles on the road faster and making our planet a better place this <a href="http://www.earthday.org/" target="_blank">Earth Day</a>!!!</p>
<p><a href="aburke@nfpa.org" target="_blank">Angela Burke</a></p>
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