Can the Electric Car Save Your Life?

It’s been debated whether electric cars can help save the environment — but now, some experts are claiming a different benefit: your health.

Released a few days ago, a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund and the American Lung Association in California made a strong case for electric cars as not just an environmental solution, but a health-related one. With transportation contributing almost 70 percent of smog-forming gases and 40 percent of California’s climate change pollution every year, the authors stated that some of the many impacts of pollution include an increased risk of asthma attacks, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailments, cancer, and shortened lifespan—adding that air pollution has been estimated by the California Air Resources Board to cause 9,200 deaths in California per year. Other recent research actually estimates that approximately 21,000 deaths per year in California are caused by roadway pollution.

The report states that the transition to electric cars can have a big impact on the health of California’s residents, “creating billions of dollars in annual economic benefits in the form of fewer missed work days and fewer hospital visits.” Namely:

• Savings of $8.3 billion in pollution-related health costs

• Prevention of 600 heart attacks and 880 premature deaths caused by air pollution

• Prevention of 38,000 asthma attacks and almost 75,000 lost work day

In other words, the impact could be life-saving, particularly for the 80 percent of California’s population that lives in areas defined as having unhealthy air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Residents living near highways and busy roads are particularly impacted by tailpipe pollutants, with asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease all exacerbated by carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides in the air.

The potential monetary savings are also huge, according to the report:

…And that’s just based on only 11.3 to 18.8 percent of California’s cars converting to running on carbon-free or low-polluting fuels.

This isn’t just a California issue, however. Though California, home to more than 30 million, vehicles ranks first in terms of the amount of energy used for transportation, other states aren’t too far behind:


Would you make the switch to an electric vehicle for the health benefits?



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Angela Malafouris
Angela Malafouris2 months ago

I am happy enough to work a few meters away from an electric car charging station. I hope that more people will be able to afford and maintain electric cars in the near future. For the time being though, the absence of charging stations and car mechanics who can offer technical support limits this possibility...

Joemar Karvelis
Joemar Karvelisabout a year ago


Guillermo Smith
Guillermo Smithabout a year ago

Thanks dear for the articles…. Really helpful for me and it’s according to the purpose.Park Place Ltd Bellevue

Diana Hudspeth
Diana Hudspethabout a year ago

Yes, in my future is the electric car! I definitely believe they will help everything. It would be a great feeling to know I am not adding to the pollution among other things.

Diana Hudspeth
Diana Hudspethabout a year ago

Yes, in my future is the electric car! I definitely believe they will help everything. It would be a great feeling to know I am not adding to the pollution among other things.

Lana M.
Lana M.about a year ago

I am in the market for a car and electric is a top priority: new or used. I am looking at the Volt with gas backup (Federal & State incentives apply on new). A hybrid is my second choice. The oil / gas industry is counting on people to continue purchasing and investing in fossil fuels while they pollute aquifers, release enormous amounts of methane gas (25% more harmful than CO2), make huge profits shipping their product overseas, damaging (without consequences) our health and the environment. All this destruction while we watch gasoline prices rise in the United States. Solar / geothermal / wind / wave / electric / hydrogen are the future.

Tanya W.
Tanya W.about a year ago


Tanya W.
Tanya W.about a year ago


Rose Roma
Rose R.about a year ago

My comment(s) were listed under the "need more fats" article. I am still laughing. I love Care2 site & Community.

Alvin King
Alvin Kingabout a year ago