Electric cars emit no local pollution. They are cleaner overall than fossil fuel cars for the earth as well (43, 44). Gasoline and diesel cars are responsible for 19% of Denver's daily ozone pollution and 17% of its other air pollutants (46). Denver's electricity is increasingly coming from renewable sources making an electric car even cleaner for the earth as a whole(42). And as an example of how electric cars clean a city's air, a recent Toronto study demonstrated that switching that city's cars and SUVs to electric from gas would save 313 lives a year and 2.4 billion in healthcare costs (64).
Electric cars are not right for everyone yet. However technology is quickly changing the game. Electric cars have become more affordable than gasoline cars in many situations as they require little maintenance and electricity is cheaper than gas.
You can save money and help clean up our city's air! We here at DeSmog Denver support a transition to all electric vehicles. We support the city changing its fleet of cars and trucks to electric as well.
If you are shopping for a car, compare the savings of an electric car to a gas car with Xcel Energy's car savings calculator below.
Cycling to work, to the store or just for fun is a clean way to get around Denver. And now with electric bicycles, a commute becomes even quicker. Some residents in Denver can beat their car commute time on their electric bicycle AND not have to pay for parking.
Click here to contact Denver Street's Partnership to advocate for more bike lanes in Denver. And see any one of your local Denver bicycle shops for a test drive. You will be impressed!
Diesel engines are a significant contributor to pollution in Denver's brown cloud. And they are a disproportionate contributor to air pollution in most large cities (70, 71). Diesel trucks form the backbone of transportation for commerce and trade in the US. Diesel buses are a vital part of public transportation. But they must be phased out. Their engines, even when using pollution control devices, are heavy polluters. The transition to natural gas or biofuel trucks are better but still pollute our city air. For now, the best solution appears to be the same as with cars: electrification. Big semi trucks and delivery vans are being developed but are not yet on the road. Amazon has committed to moving much its local delivery fleet to electric by 2030 (72). And electric semi trucks such as Volvo, Tesla and Mercedes are a few years away from hitting the road.
We here at DeSmog Denver support a city fleet transition to electric. This is already in process with 116 vehicles already purchased and a plan to reach 200 by 2023. We applaud the city's efforts and support the recent publication of the Denver EV Action Plan. While most of the vehicles are cars, the transition of larger vehicles needs to begin as soon as affordable technology allows.
A Ford delivery van prototype is shown below. The transition of delivery vans and small trucks will soon be affordable. An eventually we will need a state wide and country wide transition.
We here at DeSmog realize that large (ie federal government led) structural change is what will finally help every city fight air pollution. Unfortunately the current federal administration is trying to repeal EPA standards for gas mileage for cars. As technology improves, cars are going further and further on a gallon of gas and the EPA has mandated this (45). The Trump administration is trying to repeal this EPA mandate and is literally asking car makers to slow innovation and make less efficient, more expensive cars. It makes no sense.
We are proud of the state of Colorado and Attorney General Phil Weiser for suing the Trump administration's attempt at these rollbacks. Voice your thanks and support to Attorney General Weiser click here . We continue to follow this issue closely.