One common critique of an electric car revolution is that the increased energy demand might just lead to the generation of new power plants, negating some of the cars' positive environmental benefits. Well, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy, those critiques are misguided. The study shows 84% of the 198 million cars, light trucks and SUVs on America's roads could be fueled by the existing energy infrastructure if switched to plug-in hybrid vehicles. When you add vans and other vehicles in the "light duty fleet," 73% of the 217 million vehicles could be powered with the power plants we have in place today. In switching from 6.5 million barrels of oil every day to electric cars fueled by off-peak power production, the study estimates a reduction of greenhouse gases by 27%.
Even with America's current power mix, with a heavy dose of coal power generation, electric vehicles are show to reduce total greenhouse emissions, however the picture isn't all rosy. The Department of Energy study also points to an increase in total particulate emissions with the grid pumping power all night. This, however, is much easier to tackle than petroleum-based pollution. As alternative energy gains a greater share of the American power pie chart, we can look for less particulate emissions as well. In the meantime, check to see if your power company offers green power or try to generate your own. Then, when you get your electric speedster, you can rev it up without worry.
:: Via GroovyGreen