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A Tesla charges on the University of Maine campus.

Society should embrace electric vehicles

It’s no secret that we as a society have an extremely large carbon footprint. One discovery we’ve made towards improving this footprint is the introduction of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are in no way a cure-all for our colossal carbon footprint. However, they are a much more beneficial alternative than gasoline-powered vehicle counterparts currently on the market. Electric vehicles do decrease overall emissions in our environment.

Emissions from regular gasoline-powered vehicles are not only bad for our planet, but also bad for our health. Air pollutants from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles cause asthma, bronchitis, cancer and premature death.

The Equation, a group of concerned scientists, indicates that the overall emissions depend almost entirely on where you live and if you drive an electric vehicle. In the United States, electric vehicles average at about 88 miles per gallon in a gas-powered vehicle. The most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles available average about 57 miles per gallon. In Maine and other New England states, the average is 110 miles per gallon. According to the Equation, over 90% of the population of the United States live in areas where driving the average electric vehicle produces fewer global warming emissions than even the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles on the market.

Efficiency is one of the most important characteristics of electric vehicles. The more efficient a vehicle is, the less emissions it produces. Choosing the most efficient electric vehicle on the market minimizes emissions from driving. The most efficient electric vehicle available is the Tesla Model 3, which costs roughly $38,990. The most affordable electric vehicle on the market is the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV 1LT, which costs roughly $27,495. Obviously, electric vehicles are ridiculously expensive, but that’s not the importance of this article.

According to, “the electricity that charges and fuels battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles comes from power grids, which rely on a range of sources — ranging from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy.” Once again, to truly compare electric and gasoline-driven vehicles, one has to consider where the units utilized are derived from. However, Earthjustice also notes that “​​electric vehicles are more efficient in converting energy to power cars and trucks. So electricity across the board is cleaner and cheaper as a fuel for vehicles, even when that electricity comes from the dirtiest grid.”

“Running electric or hybrid cars on the grid in any state has lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered cars, as revealed in a study by experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists. As states clean up their energy grids, the benefits of electric vehicles become stronger.” Earthjustice’s reports prove that electricity is the far better choice in terms of carbon footprint emissions and overall sustainability.

While electric vehicles produce greater amounts of carbon emissions during their manufacturing process than their gasoline-powered alternatives, due to their expensive components, they tend to balance out their comparative emissions within eighteen months of driving. Electric vehicles outperform regular gasoline and diesel vehicles in most categories. They’re much better for the environment, especially long term. They tend to be relatively expensive, but that investment proves itself worthy in the long run. These vehicles outperform regular vehicles until the end of their life cycles, making them a superior choice that simultaneously decreases environmental emissions.

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