Time for a new car. You want a sleek, fast, luxurious, environmentally friendly vehicle that has room for your friends. You’re a good person, so you want an emission-less vehicle to combat the ever-growing problem of global warming. An electric vehicle means you will never have to endure the bothersome process of smogging your car. You’re saving the world from global warming, right? Not quite.
Buying a brand new Nissan Leaf, practical Toyota Prius, or shiny Tesla Model S doesn’t necessarily mean you are saving the environment — or even improving air quality. The real burden of maintaining clean air falls in the hands of your local energy supplier. An electric car is only as clean as the power plant that provides its electricity. With coal as a predominant fuel for power plants in West Virginia, Illinois, Wyoming, Ohio, and North Dakota,
electric vehicle owners are doing more damage to the earth than drivers who own cars powered with traditional gasoline. In a study done by the National Academy of Sciences, electric vehicles powered from coal plants cause 3.6 times more global soot and smog deaths per year than gasoline due to air pollution caused by generating the electricity.