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There was a time when our city streets sounded like horse shoes on stone. Today, they sound like traffic and car engines. But what will tomorrow’s streets sound like? By 2040, it’s predicted that 35% of the world’s cars will be electric. And from there, it’s only a matter of time before the internal combustion engine sputters out for good.
How much will that change our world? Could the electric car save our climate? Will it improve our health? What does today’s data tell us about tomorrow?
In 2017, CO2 emissions in the U.S. were the lowest they’ve been since 1992. But at 5.1 billion metric tonnes, there’s plenty of room for improvement. With fossil-fuel cars and trucks accounting for nearly 30% of America’s carbon emissions, scientists, experts, and innovators have shown that electric is the way to go.
But will we ever get there?
Electric cars are 4-times more efficient than gas-powered vehicles. That means that if everyone in the U.S. made the switch, the country’s CO2 emissions would immediately drop by 8.4%.
Admittedly, this wouldn’t be an easy transition, since today’s electric cars are, on average, $20,000 more expensive than most other cars on the lot. A country full of electric cars would see the demand for electricity jump by about 29%. But with more than half of American electricity being produced by fossil fuels, would the change even be worth it? It seems like it.
In recent years, the U.S. has been turning towards more renewable energy sources to produce electricity.
And it looks like electric cars are going to become more convenient. Car companies like Chevy, Nissan, and Tesla are set to reveal long-range electric models for an affordable $30,000. With everyone driving electric, greenhouse gases would go down, while green energy and green jobs would go up. Even today, solar panel sales are doubling nearly every year.
Not to mention, 50,000 Americans die prematurely every year from illnesses caused by car emissions, millions in healthcare costs could be saved by the electric car.
But while all this may sound too good to be true, this ‘What If?’ might actually be closer to ‘When?’
Electric car sales appear to be growing by 60% every year. Ford’s Model T showed a similar growth rate around the time the car overtook the horse. So buckle up and hold on tight because the future is coming up fast. In time, we’ll see what the road of discovery has to offer.Sources
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- What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?