Electric cars keep getting cleaner, despite efforts by the EPA and NHTSA to roll back pollution standards on cars and powerplants. That’s the conclusion of the latest report from the Union of Concerned Scientists which annually measures the environmental impact of driving an electric car. The study rates the environmental impact relative to gas cars in equivalent miles per gallon.
The organization updated its widely-used 2009 study with the latest data available from the EPA from 2018. It shows that counting the power used to generate electricity the average electric car produces the equivalent greenhouse-gas emissions of a gas car that gets 80 mpg.
Although the fuel economy of gas-powered cars has increased significantly at the same time, no gas car currently achieves an 80 mpg fuel economy rating.
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As before, the UCS data, overlaid on a U.S. map, shows that some regions of the country have cleaner electricity than others, so electric cars driving in those regions are responsible for commensurately fewer carbon-dioxide emissions. New study still shows the cleanest power in the U.S. on the coasts, where most electric cars are sold. The UCS notes that 75 percent of Americans now live in areas where the average electric car is cleaner than a gas car that gets 50 mpg.