For Most Americans, Electric Vehicles Pollute Less Than the Most-Efficient Gasoline-Powered Car

Takeaway: while it may be the case that hybrids are better for the climate than electric cars in some places today, electric cars have more potential than hybrids to reduce emissions from oil in the long run.
  • A 2015 report measured that two-thirds of Americans live in regions (including California, Texas, Florida, New York, New England, and the entire Northwest) where driving an electric vehicle (EV) produces fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) than the most efficient gas-powered vehicle.

  • Even in regions where electricity used to charge EVs is the dirtiest, an EV pollutes 21% less than the average new gasoline-powered vehicle.

  • If the U.S. moved to a grid supplied by 80% renewable energy, an EV would emit roughly 90% less GHG pollution than the current average new gasoline-powered vehicle.

Climate Choice: Reducing Emissions Can Help the Southwestern U.S. Avoid Megadrought Disaster

  • A 2015 NASA study finds that unabated global greenhouse gas emissions will increase the risk of a 30-year long "megadrought" in the Southwestern U.S.

  • Megadrought likelihood is on pace to increase from the current 12% to 80% by 2100.

  • Reducing global emissions can lower this risk to 60% or less.