Kansas, Greater KC Area Switch to Zero-Emission Vehicles Would Prevent Thousands of Deaths, Create Billions of Dollars in Public Health Benefits

New report details benefits of transition to zero-emission transportation and electricity for Kansas, Missouri residents

The American Lung Association’s “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, released today, reveals that a transition to vehicles powered by clean electricity generation in Kansas and Missouri would create $6.9 billion and $18.8 billion in public health benefits, respectively. In addition, the switch to electronic vehicles would prevent over 2,300 premature deaths between the two states.

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Sara Prem, director of advocacy at the Lung Association. “Thankfully, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in communities most impacted by harmful pollution today. We need Kansas and Greater Kansas City’s leaders to act to implement equitable policies and invest in the transition to healthy air.”

The report found that in Kansas, the transition to electronic vehicles would result in:

  • 625 avoided deaths
  • 8,100 avoided asthma attacks
  • 77,400 avoided lost workdays

The report found that in Missouri, the transition to electronic vehicles would result in:

  • 1,710 avoided deaths
  • 41,300 avoided asthma attacks
  • 193,000 avoided lost workdays

“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector over the coming decades. The report illustrates the potential health and climate benefits if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero-emission by 2040. The report projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion electricity replacing dirty fossil fuels by 2035.

The report found that nationally, a widespread transition to electric vehicles would generate more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits and $1.7 trillion in additional climate benefits by 2050. 

Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation and electricity generation contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and premature deaths. These are sources of health disparities in lower-income communities and communities of color, both in terms of exposure to harmful air and the associated health consequences. 

Achieving these major health and climate benefits will require dedicated and sustained leadership. Investment at all levels of government, and public education and engagement will ensure the transition to zero-emission vehicles provides clean air for everyone. The Lung Association is asking the public to sign its petition calling for more rapid transition to zero-emission vehicles and energy at Lung.org/EV.

For more information about "Zeroing in on Healthy Air,” visit Lung.org/EV

For more information, contact:

Dana Kauffman
[email protected]

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