Transition to Electric Vehicles Would Save North Carolina Lives, Avoid Economic Impacts

New American Lung Association report finds North Carolina could save lives, and avoid billions in local health impacts through transition to electric transportation

Today, the American Lung Association released “The Road to Clean Air” – a new report that outlines the benefits of a transition to an electric transportation sector increasingly powered by clean, non-combustion renewable energy over the coming decades. The report finds a transition to electric cars, buses and trucks by mid-century would both improve air quality and address climate change, benefitting the lives and health of Americans. In North Carolina, this transition could result in avoiding 141 premature deaths annually, and more than $1.6 billion in public health benefits.

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Christine Hart, Healthy Air Campaign manager for the Lung Association. “We have the technology to transition to cleaner cars, trucks and buses, and by taking that step we can prepare North Carolina for the future while also seeing the health and economic benefits forecasted in ‘The Road to Clean Air.’ Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme storms, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”

“The Road to Clean Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to an electric transportation sector over the coming decades.
National benefits per year based on emission reductions in 2050:

  • avoiding approximately 6,300 premature deaths
  • preventing more than 93,000 asthma attacks
  • preventing 416,000 lost workdays
  • $72 Billion in public health benefits
  • $113 Billion in climate impacts avoided

Benefits in North Carolina per year based on emission reductions in 2050:

  • avoiding approximately 141 premature deaths
  • preventing more than 2,384 asthma attacks
  • preventing 10,527 lost workdays per year  
  • $1,617,991,214 public health benefits

Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation pollution contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and premature deaths. As shown in the Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, nearly half of all Americans are living with unhealthy air quality, and low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by bad air quality.

Achieving these major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership and investment at all levels of government and will require public education and engagement to ensure the transition to electric vehicles provides clean air for all. The Lung Association is encouraging all North Carolina residents to sign a petition to Governor Roy Cooper urging support for the critical transition to electric vehicles across the United States.

For more information about “The Road to Clean Air” report visit Lung.org/ev. Journalists seeking to speak with a policy or medical expert about the benefits of a transition to electric vehicles and the health impacts of air pollution or climate change may contact Jill Dale at [email protected] or 312-940-7001.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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