Research shows public health benefits of EVs

Scientists at the University of Southern California have analysed the impact of electric vehicles on public health and concluded it has tangible benefits.

The study demonstrated that an increase in the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) was associated with a decline in the number of asthma-related hospital visits to the Emergency Department (ED).

The researchers looked at the relationship between population-level respiratory health and air quality – and concluded that despite the still low level of zero emission vehicles in California there was “already detectable” benefits.

Scientists conducted a study on the annual number of ZEV per 1000 people from 2013 to 2019 in relation to annual average monitored nitrogen dioxide levels and age-adjusted asthma-related emergency visit rates – as well as considering educational attainment.

An increase of 20 ZEVs per 1000 was associated with a − 0.41 parts per billion change in annual average NO2 and a 3.2 % decrease in annual asthma-related ED visits.

The authors said: “Observational data on the early phase ZEV transition in California provided a natural experiment, enabling us to document the first real-world associations between increasing nZEV and changes in air quality and health.

“Results suggest co-benefits of the early-phase transition to ZEVs but with an adoption gap among populations with lower socioeconomic status which threatens the equitable distribution of possible co-benefits.”

Image from Shutterstock

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