OK, yes, having a Tesla definitely makes you stand out in the crowd, but this is not the “cool” I will be referring to here. The study conducted by scientists at Michigan State University and Hunan University, published in Nature Scientific Reports, shows that electric cars driven in cities have a cooling effect on urban temperatures.
More precisely, the team looked at the so called “urban heat islands“, the phenomenon, which results in a formation of air bubbles, or areas, in city centers, which are much warmer than the surrounding suburbs. These islands are formed due to human activities, and to be even more exact, gas-powered transportation. There are many consequences that follow, but the main one is the increase in air-conditioning usage, and therefore unnecessary boost in energy consumption.
The team collected temperature data over the summer of 2012 in Beijing. They then simulated a scenario in which fossil fuel-powered vehicles are all replaced by EVs. The result was quite remarkable. Not only that the model showed a drop in temperature by 1 degree C (which is quite a bit when placed in a larger scale of things), but also it showed a sensational drop in energy consumption of AC units by 14.4 KW hrs, and reduction in CO2 emissions by 11,779 tons per day.
Yes, maybe some skeptics have a point that EVs are often charged with electricity coming from fossil fuel power plants, but they have to consider that there is no way for an over-night transition can take place.
And while governments are (maybe a bit too) slowly shutting down coal power plants, and giving green light to all sorts of renewable energy projects, maybe all drivers can speed things along, and switch to EVs as soon as they can. Not only that the pollution levels in town will drop significantly, making it much more pleasant and healthy for cyclists to ride along, but also summers might become much more tolerable in the busy city centers.
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