New study: Electric cars may be worse for the environment than gas-powered

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Electric cars are worse for the environment per mile than comparable gasoline-powered cars, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. This contradicts the common assumption that electric cars are cleaner. In spite of this, the federal government still pays $7,500 for every electric car purchased — a subsidy the nation would be better off without, say the authors.

The study was authored by four economics and business professors: Stephen Holland (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), Erin Mansur (Dartmouth College), Nicholas Muller (Middlebury College) and Andrew Yates (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

In monetary terms, electric cars are about half-a-cent worse per mile for the environment than gas-powered cars, on average. This means that if a government wants to tax a car based on how much it pollutes, electric cars should be taxed half of one cent more per mile driven than gasoline cars.

Although the typical assumption is that electric cars are cleaner than gasoline-fueled cars, the power for electric cars has to come from somewhere, and it’s often from coal-fired power plants. “Rather than simply accepting the assertion of environmental benefits from electric vehicle use, this paper conducts a rigorous comparison of the environmental consequences of gasoline and electric powered vehicles, specifically by quantifying the externalities (both greenhouse gases and local air pollution) generated by driving these vehicles,” the authors write.

Read the complete article from the Washington Examiner here

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