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American Lung Association: Transition to Electric Vehicles will Save Minnesotans' Lives and Money

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

September 16, 2020

Contact: Jeremy Drucker (612) 670-9650

St. Paul, MN-- Yesterday the American Lung Association released a report highlighting the potential public health benefits of widespread electrification of the transportation sector. In Minnesota, and across the US, the transportation sector is one of the biggest sources of air pollution. Air pollution and poor air quality are associated with an increased risk of a wide range of negative health outcomes including asthma attacks, lost work days and premature deaths. In Minnesota air pollution is estimated to cause between 2,000-4,000 deaths a year.

The report from the American Lung Association looked at this and examined the public health benefits if widespread electric vehicle adoption (powered by clean energy sources) occurred. By 2050 these benefits for Minnesota would amount to (annually) dozens of avoided deaths, over 1500 avoided asthma attacks, over 5,000 work loss days avoided, and nearly $750 million in avoided health care costs.

The report notes:

Our air quality and climate crises demand steady, consistent progress toward moving our passenger vehicles, transit and school buses, delivery vans and the broad trucking sector away from combustion and toward non-polluting vehicles powered by more non-combustion renewable energy. The analysis illustrates that transitioning to zero-emission transportation solutions along with increasing levels of renewable energy by mid-century will save thousands of lives, avoid tens of thousands of asthma attacks, hundreds of thousands of other health impacts, and avoid tens of billions of dollars in health costs as a result of significant pollution reductions. In addition, moving to eliminate combustion from the transportation sector will yield significant reductions in greenhouse gases that drive wide-ranging climate change impacts on air quality and public health. The dual air pollution and climate change health crises facing America today must be addressed immediately, with electric vehicles and clean energy playing a leading role in the solution.

In Minnesota, Governor Walz announced last year his administration would be moving forward on bringing tougher vehicle emissions standards to Minnesotans which studies show will save consumer’s $1,600 over the life of a new vehicle and reduce emissions of smog-forming and climate pollutants. These clean cars standards will also bring other benefits such as attracting additional investments in charging infrastructure that will spur job growth as well as driving down electricity rates for Minnesotans everywhere.

Learn more about how Minnesota can reap the benefits of clean cars here.

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