Rise of the Electric Car Tipping Point for Hybrids LiveScience

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SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars

Electric Vehicles Approach Tipping Point (Op-Ed)

The GM which runs off batteries can be recharged from a wall or by a small gas engine under the

Credit: General Motors

Lehner is executive director of the Resources Defense Council This piece will on the NRDC blog Switchboard . contributed this article to s Expert Voices: Op-Ed .

When the first hybrid hit the streets, people would and stare, even stop on the street to ask questions. Was it a fad? A A toy for green enthusiasts?

Time has otherwise.

In the first quarter of year, the hybrid Toyota was the third-best-selling family car in the world. the latest generation of plug-in cars hit the mass market years ago, they the same mix of reactions as hybrids enthusiasm, curiosity, and some However, they re selling at than twice the rate at the first widely available left dealers lots.

Thanks to some savvy, plans in many states the country, electric vehicles are ahead. Yesterday, Charge California, a coalition of community-based, health and environmental groups the Natural Resources Defense (NRDC) announced a campaign to 1 million electric vehicles on s roads within the next 10 California is also part of an coalition. including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Island and Vermont, which agreed to work together to get 3.3 electric vehicles on the road by

And the recently signed Pacific Climate Action plan. by the governors of California, Washington and and the premier of British Columbia, calls for scaling-up electric sales.

Why the push for more cars? Because right they are incontestably the cleanest available. They re clean they produce zero emissions. None.

No smoke, smell, pollution coming out of the tailpipe.

Eliminating pollution is a major public victory. In California, four out of ten often from low-income of color, may face increased of asthma, cancer and other hazards because they near busy roads. By pollution, electric cars, and trucks help create communities, with less fewer missed days of and school even longer

The Charge Ahead California will also advocate for and vouchers, ride shares, for old cars and other policies will bring electric into vulnerable communities of merely whizzing past doors.

Electric cars help curb the harmful pollution that is fueling frequent and extreme storms, droughts and wildfires. Several studies have shown even with today s grid, manufacturing and operating an car today produces 30 to 50 percent carbon emissions than vehicles. Plus, unlike cars, the same electric on the roads today will get over time, as the U.S. grid moves toward clean energy.

What s more, electric are appealing not just to dedicated but to anyone who s ever winced the price of gas. Driving an car is the equivalent to paying about $1 per for gasoline. When s the last you saw that price at the pump? electric car owners simply the smooth, quiet ride, the acceleration, or never needing an oil

Driving a car with a combustion one blog commenter told in addition to being expensive, smelly and crude.

The rise of cars isn t limited to the coasts. of the top 15 markets for the Nissan LEAF are in the and Midwest, including Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Dallas Ft.Worth.

SMART ed cabrio Electric Cars

Atlanta actually ranks in the nation for total electric car

These figures are no fluke: offers generous incentives for cars, including access to car lanes in congested Atlanta, and the s big utility Southern Company, one of the in the nation, is throwing its weight electric vehicles. The LEAF and its are manufactured in Tennessee. And in Dallas, corporations like Texas provide convenient workplace for EVs.

If you’re a topical — researcher, business leader, or innovator — and would like to an op-ed piece, email us .

The Northeast and West Coast in the eight-state coalition have similar programs in place to out infrastructure and encourage sales. By together, they plan to use collective buying power to good prices on big orders for electric vehicles and charging Smart policies like are expected to spur the growth of car sales beyond state by boosting infrastructure and bringing prices.

Electric cars have a way to go, with only about on the road today. But all the signs of a tipping point are there. are falling rapidly.

GM and Nissan reduced their prices by at $5,000 from their models, spurring record This year, national are expected to increase five-fold the cars debuted in 2011. And the to hit 3.3 million cars by 2025 represent a 20-fold increase today.

As states like and other key markets, working the support and expertise of groups NRDC, push to make cars a convenient, affordable for consumers, the day will come electric cars are no longer for rubbernecking. They ll be just everyday solution for cleaner a more stable climate and from oil.

Lehner s most recent was Efficiency is the Energy of the Future, and the This post will on the NRDC blog Switchboard . The expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the publisher. version of the article was originally on LiveScience.

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