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Electric vehicles help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Californians drive 825 million miles every day, producing 5.4 million tons of smog-forming pollutants and more than 350,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. With more than 50 percent of California's total smog and 38 percent of greenhouse gases coming from motor vehicles—your car is a good place to start cutting air pollution. CARB reports that more than 95 percent of Californians live in areas that fail to meet federal or state air quality standards, creating substantial health hazards.

What does this mean for you? Air pollution is very harmful to your health—the exhaust from motor vehicles contains a mix of dangerous gases and chemicals. Even limited exposure to high levels of air pollution has resulted in irritation to the eyes, throat, and lungs, especially for children and senior citizens. If you have a pre-existing respiratory condition, such as asthma or emphysema, air pollution can aggravate and intensify your symptoms. For communities located in areas with high air pollution, the effects may be much worse. Long-term exposure has been linked to cancer and damage to immune, neurological, and reproductive systems. Air pollution is something we often overlook, but its effects on the health of our communities is a serious matter.

Currently, nearly one-third of electricity in California comes from renewable sources like wind and solar, and we have a commitment to increase clean energy use to 50 percent by 2030. EVs reduce or eliminate tailpipe emissions by curbing gasoline use and increasing use of more environmentally friendly energy sources. Even when electricity is generated by fossil fuel sources, EVs still produce less pollution than internal combustion engines because battery-electric vehicles and fuel-cell electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions. Fewer vehicle emissions mean less pollutants in the environment, which helps our air quality and promotes better health.