New Report: Electric Cars Are Putting the Brakes on Pollution

Environment New Hampshire Reseach and Policy Center

For more information, contact: Betsy Kinsey, (617) 747-4416, [email protected]


PORTSMOUTH, NH— Electric vehicles could prevent more than 162,000 metric tons of climate-changing carbon pollution annually in New Hampshire by 2025, according to a new Environment New Hampshire report released today. That’s the equivalent of saving more than 18 million gallons of gasoline per year, or eliminating tailpipe pollution from 34,000 of today’s cars and trucks.

“It’s time to charge ahead,” said Betsy Kinsey, Environment New Hampshire field organizer. “Electric cars are speedy, quiet and cool-looking, and they’re also one of the most important tools we have – along with EPA’s Clean Power Plan – to break our dependence on fossil fuels, clean up our air, improve our health and protect our climate.”

The report, Driving Cleaner: More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution, shows that more than 220,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are on America’s roads today, delivering real benefits for our health and our environment. In just the last two years, annual sales of electric vehicles have increased by 500 percent.

Electric cars are cleaner than vehicles that run on oil, even when charged with coal-fired power, according to Environment New Hampshire’s report. That’s because electric motors are much more efficient than the internal combustion engine. And as our electricity system incorporates more wind, solar and other forms of zero-emission energy, electric cars will only get cleaner. Ultimately, an electric vehicle charged completely with wind or solar power can operate with little to no impact on public health or contribution to global warming.

With new advanced cars – whether a plug-in hybrid model like the Chevy Volt, or a fully electric model like the Nissan Leaf, or the Tesla Model-S – Americans can travel increasingly longer distances on electricity alone.

“But we need more electric vehicles on the road,” said Kinsey. “So we’re calling on our leaders to get in the driver’s seat and make electric cars as convenient, affordable and widespread as cars currently powered by oil.”

There is much more that governments can do to accelerate the market for electric vehicles and make them a viable and attractive choice for more drivers. The report recommends the following:

The EPA should help clean up the electricity system by finalizing the recently announced Clean Power Plan, which would put in place the first-ever, federal carbon pollution standards for power plants.

Former Portsmouth mayor and current city councilor, Eric Spear stated, ““New Hampshire’s transportation sector adds more harmful carbon pollution to our atmosphere than any other sector – nearly 43% of our carbon pollution comes from transportation. It is not only sensible, it is our moral obligation to our children and grandchildren to cut this carbon pollution before it comes back to bite us.”

New Hampshire should also set ambitious goals for electric vehicle deployment and adopt the Zero Emission Vehicle program, which would require automakers to sell more electric cars here.

 “Let’s steer toward a safer climate and a cleaner, healthier future,” said Kinsey. “Our children and grandchildren will thank us for it.”


Environment New Hampshire is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space. For more information, visit