Brief:

  • The American Lung Association finds the health cost related to usage of gasoline vehicles to be $11.82/gallon
  • Combining the ALA’s findings with miles driven and average gas mileage, we find that the average health costs attributable to traditional light duty vehicles to be $7,233/year per, per car.

 

Electric Vehicles make for Healthier Communities:

The American Lung Association provides a variety of interesting research to the public every year such as their annual State of the Air Report. One of their other reports that should be of interest to everyone who wants a healthier planet is the 2016 report, Clean Air Future: Health and Climate Benefits of Zero Emission Vehicles. The report includes some fascinating information on the health costs related to gasoline vehicle pollution. The report states that the health cost resulting from light duty vehicle pollution was $11.82 per gallon in 2015.

Average Health Costs per Gasoline Powered Vehicle:

By combining the ALA findings with a couple of other metrics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, we can find the average health cost per gasoline vehicle each year.

Average fuel efficiency of light duty vehicles in 2015 = 22.0 miles/gallon

Average annual vehicle miles traveled = 13,476 miles

So, if you are an average driver of a gasoline powered vehicle you use 612 gallons of gas each year which leads to $7,233 in health related costs. What if you add in the climate related costs as well? In that case you end up with $11,273 dollars in combined health/climate costs annually.

The report notes the 2015 vehicle fleet health costs result from the following (in the 10 states with zero emissions vehicle credits):

• 109,637 asthma attacks
• 220,199 days of work lost to respiratory illness
• 2,580 premature deaths
• 1,895 heart attacks
• 1,868 ER visits/hospitalizations

The first health issue on the list is one we can all relate to: asthma. Everyone I know can list at least a couple of friends or relatives that suffer from asthma and asthma attacks. Knowing that every time you step into your car you are adding to the likelihood that a child in your neighborhood will have difficulty breathing should be incentive enough to find an electric vehicle that works for you. If you feel like you would benefit from professional advice to chose the right new or used electric vehicle for your lifestyle, there are EV experts who can do just that.

Conclusion

We all want to reduce our pollution and make our air easier to breath. Now we know how much visiting the gas station actually costs: the cost of gasoline +  $11.82 per gallon in health costs. If the health costs were also charged at the pump, everyone would be driving electric.

Sources:

Clean Air Future: Health and Climate Benefits of Zero Emission Vehicles
http://www.lung.org/local-content/california/documents/2016zeroemissions.pdf

Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm

Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Light Duty Vehicles
https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_23.html

 

Electric Vehicles Reduce Health Costs by $7,233 per Year

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