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E-car boom leads to lower carbon dioxide in California

E-car boom leads to lower carbon dioxide in California

A Chevrolet electric pickup truck at an auto show in Washington earlier this year.Image: Cornerstone

A study shows that the boom in electric cars in parts of the US state of California is leading to a decline in carbon dioxide emissions there. For the study, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, evaluated data from dozens of carbon dioxide sensors in the San Francisco area, where electric cars are highly prevalent.

Accordingly, carbon dioxide emissions there decreased by 1.8 percent annually over five years.

The researchers compared data from the sensors with government information about vehicle registrations – and came to the conclusion that switching to electric cars has a measurable impact in reducing climate-damaging carbon dioxide. In the San Francisco area, nearly 20 percent of cars are either electric or hybrid.

The study's lead author, chemistry professor Ronald Cohen, acknowledged that the study was not representative of all of California, as electric cars are less popular in other parts of the West Coast state. But the study shows that municipal promotion of electric cars has positive climate impacts that “can be measured on a large scale,” Cohen told AFP. (SDA/AFP/LIN)

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