Danielle Smith, Producer
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Pennsylvania governments could save taxpayers millions and reduce pollution by transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles, according to findings from a recent report.
Currently, there are more than 40,000 electric vehicles registered in the Keystone State, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Flora Cardoni, field director for the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center, said government shifting to electric vehicles would significantly reduce fuel and maintenance costs, while also improving air quality. She added Pennsylvania could save taxpayers more than $360 million dollars by transitioning government fleets to electric vehicles.
“The switch to electric vehicles, to light-duty vehicles, would also reduce global warming pollution in Pennsylvania by more than 800,000 tons, emitting 64% less than vehicles powered by gasoline,” Cardoni reported. “That’s huge, and helping us tackle the climate crisis. And then at the same time, the switch would also clean up our air and protect our health.”
Cardoni pointed out it would also reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 94%, volatile organic compound emissions by 92%, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 31%. She noted in the United States, transportation is the number one source of global-warming pollution contributing to the climate crisis.
Cardoni emphasized federal incentives such as the commercial clean vehicle credit, which passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, would make it easier and more affordable for the Pennsylvania government to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“They offer savings of up to $7,500 per light-duty vehicle and can help offset those upfront costs,” Cardoni explained. “But really, most of the cost savings come from the fact that buying and fueling and maintaining gas and diesel-fueled vehicle fleets is a major expense for state and local governments, especially when gas prices are high.”
Cardoni stressed the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment in JOBS Act provide government entities with funding for building electric vehicle charging stations. She added the report offers recommendations for Pennsylvania governments to help to save money, reduce pollution, and improve air quality for all residents.
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