Environmental Benefits - Drive Electric Northern Colorado

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Environmental Benefits

Over the past century, American use of cars and trucks has increased to such an extent that the transportation sector is now the country’s single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  Today, however, a very real solution exists for Coloradoans—pioneers of an active, environmentally-friendly, outdoor lifestyle—to help reverse this trend on a local, national, and even global basis.

Plug-in electric vehicles can help to substantially improve urban air quality because they have zero (or very limited) tailpipe emissions—emissions like CO2, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides that are produced by conventional vehicles.  Moreover, depending on the fuel used to generate the electricity powering them, electric vehicles can also offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

In Northern Colorado, approximately 70 percent of the power is generated by burning coal.  Despite this heavy reliance, total emissions from a midsize electric vehicle are still are still less than those from a conventional vehicle.  And, as local sources of electricity continue to get cleaner in the future, the environmental balance will tilt even more in their favor.  With hydro already contributing approximately one quarter of total power generation and a combination of natural gas, wind, and other renewable sources making up the balance the outlook is undeniably positive.

City of Fort Collins, Utilities, Sustainability Report 2011