The environmental and health advantages of Electric Vehicles

In our last blog we looked at the potential savings in running an electric van compared to an internal combustion engine just taking into account the saving in electric costs as opposed to the price of diesel. Of course, there are any other advantages to running an electric van other than the financial aspects although its usually the primary aim when choosing electric for many people.

Cutting air pollution

Let's look at the environmental advantages which are mainly based around the fact that electric vans emit no emissions through the tailpipe and when we say 'no emissions' we basically mean greenhouse gas emissions and whilst there are many, when we talk about commercial vehicles we are primarily talking about Carbon dioxide often just referred to by just its chemical initials CO2 .

CO2 is a natural phenomenon and is released through many natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions, plant respiration, animals and human's breath. Which was fine until the advent of the industrial revolution which began in the early 1800's which created the need for wholesale deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels which increased the concentration of carbon dioxide by around 50%. This is why this dramatic increase of CO2 (carbon dioxide) remains the main contributor to climate change.

Another major player in the greenhouse gas issue is Nitrous oxide, globally 40% of total N2O (Nitrous oxide)emissions come from human activities mainly produced by the large-scale use of commercial and organic fertilisers, fossil-fuel combustion, nitric-acid production and biomass burning. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency 'Nitrous oxide molecules stay in the atmosphere for an average of 121 years before being removed by a sink or destroyed through chemical reactions. The impact of one pound of N2O on warming the atmosphere is 265 times that of one pound of carbon dioxide'.

The impact of air pollution on our health

Of course, all this has an important impact on urban areas where diesel and petrol vans are running around in these confined areas and continuing to contribute to the problem. Running an electric van helps reduce these issues both locally and globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers air pollution is a major public health emergency with more than 7 million premature deaths every year, associated with exposure to air pollution.

Poor air quality affects everyone's health, particularly the most vulnerable people in society. Exposure to air pollution affects our respiratory system, it is responsible for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, pneumonia, asthma. And we know now that these toxic particles come through our lungs and bloodstream and reach our cardiovascular system and can be responsible for ischemic heart diseases, for neurological disorders, for stroke, for neurological problems as well in general and reproductive system issues. So who wouldn't want to help reduce air pollution by switching to an electric vehicle?! It benefits all of us!

Reducing noise pollution - a better driving experience

One other by product of running an electric van, is the reduced noise pollution compared to the equivalent diesel and petrol. It is an altogether better, quieter driving experience. Less noise is also helpful in helping us concentrate and focus, making our driving experience less tiring.

But also better health

The European Environment Agency has conducted research in the effects and impact of long term exposure to transport noises and concluded it affects physical and mental health and well-being. It can lead to annoyance, stress reactions and sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment in children, and can have negative effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic systems

Noise pollution can have many negative effects, which may include noise induced hearing loss, migraines and headaches, anxiety and depression, sleeping problems, tinnitus.

All of the above have an even greater effect on children, which have been found to negative side effects such as shorter attention span, poor memory recall, lower levels of reading abilities and stress.

Ultimately running an electric light commercial vehicle can help reduce harmful greenhouse gases, reduce road noise pollution and make the world a better place for people to live in, particularly in an urban environment. So, what are you waiting for, go to your local new commercial vehicle dealer and order your new fully electric van now!

  • Reviewed: 15 Nov 2023

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