Air quality is degrading at a pace when it is becoming difficult to breathe. We think transition to green transport can improve things but EVs positively impact air quality in some cities but not all.

Major cities like New York, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles fail to meet ozone standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. High traffic, poor air quality, and dense population are the main causes here. Which is why these cities were taken into consideration for the study. The study focuses on changes in air pollution, particularly ozone levels and PM 2.5 in these cities. The examination took place under various electrification scenarios.


Researchers see a lot of opportunities in the current emphasis on electrifying transport.

  • By switching to EVs, cities could avoid several premature deaths every month. Around 157 in Houston, 796 in New York, and 328 in Chicago.
  • With 29% EV for light-duty vehicles, around 104 lives could be saved in Los Angeles.
  • Mortality rates in Los Angeles could increase with full electrification.
  • In the full electrification (FullE) method, PM 2.5 levels dropped by 2.29 μg/m³ in several areas.
  • In Los Angeles, these levels rise up to 0.67 μg/m³, due to an increase in secondary aerosols. The rise in aerosol levels is due to changes in volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and hydroxyl radical concentrations.
  • Physical features and climatic conditions in Los Angeles lead to higher concentrations of pollution.
  • There were significant reductions in nitrogen oxides and ozone levels for an average of 8 hours daily. The drop was 14.00-32.34 parts per billion and 2.58-9.58 ppb.
  • Due to complex air quality management, some areas witness an increase in the MDA8 ozone levels.
  • FullE brings forward the possibility of health-related savings. New York, Houston, and Chicago could save from $51 million to $249 million per day.
  • On the contrary, in Los Angeles there could be economic losses of up to $18 million per day.
  • The overall impact on air quality is more complex than it seems. Scenarios related to EVs and other factors, like biogenic and oceanic emissions, residential areas, and industry contribute to this complexity.

Find out how AI-powered fusion Could be the key to unlimited clean energy.

Researcher’s Approach

Atmospheric Chemistry Professor, Yunsoo Choi says, “In the future, we anticipate an increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road, which will help reduce the emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from vehicle tailpipes. By considering the expected percentage of electric vehicles in the future, we can estimate the impact of these changes on air pollutant and greenhouse gas concentrations, which ultimately affect human health.”

Dr. Ali Mousavinezhad, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences of UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics said, “The findings of this study will assist policymakers in tailoring their regulations to the specific characteristics of different regions to enhance quality of life.”

This study highlights how EVs positively impact air quality in some cities but not all, It also brings forward a clear picture that there is no such thing as one solution for all. Different locations have distinct requirements and custom-made solutions for air quality management.

Source: University Of Houston Study Shows Electric Vehicles Can Have Positive Impact On Air Quality And Public Health In Some Cities, Not All


Elliot is a passionate environmentalist and blogger who has dedicated his life to spreading awareness about conservation, green energy, and renewable energy. With a background in environmental science, he has a deep understanding of the issues facing our planet and is committed to educating others on how they can make a difference.

Leave A Reply