Lung Association: Greater Benefits Possible with ZEV

According to a study sponsored by the American Lung Association of California, $142 billion in human health and global warming reduction benefits would result from converting the entire California motor vehicle fleet from gasoline vehicles to zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies in the 2010-2030 timeframe, or $96 billion more than relying on the lowest emitting gasoline technologies. The $142 billion figure includes $38 billion in benefits to society from reduced global warming emissions.

The study, conducted by TIAX LLC, a consulting firm specializing in transportation and alternative fuels research, also found that California can avoid at least $2.2 billion per year in health costs from reduction of dangerous particulate matter by converting the motor vehicle fleet to ZEVs instead of relying on the lowest emitting gasoline technologies. This reduction in particulates means that California would annually avoid 300 cases of premature death, over 260 cases of chronic bronchitis, over 7,000 asthma attacks and more than 18,000 cases of upper and lower respiratory symptoms by moving to ZEV technology.

"Maintaining our momentum toward cleaner cars will save billions in health costs, and save lives," said Tony Gerber, M.D., an American Lung Association of California volunteer. "Now is not the time for the California Air Resources Board to weaken the state's key program that leads to cleaner vehicle technology, and cleaner air." Gerber is a pulmonary specialist and assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

A California Air Resources Board staff proposal would reduce the "pure ZEV" or "gold standard" program requirement from 25,000 to 2,500 vehicles in the 2012-2014 timeframe. The American Lung Association of California will be urging the board to reject the low volumes of "pure ZEVs" and plug-in hybrids recommended in the staff proposal.

For a copy of the full report, "Road to a Cleaner Future," visit: http://californialung.org/downloads/RoadToACleanerFuture20080320.pdf.

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