Unhealthy air quality is one of the most critical challenges facing Utah, particularly along the Wasatch Front. According to Envision Utah's Your Utah, Your Future survey, Utahns overwhelmingly want improved air quality. Poor air quality is the result of the unique geography of the Salt Lake Valley coupled with pollution generated from transportation, industry, and buildings. "Mobile sources" of air pollution (like vehicles) are a major contributor to a certain type of pollution known as particulate pollution, or "PM 2.5", emitting 48% of Utah’s criteria air pollutants (the most harmful types of air pollution). By transitioning our traditional polluting vehicles to cleaner, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars, we can tackle a big part of Utah’s air quality problem.
In fact, according to a 2013 analysis conducted by SWEEP and Utah Clean Energy "all electric" vehicles produce 99% lower emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 95% less sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, 76% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions as compared to a new gasoline vehicle. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles reduces emissions significantly as well.
Thanks to UCAIR and other public education efforts, the majority of Utah residents recognize that everyone has a role to play in improving our state’s air quality. And electric vehicles are a great way for individuals and families to make a difference.
Nearly half of PM 2.5 comes from vehicles. Data represented is for a 2014 winter average day along the Wasatch Front