The world's climate scientists are telling us that the planet doesn't have the luxury to wait for governments to "maybe" or "someday" mandate the lifestyle changes scientists believe need to happen. Every one of us needs to take personal action now. We must wake up from our daily routines and make the necessary changes in our lifestyle and purchases that experts are saying must occur. A transition away from a fossil fuel driven economy is one of these steps and thankfully most of us in North America have a choice to drastically reduce our own carbon footprint through a single decision of making our next car an electric one.
A new generation of 300km+ (200 mile) range electric vehicles are finally here in a price range comparable to mass produced gas vehicles, it is now easier then ever for the average middle-class consumer to make the leap to the new paradigm of zero emission personal transportation. To help individuals take this step, The 2 Degrees Institute is asking people to take the Electric Car Pledge: that when they are ready to shop for their next vehicle, that next vehicle they buy will be an electric one.
Why Take the Electric Car Pledge?
By physically taking the pledge, you are making it harder for your future self to give up on your goal. This is a physcological strategy proven by scientists to help people stick to their goals. Even if you have already decided to make your future car purchase electric, we encourage you to use the pledge as a tool to further cement your commitment in writing - to quit fossil fuels in transportation. We understand that there may not be an electric vehicle currently available that adequately fulfills your needs (ie: pickup truck). The Electric Pledge allows you to keep driving your existing vehicle until a suitable electric equivalent comes to market. If that means further delaying your next vehicle purchase and driving your current one for longer then you planned, please accept that reality. Every major car manufacturer is quickly ramping up their electric vehicle lineup so you may find your wait may be a lot shorter than you think and well worth it! See what's available today.
Quitting fossil fuels in transportation may be the biggest single cut in emissions that you can take, but it isn't the only action. Learn more about what makes up the average North American's carbon footprint and see how else you can reduce it.
Percent of an average person's carbon footprint that comes from transportation (driving and flying). That's a big number that can be seriously reduced (depending on your electricity source), just by switching over to an electric car!
The percentage of vehicles in North America that are powered by fossil fuels. We need to replace these vehicles with electric and fast.
Estimated number of electric or plug-in electric cars in North America. We need to get this number up, big time. Pledge to make your next car electric.
The climate change benefits of replacing your car with an electric one depends on how green the source of the energy powering it is.
This map shows the life cycle (for both car and fuel) reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from replacing a gasoline vehicle with a comparable electric vehicle (EV).
You can also toggle the map to view what annual reduction in emissions would be achieved, how long it would take before you offset the extra emissions that go into manufacturing an EV and the fuel economy rating a gasoline vehicle would need to have to equal the emissions of an EV. All these values factor in emissions from vehicle manufacturing + maintenance + upstream fuel emissions + fuel combustion of both vehicles.
If you live in an area where an EV offers little improvement over a comparable gas vehicle, you can still make a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint. How? By powering your EV with solar energy that you produce with solar panels on your roof. If that’s not possible, you can often purchase green energy from a power company. Be sure to double your impact by putting enough solar on your roof to power both your car and your home and finally quit fossil fuels for ever!
With the world now focused on lowering greenhouse gas emissions to stop climate change, electric power grids will continue to get greener and produce fewer emissions. This means that electric cars will too!
A major car website once asked if carbon [climate change] was the right reason to get car buyers to switch to electric cars. If they were to pose this question to the world's climate scientists, their response would be a resounding "absolutely!". Climate change is such an enormous threat to our planet and all life that depends on it (including ourselves) that all other benefits of owning an electric car are trivial in comparison. We are talking about a mass extinction event that will rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs, major coastal cities being abandoned due to rising sea levels, century long droughts, severe food and water shortages and climate refugees numbering in the hundreds of millions. All these problems contribute to increased political tensions and conflicts. A report by the US military says that climate change is a "threat multiplier that can exacerbate terrorism". Looking at it in this context, how much does it really matter that an electric car is more fun to drive and saves money on fuel and maintenace?
A renewable source of happiness
Are electric cars dependable? Are they expensive? Do I have to worry about the battery? See the answers to common questions people have about electric cars here.