There is a growing feeling that the ongoing move towards electric vehicles will eventually lead to significant savings in government healthcare budgets around the world. When you bear in mind the number of medical conditions, such as asthma, etc., which are directly associated with air quality, there are potentially enormous savings to be gained with a reduction in the number of gasoline vehicles which pump out an array of harmful elements into the atmosphere.
Many different angles have been considered with regards to the move to electric vehicles but few people have looked at the healthcare system and the relationship with air quality in great detail.
Air pollution in larger cities
If you go to any of the larger cities around the world, you will experience a significant reduction in the quality of the air which you breathe. There are many reasons why the quality of air in larger cities and congested areas is worse than the countryside but perhaps one to consider is the fact that everything is so congested that emissions in the atmosphere tend to take a great deal longer to disperse.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In theory the introduction of electric vehicles will improve the quality of air in the major cities, towns, villages and countryside which could have a knock-on effect on health care spending. It is well known that air pollution has played a major role in the ever increasing number of sufferers of medical conditions such as asthma, etc. Therefore, in theory, an improvement in air quality via the introduction of electric vehicles could lead to a significant saving in health care spending."
The longer these harmful pollutants are in the atmosphere, the more potential damage to the health of individuals. When you bear in mind the ever-growing number of asthmatics around the world, with a direct link between asthma and air pollution, can you imagine the potential healthcare savings in this area alone if zero emission vehicles, i.e. electric cars, were more popular today?
Balancing the budget
While it is impossible to put a value on somebody's health or somebody's life, the fact is that governments around the world earn a great deal of income, both directly and indirectly, from the drilling of oil, right down to the sale of gasoline. In reality, it is unlikely that we will see governments around the world push electric vehicles ahead of gasoline powered vehicles until they are able to find a way to balance their books.
This sounds very harsh but when you bear in mind that we all expect an array of public services to be at our beck and call - these need to be paid for. The reality of the moment is that we are nowhere near this "tipping point" although we are edging ever closer as electric vehicle technology strides forward and slowly but surely, the general public are now becoming more aware of electric power.
How long will it take?
Some experts believe we may see more electric vehicles on the road than gasoline powered vehicles within 20 years, while others suggest it may be 50 years before this crossing point is experienced. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, it is nigh on impossible to forecast with any great confidence the development of the electric vehicle market especially when you bear in mind that electric vehicles have been around for over 100 years in some shape or form.
However, on the upside there is also no doubt that governments around the world are now investing more money in electric vehicles than they ever have before. The general public is more at ease with electric cars than we have seen for many years and all of us are becoming more aware of the potential damage gasoline powered vehicles are doing to the atmosphere.
There are potentially enormous savings in healthcare budgets around the world if governments were to strive to replace more gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles. While the savings would not happen overnight, there are number of medical conditions which are directly associated with the quality of the air which we breathe. When you bear in mind that inner-city congestion on the roads means that literally millions upon millions of tonnes of harmful emissions are entering the atmosphere every year, surely something needs to be done?
Perhaps rather than look towards the benefits of electric vehicles, we need to look towards the benefits to our overall health by reducing tailgate emissions? Then we can begin to look at any potential savings in the healthcare arena and any knock-on effects this may have to government budgets and government spending. The introduction of electric vehicles is not straightforward, it will not be easy, but if the technology continues to improve then we will eventually see a crossover point.