NRDC Report: Electric Vehicles Could Save North Carolinians $92 Billion, Avoid 679 Hospital Visits

RALEIGH, NC — North Carolina can avoid 679 hospital visits and save $92 billion by transitioning to zero-emission electric vehicles and trucks, according to a new report. North Carolina Transportation Electrification Roadmap illustrates North Carolina’s pathway to develop light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle electrification policies that support clean and reliable transportation for all North Carolinians. The report was prepared by ERM and commissioned by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

ERM outlined three vehicle electrification scenarios for the state, with the most aggressive scenario delivering the most far-reaching climate and health benefits for North Carolina by 2050, with up to $150 billion in cumulative benefits, including:

  • Approximately $92 billion in net savings from annual incremental EV purchase costs for both LDVs and M/HDVs, annual incremental charging infrastructure costs, annual incremental low NOx (LNOx) ICE vehicle purchase costs, savings from vehicle maintenance costs, and annual charging infrastructure maintenance costs;
  • A cumulative reduction of 507.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would save the state and its residents $39.2 billion. This number represents the potential cost savings from the negative effects of climate change, such as extreme temperatures, more intense storms, and flooding.
  • Emissions for nitrogen oxide and particulate matter would fall 31% and 43%, respectively, compared to 2020. As a result, the cumulative incidence of mortality in the state would be reduced 1,070. Cumulative hospital visits related to respiratory issues, asthma, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular issues would be reduced by 679. And cumulative asthma-related emergency room visits in the state would be reduced by 379. Air pollution from fossil fuel-powered vehicles leads to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases—including asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, and strokes—and can cause premature death.

For the most aggressive scenario in the North Carolina Transportation Electrification Roadmap to come to fruition, the North Carolina General Assembly and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality must adopt several core policies, including the Advanced Clean Cars II, Advanced Clean Truck, and the NOx Omnibus Rules—along with significant emissions reductions from the power sector. Along with these policies, additional actions are needed to target zero-emission vehicle deployment and provide benefits to the communities of color and low-income communities who are suffering a disproportionate share of transportation pollution.

“North Carolina has the opportunity to do much more to move forward electric vehicles in the state and ensure that residents are breathing in fewer pollutants,” said Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The benefits outlined in the ERM report—including improved air quality, reductions in climate warming greenhouse gas emissions, utility customer savings, and vehicle owner savings— will put the state on a pathway that centers climate action around equity and affordability for all North Carolinians.”

“E2’s North Carolina business members understand that clean vehicle policies provide an important market direction that drives in-state investment, job creation, and business savings,” said Zach Amittay, Southeast Advocate at E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). “With state policymakers working to stimulate economic development and reduce business costs, this report shows that electric vehicle policy leadership will be good for North Carolina’s economy and environment.”

E2 developed this fact sheet summarizing the economic benefits outlined by the report.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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