American Lung Association’s EV Report Zeros in on Saving Lives and Generating Billions in Public Health Benefits in Orlando

Apr 23, 2022 at 03:30 pm by pj

A nationwide transition to clean, zero-emission vehicles would have a dramatic impact on the air quality and health of Orlando area residents, according to a new report by the American Lung Association. The “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, released last week, reveals that a widespread transition to vehicles powered by clean electricity generation would result in up to 1,160 avoided deaths and $12.9 billion in public health benefits here in the Orlando metro area. In fact, the Orlando market was ranked as one of the top 20 metro areas that would benefit the most from the transition.


“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector over the coming decades. The report illustrates the potential health and climate benefits if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero-emission by 2040. The report projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion electricity replacing dirty fossil fuels by 2035.


Nationally, a widespread transition to electric vehicles would generate more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits and $1.7 trillion in additional climate benefits by 2050. Here in the Orlando metro area, the transition would generate $12.9 billion in public health benefits and result in up to:

  • 1,160 avoided deaths 
  • 22,400 avoided asthma attacks 
  • 121,000 avoided lost workdays 


“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Ashley Lyerly, Senior Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association. “Thankfully, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in communities most impacted by harmful pollution today. We need our state leaders to act to implement equitable policies and invest in the transition to healthy air today. This is an urgent health issue for millions of people in the U.S.” Especially as the Orlando area faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme storms and extreme heat, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”


Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation and electricity generation contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and premature deaths. These are sources of health disparities in lower-income

communities and communities of color, both in terms of exposure to harmful air and the associated health consequences.


The Lung Association also distributes an annual air quality “report card” that tracks and grades Americans’ exposure to unhealthful levels of particle pollution (also known as soot) and ozone (smog) over a three-year period – this year’s report covers 2017-2019.


“The levels of ozone seen in Orlando can harm the health of all of our residents, but place our children, older adults and people living with lung disease, particularly at risk,” said Ashley Lyerly. “Fortunately, the area was ranked as one of the cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution, which means that there were no unhealthy days for this common pollutant.”


The annual “State of the Air” report found that nationwide, more than 4 in 10 people (135 million) lived with polluted air, placing their health and lives at risk. In Orlando, ozone pollution placed its residents at risk, including those who are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, such as older adults, children, and people with lung disease. The report also shows that people of color were 61% more likely to live in a county with unhealthy air than white people, and three times more likely to live in a county that failed all three air quality grades. The report located at also finds that climate change made air quality worse and harder to clean up.


Achieving major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership. Investment at all levels of government, and public education and engagement will ensure the transition to zero-emission vehicles provides clean air for everyone. The American Lung Association is asking the public to sign our petition calling for a more rapid transition to zero-emission vehicles and energy at


For more information about "Zeroing in on Healthy Air,” visit


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