The US Energy Grid Is Making Electric Cars Dirtier Than They Should Be

A future full of electric cars is getting closer to becoming a reality, but we won’t be able to save the environment by simply eliminating the combustion engine from the American landscape. To fix the future of transportation, we need to fix the electrical grid it will run on.
In the past year, transportation has become the leading cause of pollution in the United States, ending power plants’ 40-year reign as the top producer of greenhouse gases (GHG).
According to Costa Samaras, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, the carbon intensity of power generation has fallen 24 percent since 2005. During that same time, however, transportation’s GHG emissions have remained fairly stable (as seen in the graph below).