The Dec. 16 article by Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press, “That all-electric car may not be so green after all,” offers outdated and misguided conclusions on whether electric vehicles are more of a problem than a solution when it comes to transportation-based emissions.

As a 2012 Union of Concerned Scientists study, “State of Charge,” determined, electric vehicles are vastly superior to gas-powered ones in their emission profiles over most regions of the U.S.

It boils down to where the electricity comes from. If you live in Wyoming, where coal is used for base load generation, your electric vehicle does contribute to greenhouse gas emissions on a par with a combustion engine. That is one reason why coal-fired power plants are no longer viable for electricity generation and are being mothballed.

Conversely, if you live in Maine, with an increasingly healthy mix of renewable energy generation sources, including wind, tidal, hydro, solar and biomass, and the cleanest grid in New England, operating your electric vehicle is much less carbon-intense than your neighbor operating his or her gas-powered car.

Most states, like Maine, have a renewable portfolio standard that has resulted in ongoing efforts to clean up their electricity generation, so an electric vehicle actually drives cleaner the longer you own it! That is not true of your gasoline vehicle.

Mr. Borenstein chooses to highlight the coal connection rather than the clean connection.

I leave you with the final sentence of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study quoted by Mr. Borenstein: “Consideration of potential climate change impacts alongside the human health outcomes described here further reinforces the environmental preferability of EVs powered by low-emitting electricity relative to gasoline vehicles.”

Maine should be proud of its efforts to promote clean electricity, and its electric vehicle owners can drive with clear consciences.

Barry T. Woods

director, Electric Mobility NE