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Global switch to electric vehicles can ease climate change, and we can do it right now

A mass adoption of the technology we already have would significantly reduce emissions

Good news for fans of electric cars and, well, the environment: A new study carried out by researchers at MIT reveals that while it may seem like a small change in a world rife with carbon emission culprits, replacing fossil fuel-dependent cars and trucks with the kinds of electric vehicles already on the market today could help make a statistically significant reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

The quibble there, of course, as a piece in MIT News, points out, is that electric vehicles have a limited driving range per charge, and would, as any initiative to curb climate change, require some change in individuals’ daily habits. But it’s not all bad news, from a logistical standpoint. The switch wouldn’t negatively impact consumers’ wallets to the extent one may assume:

The MIT researchers were able to demonstrate that the daily energy requirements of some 90 percent of personal cars on the road in the U.S. could be met by today’s EVs, with their current ranges, at an overall cost to their owners — including both purchase and operating costs — that would be no greater than that of conventional internal-combustion vehicles.

Conducted over four years, the study included a national survey of household driving habits, as well as GPS data gathered from participant drivers in California, Texas, and Georgia, "to assess statewide driving patterns," says MIT News. With this data on hand, "the team found that the vast majority of cars on the road consume no more energy in a day than the battery energy capacity in affordable EVs available today."

Read more about the report over at MIT News.