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    Electric cars do not reduce CO2 emissions because coal fuels many power plants


    Plug-in cars emit much less carbon than conventional vehicles

    This chart from the Department of Energy shows that, even though coal is the source of nearly half the nation's electricity, all-electric vehicles (EV) like the Nissan Leaf, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) like the Chevy Volt cause on average substantially less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles:

    Similarly, a 2007 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute, which represents electric utilities, examined nine potential scenarios to determine the impact of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle use through 2050. The study found that in each scenario greenhouse gas emissions were "reduced significantly" -- even if the electric sector remained carbon intensive and PHEVs only accounted for 20% of the market in 2050. The study further found that each region of country would yield reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if PHEVs were adopted. The study was a "well-to-wheels" analysis that accounted for emissions during production of both electricity and gasoline.