One critical sector is transportation, which generates 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions — more than either electric power production or industry.
The media spotlight on EVs can lend them outsize importance in discussions of the car-climate challenge.
About 18-20% of gas emissions are from personal vehicles AND lightweight vehicles used in business (cars, pickups and vans). The remaining 10% is split between heavy trucks, air travel and ships.
Of the remaining 70% or so, that is split between electricity generation and industrial applications. Much of the latter is onsite power generation.
As noted on this blog in the past, if you already drive a small, fuel efficient vehicle, the best thing you can do for the environment is to repair, maintain and continue driving that vehicle as long as possible. This is because half the energy a vehicle consumes in its life time can occur during manufacturing and eventual disposal/recycling of the vehicle.
EVs are more efficient, in many ways, but not enough to offset this in a meaningful way.
To be clear, I think EVs are neat and want to get one – but it does not yet make sense for me to do so. I drive a 42 mpg 2015 Honda Fit with many usable miles left on it. I have, however, put solar PV panels on my house (the majority of electricity produced by my local utility comes from fossil fuels so I have offset all of that) and I have installed two 220v outlets – one in the garage and one outside for future EV charging.
(Fixed some typos in the above. Still dealing with effects of three visual migraines yesterday, the third of which ended up with classic migraine symptoms, 12 1/2 hours in bed, and its not over with yet. I could not use my computer screen right now except that I am wearing dark glasses. Guessing anyone with migraine experience knows what this is about.)