American Lung Association report says clean vehicles would save 462 lives in Delaware


A nationwide transition to clean, zero-emission vehicles would have a dramatic impact on the air quality and health of Delaware residents, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

The “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report claims that a widespread transition to vehicles powered by clean electricity generation would result in hundreds fewer deaths and $5.1 billion in public health benefits in Delaware alone.

The  Philadelphia metro area (including New Castle and Kent Counties) was ranked 4th among the top 25 metro areas that would benefit the most from the transition.

“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector over the coming decades. The report illustrates the potential health and climate benefits if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero-emission by 2040. The report projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion electricity replacing dirty fossil fuels by 2035.


A widespread transition to electric vehicles powered by electricity would generate more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits and $1.7 trillion in additional climate benefits by 2050. Here in Delaware, the transition would generate $5.1 billion in public health benefits and result in up to:

  • 462 avoided deaths 
  • 11,200 avoided asthma attacks 
  • 55,100 avoided lost workdays 

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Deborah Brown,  chief mission officer at the American Lung Association. “Thankfully, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in communities most impacted by harmful pollution today. We need our state leaders to act to implement equitable policies and invest in the transition to healthy air today. This is an urgent health issue for millions of people in the U.S.”

“Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as more frequent and heavier rainstorms, coastal area flooding and wind damage and erosion of our beaches and dunes, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health, and our future. We applaud Delaware’s recent announcement that they will be joining the growing number of states adopting California’s Zero Emission Vehicle requirements, which will facilitate a faster and easier transition to electric vehicles,” said Brown.

Critics claim that the higher costs of electric vehicles will limit their impact on air quality. Backers say dropping battery costs and more competition as nearly all automakers introduce electrics or hybrids will make such vehicles competitive in the near to mid-term.

For more information about “Zeroing in on Healthy Air,” visit