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The list of benefits to purchasing an electric car has long included cleaner air and cheaper fuel, and now the American Lung Association (ALA) has added another to the list: government savings.

In a new report, the ALA shows how the U.S. could save billions in the long-run by putting more electric vehicles on the streets. The report focuses on 10 states that have existing zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales programs, and it estimates that fossil fuel cars were responsible for over $37 billion in health and climate costs in 2015. The medical costs total around $24 billion and include "220,000 work-loss days, more than 109,000 asthma exacerbations, hundreds of thousands of other respiratory health impacts, and 2,580 premature deaths."

In the ALA's estimates, the U.S. could save around $18.5 billion in 2030 and $33.3 billion in 2050 should the 10 states transition to the report's so-called "ZEV future" scenario in which 100 percent of all new cars sold and 65 percent of all cars on the road are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).

The Chevrolet Bolt EV. It can reach 383 km (238 miles) in one charge. Credit: Chevrolet

Adopting More Electric Vehicles

This "ZEV future" seems much more attainable today since government policies like California's ZEV Purchase Vouchers encourage the sale of these types of vehicles by decreasing the cost of purchase.

With such policies in effect, various car manufacturers are putting effort into meeting the increasing demand for ZEVs in the market.Companies like Honda are making a whole lineup of hybrid and electric cars, while Audi plans on increasing its electric car lineup to 25 percent of its portfolio in the next decade. Tesla is still pushing the boundaries of how fast an electric car can go, and that's just the beginning.

The increasing number of choices within the electric vehicle space will bring us closer to a future in which all the cars on the road are electric, and that'll benefit both the environment and our bottom line.

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