We like it when a study confirms a common-held belief. And for hundreds of would-be electric car owners across the U.S. a recent study has done just that. 

Years into the Military Conflict in the Middle East, and just months after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill a team at Rice University have concluded that electric cars could do more to reduce America’s carbon footprint than complicated renewable energy policy. 

The study, which was conducted at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, found that mandating 30% of all U.S. vehicles be powered by electricity by 2050 would reduce demand on oil more than current complicated energy policies. 

The report has been prepared to be presented at a conference devoted to studying the consequences of an emerging U.S Carbon Management Policy. 

Big Oil

Big Oil

Examining many possible scenarios, the researchers looked at many options available to policymakers in the coming decades, including a move toward domestic fuel self-sufficiency, heavy carbon taxes, and alternative fuel use. 

Shockingly, a carbon tax of $30 per tonne would actually increase U.S. dependence on foreign liquefied natural gas (LPG). While carbon emissions and oil dependancy would be cut the solution would replace one fossil fuel for another. 

However, mandating 30% of all U.S. vehicles to be electric would both reduce U.S. oil use by 2.5 million barrels a day and cut carbon emissions by 7%, even if the current power station generating mix were maintained. 

The U.S. would only reduce carbon emissions by 4% if it were to implement proposed national renewable standards aimed to increase the amount of carbon-free resources used to generate power in the U.S. 

What does this all mean for the car buyer? Will policymakers listen to the report?

Could the U.S. achieve oil independence by 2030?

Could the U.S. achieve oil independence by 2030?

Federal and state tax credits are likely to continue for a limited amount of time to assist in the purchase of electric cars, leading in short-term gains in the number of electric vehicles on the road. 

But regardless of how policymakers act, the electric vehicle industry must also work to increase performance, range and price. 

Ultimately, the public image of the electric car needs to continue to improve, driven by high quality, reliable vehicles and lower purchase costs. 

In an ideal world, the combined effect of a mandate to increase electric vehicle adoption and investment in home-produced micro-generation, such as domestic solar panels and wind turbines would result in the greatest impact.