Many cities get hot in the summer (the Urban Heat Island or UHI effect), and internal combustion engines are partly to blame. EVs produce less heat — one of their less-touted virtues.
Research shows that if Beijing switched to EVs, its heat island density would fall by about one degree Celsius, and this would save the city 14.4 million kilowatt hours and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 11,779 tons — per day. EVs are quite energy-efficient, whereas with internal combustion vehicles “only about 15% of the energy in gasoline gets converted into motion.”
In light of recent heat issues affecting areas around the world such as India’s devastating heat wave, any respite seems worth pursuing — especially one that is as economically justified as EVs. Additionally, given that people are increasingly living in urban areas, and it is typically the poor and ill who are impacted most by heat, it becomes even more urgent and logical to look to EVs to lower the temperatures of UHIs — for everyone’s sake, but especially for the sake of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
There are plenty of EVs both urban and longer-range that can play a part in the UHI solution. Just one compelling option is the Spark with a range of about 82 miles and starting at around $10k. For your future vehicle purchases, especially if you live in a city, seriously consider an urban electric vehicle. You will literally be cooler for it.