Online tool shows average carbon emissions for many car models

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released an online tool that will show you how much carbon various models of conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars emit in various parts of the country.

In other words, it will allow people living in Peoria to see how the emissions from a Nissan LEAF compare to the emissions of a conventional car in Peoria. The point is that electricity is generated from several sources. If in comes mostly from burning coal, an electric car will have higher emissions overall than an electric car that gets most of its electricity from renewable sources.

Electric car detractors like to say, “Yeah, but if you drive an electric car and recharge it using electricity from coal, it actually pollutes more than my 1987 Buick.” Now, you can find out for sure. Just enter your zip code and the models you want to compare. Isn’t science great?