Electric Vehicles and Clean Water: They Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Here at the Clean Water Campaign, we are thrilled to bring together over 55 organizations in the Clean Water Alliance. While each organization has a shared goal of improving water quality for generations to come in Delaware, our Clean Water Alliance represents a broad array of businesses, nonprofits and academic interest. Read on in this guest blog post to hear from the Delaware Electric Vehicle Association’s Charlie Garlow on why electric vehicle owners care so much about clean water!

You may ask yourself, what do Electric vehicles (EVs) and clean water have in common? Not only do EVs help clean the air of exhaust, pollutants, and carbon dioxide (the main gas contributing to global warming), but EVs are also a vital part of keeping our water clean. 

For instance, two major environmental disasters were Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon. These major spills had, and continue to have, long-lasting effects on water quality globally. But, investing in alternatives such as EVs could reduce the possibility of oil spill catastrophes.

Then, there are the medium-sized spills. LUSTs – or Leaking Underground Storage Tanks – are a term used for the rusty gas station storage tanks that may have been leaking for years, often going undetected, allowing gas to seep into the groundwater. LUSTs can take years to remediate and the groundwater may never return to its pre-spill pristine conditions. But, fewer gas vehicles on the road thanks to EVs could mean fewer LUSTs — which could lower the opportunity for future groundwater contamination thanks to these LUSTs! 

Micro-spills add up, too. As every gas car gets older there is a chance of an oil leak. That’s why drivers check their “dip stick” to check on the oil level. If it’s down, add a quart. That’s another quart that leaked out of the oil pan or somewhere in the engine compartment. Multiply this by millions of older cars and you see how these micro-spills add up. The drips land on parking lots and streets where the next rain will wash much of that oil directly into gutters, streams, wetlands and ponds. Alternatives to fuel-based vehicles reduce the possibility of micro-spills, too. 

Additionally, EVs do their part to mitigate the impacts of climate change which, in turn, improves our water quality. Recent reports identify transportation as one of the largest source of greenhouse gases – exceeding the CO2 emissions from power plants! Considering that climate change impacts like sea-level rise, increase rain events, and flooding, the use of EVs is playing a part in reducing this impact.

You can take action today by joining DEEVA.club, our Delaware chapter of the National Electric Auto Association, purchase an EV vehicle, and help us promote EVs at parades, farmers markets and national, state and local legislative chambers. With questions about DEEVA please contact me at charliegarlow@deeva.club or 301-312-7703. 

Charlie Garlow HeadshotAbout the author:  Charlie Garlow is the President of DEEVA, the Delaware Electric Vehicle Association. A full-time resident of Rehoboth Beach, DE, Charlie is a retired federal attorney. Charlie and his wife, Joan Flaherty, are co-chairs of the Citizens Climate Lobby – Lower DE.  They advocate for a carbon fee and dividend as a principle way of reducing carbon emissions. For more information on DEEVA, please visit deeva.club.