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How many lives have EVs saved from climate change?

Answer: 120,000 (roughly).

Climate change illustration.
Say what you will about Tesla, but there’s no doubt the company has been at the forefront of driving electric vehicle adoption — which, it turns out, is saving lives.

Nature Communications recently conducted a study that found that “adding 4,434 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 — equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.5 average Americans — causes one excess death globally in expectation between 2020-2100.” That adds up to roughly 83 million deaths in the future based on how many gas-powered cars are currently out there.

Thanks to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, however, that number is lower than it could have been. Ars Technica ran some rough numbers and found that the 2 million cars that EV industry leader Tesla has sold to date equate to a reduction in carbon emissions of about 80 million metric tons. That in turn adds up to 20,000 lives saved in the future.

But that is just Tesla vehicles. When you add in the roughly 10 million cars sold by other companies, that number goes up to 120,000.