Our charts tackle two big questions: What are the emissions of a gasoline-powered car versus an electric car? And how do the emissions of an electric car change from state to state?
The Electric Road Trip traveled through 19 states in September and October. We tracked how many kilowatt-hours of electricity we consumed while driving in each state, based on Energy Department averages for each state's mix of generation. Using electricity creates emissions — emissions that change drastically state by state. For example, Minnesota's carbon dioxide emissions per mile for each kilowatt-hour of power are well below Kentucky's because of Minnesota's zero-carbon wind energy and nuclear generation. Higher-emitting coal and natural gas are Kentucky's primary sources of electricity.
Meanwhile, we're also comparing these numbers to the emissions for a gas-powered car with an internal combustion engine. In our final analysis, calculations are based on a conventional car that gets 24 mpg.