Solutions journalism is news about how communities and organizations are responding to social and environmental problems. This collection contains solutions stories that explore the use of technology to create scalable solutions. In Shenzen, a Chinese mega-city of over 20 million people, BYD Co. has electrified 16,000 city buses and intends to electrify all vehicles in the city by 2025. Stretching from British Columbia to the Mexican border, the West Coast Electric Highway now provides a corridor of thousands of charging stations located every 20-25 miles that runs half the length of the continent, enabling zero-emission road trips. White Plains, NY, has launched a fleet of electric school buses that are both healthier for the children that ride in them and better for the environment. Stockholm, Sweden recently installed the world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of electric cars and trucks as they drive. And, thanks to financial incentives and a changing culture, more than 40% of new cars purchased in Norway are electric.
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From a climate perspective, electric vehicles possess huge advantages over internal combustion vehicles. If their “charge” comes from the conventional electric grid, their emissions are 50% lower; if coming from solar or wind sources, their carbon dioxide emissions are between 95-100% lower. They are simpler to produce, have fewer moving parts—meaning less maintenance—and don’t use fossil fuels. Project Drawdown lists electric vehicles as one of the best solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study by the Center for Behavior and the Environment, purchasing or using an electric vehicle for travel is among the seven most impactful actions that individuals and households in the United States can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.