Could Electric Vehicles Have A Positive Impact On Your Health?

It's well known that electric vehicles could have a positive impact on the environment, among beneficial effects on your wallet, but what if they could do the same for your health? A study from the University of Gothenburg supports this idea. When buses in the city were replaced by fully electric buses, the health of residents who lived along the bus route was positively impacted. The main reason for this, as noted by the study, was the noise reduction caused by the switch to electric buses. 

Low-frequency noise occurring consistently over long periods of time can have an impact on health, especially since this type of noise is harder to block out via walls or windows. As noted in another research paper from the University of Gothenburg, low-frequency noise in the environment can lead to sleep disturbance, fatigue, concentration problems, and more. So, it would make sense that when the sources of this noise are removed, it positively impacts the health of those who are usually subject to the noise.

How much do EVs impact health?

The Gothenburg study was conducted by having participants fill out a questionnaire of their perceived health before and after the switch to electric buses. Half of those involved in the study lived along the route of the bus, and the other half lived further away and served as a control group. Researchers also measured the level of low-frequency noise in many of the homes before and after the electric bus switch, and the change in noise levels, both measured and perceived by participants, were found to be significant.

There was a noticeable health impact on the participants who lived along the bus route when electric buses were implemented. Before the switch, 49% of participants reported feeling exhausted once or twice a week. Afterwards, that number went down to 39%. Those who reported low moods also went down from 22% to 17%. It's unclear whether those changes would be lasting ones, but the results are highly encouraging, and an indicator that reducing low-frequency noise from vehicles could have a positive outcome on people's health.