A traffic jam in Beijing.

Al Gore must be upset. A new report on China’s electric cars by a research team at the University of Tennessee has found that China’s 100 million electric-powered scooters and cars may be worse for the environment than gas-powered vehicles.

Why? Because 90% of the electric power in China comes from coal – that energy source that environmentalists hate. Those millions of electric bikes and cars are powered by that abundant resource.

The UT researchers studied the environmental impact on the whole power chain. They write: “An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles. Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”

One can only wonder if coal will be supplying the electricity for electric cars and scooters in the U.S. when we’re all forced to give up our gasoline-powered vehicles. Will wind turbines and solar panels provide the electricity for millions of these e-vehicles? It’s doubtful. Walking may become the new form of modern, environmentally friendly transportation for Americans if Lisa Jackson has her way.

Read More and Comment: Uh Oh: China’s Electric Cars Worse Than Gas-Powered Cars

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