Most of us appreciate and take steps to mitigate the risk faced in our daily commute; well if you are reading this you mostly have been successful - well so far. You have just filled up and are ready to go, but a risk is lurking; No, not stop signs, speed traps nor that meandering drunk, but Cancer caused by yet another invisible agent: diesel exhaust fumes.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) recent announcement upgrading its grim classification of Diesel Exhaust fumes from possibly carcinogenic (2) to definitively carcinogenic to humans (1). Crude Shale Oil as obtained from Oil Shale as well as Coal Gas makes the IARC's 2012 Carcinogenic grim list.
The IARC monograph on Diesel fuel is based on increased lung cancer risks confirmed from research conducted on 12315 workers at the National Cancer Institute in Baltimore MD and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown WV.
The published documents can be found in the links below. Coal gas is similarly linked to Lung cancers while Shale oil is linked to scrotal cancer. Noble as it seems, running out to buy an electric vehicle to minimize cancer risks does not shield you from emissions oozing out of the vehicle in front of you (well the IARC is silent on the efficacy of particulate filters). Do you really want every car looking like a Prius™?
These revelations constitute compelling reasons for a concerted "Global Push" for the electric vehicle. Before the legal fireworks begins with scenes reminiscent of the tobacco law suits, before the health warning stickers are put up at the pumps "Vehicle Drivers are Liable to Die Young" There must be better provision of governmental research funding and grants for the creation of more efficient batteries, non-effluent automotive waste, more automotive charging stations installations, adoption of wireless charging and weight reduction benefits of Printed Electronics. Lest we forget the creation of more aesthetically pleasing vehicles. Have you seen Kurt Neutgens' electric Mustang™?
We've come a long way from the horse and cart, hoop rolling is no longer an Olympic sport. IDTechEx has for over a decade tracked progress and advised companies interested in participating in the electric vehicle market: From creating new innovative products to efficient practical charging infrastructures and street furniture of the future. 30 million Electric Vehicles sold in 2011. Motorcycles, military vehicles, buses and earthmovers are among them. In ten years from now, a far higher percentage of the global output of light industrial vehicles, commercial vehicles and cars will be EVs.
See the big picture of Electric Vehicles.
4. Shale Oil: www.monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol35/volume35.pdf