04/22/2013 10:35 am ET Updated Jun 22, 2013

Electricity Fuel for a Greener World

This Earth Day, we are joining together as industry and environmentalists to advance the adoption of electricity as a transportation fuel. The environmental benefits, cost savings and increases in productivity are virtually limitless.

Transportation is the last major sector of our society to adopt electricity, but the time for change has come and the opportunity is huge.

Drivers now have the opportunity to move to a viable alternative fuel for their cars -- electricity -- that is generated from diverse, domestic resources.

Already nearly 90,000 Americans have said goodbye to the pump and hello to the plug thanks to battery advancements and a growing selection of car models that make driving plug-in electric vehicles more accessible than ever before.

Adding fun to the daily driving experience, these vehicles have received critical acclaim and very enthusiastic support from customers.

Electricity as a transportation fuel is clean, efficient and good for the environment, not to mention consumers' pocketbooks, our national security and the economy. Electricity is a home grown fuel, which is cheaper than filling up a tank of gas -- the equivalent of about $1 per gallon. It's more convenient to simply plug in at night and be ready to go the next morning.

Electric companies across the nation -- in collaboration with car manufacturers and with support from environmentalists and others -- are paving the way for electric transportation and the market is taking off.

A new report released by IEE, an Institute of the Edison Foundation, projects that, under business-as-usual, a minimum of 5 million electric vehicles will be on the road by 2035. With advances in battery technology, that number could grow to more than 24 million electric vehicles by 2035 or roughly 1 out of every ten cars and light trucks on the road in the U.S. When advanced batteries are coupled with high oil prices the number of electric vehicles could rise to more than 30 million by 2035.

On today's average mix of generation resources, driving an electric car emits half as much pollution as the conventional vehicle. As the US mix of power generation sources gets cleaner and the number of electric vehicles grows, the environmental benefits of driving on electricity will only increase.

As a society, we have just scratched the surface of electricity's potential as a transportation fuel. From seaports to airports to commercial delivery fleets and light rail services new, robust electric technologies are sparking electrification activity across the country.

Thomas Edison pushed society forward more than 100 years ago when he showed us a better way of lighting our communities. Today, Edison's vision is propelling us forward with a new era of innovation deeply rooted in the American way of life while simultaneously fueling a greener world.

Lisa Wood is the Executive Director of IEE and the Vice President of the Edison Foundation. Dale Bryk is the Director of the Energy & Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.