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How green are electric cars? Depends on where you plug in

It’s a lot like one of those math problems that gave you fits in sixth grade: a salesman leaves home in Denver and drives his electric car to a meeting in Boulder. At the same time, a physicist driving the same model electric car sets out from her loft in Los Angeles, heading to an appointment near Anaheim.

For both, the traffic is light, and the cars consume an identical amount of battery power while traveling the same number of miles. Being purely electric, they emit zero tailpipe pollutants during their trips.

The test question: Are their carbon footprints also equal? The answer may be a surprise.