Re: Solve this at the source
"He was not talking about CO_2 emissions"
thankfully, or I would have considered his premise to be pure B.S.. Since he's apparently referring to diesel exhaust [specifically] and either particulate or unburned hydrocarbons or other byproducts of combustion, ones that irritate lungs etc., then he still has a point. However, given that car exhaust in the USA has been cleaned up pretty well, it's much less of a problem than it used to be. And we don't allow tetra-ethyl-lead in the fuel any more.
I still can't see the energy density of batteries and their recharge rate being any better than the 'liquid energy' of petroleum, along with the convenient refilling of the fuel tank. Until THAT happens, electric cars will merely be toys for the rich, the experimenters, and the smug.
My gasoline car can go 400+ miles on a "charge" and takes about 5 minutes to fill up. How's that compare to an electric car? That goes TRIPLE when it comes to "road trips". I can gas up before I leave, drive halfway up California, and gas up again, and get all the way to San Jose, or even San Francisco, starting out San Diego, within a day [stopping only for piss breaks and food, and that one stop for gas]. Try THAT in a purely electric vehicle...