Before you do anything else, you might love a Super Bowl ad with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek…

CARS

CARS

The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions: 29%. Cars are approximately 58% of that. As we move to reduce our use of those fossil fuels and accelerate our use of renewables– “greening” our electrical grid– electric vehicles are inevitable. But we have a way to go.

The disappointing news: by the end of 2021, only 1% of our 250 million cars, SUVs, and light duty trucks were electric.

The good news: new EV registrations shot up 60% in the first quarter of 2022.

It will get better and here is why:

  • In August 2021, President Biden signed an executive order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks, which sets a nonbinding target of making 50 percent of passenger cars and light-duty trucks zero emission vehicles by 2030. The executive order also directs EPA and NHTSA to develop standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as well as passenger cars for model years 2027–2030, to be finalized by December 2022.
  • In September 2021 New York passed a law phasing out most gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
  • In July 2022 Consumer Reports published a survey saying that 36% of Americans would consider buying an EV, even as half the respondents were unaware of existing federal and state incentives.
  • In August 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act providing lucrative incentives for car purchasers with rewards for carmakers that increase their production of EVs and move their production lines to the United States, giving the companies new motivation to embrace the transition and promote the vehicles.
  • Also in August 2022, California regulators approved a sweeping plan to restrict and ultimately ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035.Not only is California the largest auto market in the United States, but an additional 13 states (Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont) and Washington D.C. have policies tied to California's, which makes them leading candidates to adopt their own versions of the 2035 ban.
  • Twelve states have adopted the Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) program (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) requiring an increase in sales of ZEVs over the next decade.

There are many reasons for you to consider going electric…

  • EVs are better for the environment, producing significantly fewer emissions, and reducing air pollution as well as mitigating climate change.
  • They are as safe, if not safer than gasoline and diesel-powered cars.
  • They are cheaper and easier to maintain, with fewer parts, no engine, no oil, less brake wear and parts that require little or no regular maintenance. According to Consumer Reports (Sept 2020), you can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance over the life of an EV. Some details from Repair Pal: “typical maintenance items on EVs include the cabin air filters that keep outside dust and particulate out of a car’s heating and air conditioning system; brake pads, tires, and suspension components, such as shock absorbers; ball joints; and steering tie rod ends. An EV has a cooling system that uses antifreeze, similar to what would be found in a gasoline engine’s radiator, but because there is no danger of contamination by engine oil or combustion by-products, it doesn’t break down and seldom needs to be changed. Regenerative braking systems found on EVs and some hybrids use resistance from the electric motors to slow the vehicle, so brake pads don’t see as much use as they would in a gasoline-powered car. Replacing a battery pack costs approximately $5,500 but they tend to last 8-10 years.”
  • Warranties tend to be longer. 8-10 years or 100,000 miles.
  • There are potential rebates and tax credits with purchase, federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for a new car and $4,000 for a used car, and potentially from cities and states as well.
  • No more pumping gas. Plug in at home or, if on a long road trip, at a fast charger. Map here. If you own a Tesla or a business that wants to install a Tesla supercharger, check this out.
  • It’s useful, when thinking about making a transition to electric, to look at the whole process, from manufacturing to disposal. They produce roughly half of the climate-changing emissions of a similar gasoline car by the end of their lifetimes -- from the manufacturing of their batteries to their ultimate disposal or reuse. In a recent Forbes article covering this, it was concluded, after viewing numerous studies (including The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) report in July 2021) that battery-electric vehicles have the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. And, the article contended that, as the electric supply “greens” --with solar and wind power being added to the mix --it will only get better.

There are many options (but, of those, many are only available for pre-order) --from major car manufacturers including Tesla, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Subaru, Hyundai, Fiat, and General Motors. Because there often seems to be a wait time for the purchase of an electric car, you might want to check out Drive Green (particularly if you live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island). Very useful.

CREDIT: EPA

CURRENT NEWS

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