Letter: Making Progress with EVs

By Edward Cullen

About 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely responsible for global warming, come from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.  To limit global warming, we need to develop and use electric vehicles (EVs), which don’t produce greenhouse gases.   

In 2019, there were 326,644 electric cars sold in the US, representing 1.9 percent of the 17,053,566 car sales that year (up from 0.6 percent in 2013).  Progress is clearly being made with passenger EVs.  Trucks are more of a challenge because they move heavier loads. 

Lordstown Motors, operating at the site of the former GM Lordstown Plant, recently unveiled its prototype for an electric pickup truck.  Lordstown plans to make vehicles available for sale in 2021. Tesla, Ford, and GM are also developing commercial vans or pickup trucks.  

There are several ways to build this momentum.  The California Air Resources Board recently adopted the Advanced Clean Truck rule.  Zero-emission vehicles must make up 40- to 75 percent of California truck sales by 2035.  

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), a bill now before the US House of Representatives, uses a market-based approach.  This bill places a fee on fossil fuels and returns the money as dividends directly to US taxpayers. The fee is equivalent to 12 cents per gallon of gasoline in the first year and increases 9-to 12 cents per year after that.   Higher gasoline and diesel prices will support EV development and sales, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as well.

This article originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times.

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