Electric Vehicle Experiments Abound – Not Just For the Wealthy

Electric Vehicle Experiments Abound – Not Just For the Wealthy

After admitting in 2016 to lying about excessive diesel emissions, Volkswagen (VW) agreed to pay $14.7b in penalties of which $2b will be invested by a VW subsidiary called Electrify America to boost electric vehicle use. Of that, $800m goes to California where the state is requiring nearly $300m be spent to help low-income and disadvantaged communities gain access to electric vehicles, according to The New York Times. As a result, Sacramento is a hub for numerous electric vehicle pilot programs and the only controversy is whether more areas of California should get to have similar pilots.

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Reaching Paris Accord Emissions Cuts – There Is a Realistic Path Forward

Reaching Paris Accord Emissions Cuts – There Is a Realistic Path Forward

A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications provides a glimmer of hope on meeting the Paris Agreement’s greenhouse gas emissions targets globally.  According to the study, if we begin right now, and “carbon-intensive infrastructure is phased out at the end of its design lifetime from the end of 2018, there is a 64% chance that peak global mean temperature rise remains below 1.5 °C.” 

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EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

The major U.S. and foreign auto companies are racing to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, and are using this year’s auto show in Detroit to make the PR point, but there are few vehicles ready for market yet.   According to the AP, one of the reasons is that SUVs and trucks make up 72% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012.  Thus, these new EVs will need to be SUVs, according to Axios.  But only two of the vehicles scheduled to be “rolled out” at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither is available for sale yet. 

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Toyota goes “pedal to the metal” on electric vehicle plans

Toyota goes “pedal to the metal” on electric vehicle plans

Toyota Motor Corporation announced last month that it intends to speed its development and introduction of additional electric vehicles (hybrids, battery electric models and fuel-cell electric), with a goal of having every Toyota and Lexus model include an “electrified” option by 2025. 

Why This Matters:  As we pointed out in another ODP story today, vehicle emissions are rising in the U.S. again — which is very bad news.  This announcement by Toyota shows that even though the Trump Administration is rolling back the clean car standards, the auto industry is going to move in the right direction.  Increasingly, U.S. consumers want to wean themselves off conventional gasoline cars and the market will reflect that.  What is needed is a full suite of electric options — more electric vehicles of all types, sizes, configurations and prices — and more companies like Toyota, Tesla and Volvo that are moving rapidly in that direction.  The future is most definitely electric.

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