As the November polls draw closer, many of the presidential candidates have been sharing their thoughts about the ways in which they propose to make the U.S. become a global leader in the fight against climate change. Electric vehicles (“EVs”) feature prominently in those plans. While a lot of the plans are aggressive, there are lots of reasons to suggest that a more measured approach that spans approximately 50 years would produce better results not just politically and economically, but also for the climate as discussed below.
The Economic Reasons
An aggressive attempt to send internal combustion vehicles into oblivion in favor of electric vehicles may not be practicable economically. For example, it is very difficult to transform the automotive industry together with its associated infrastructure in just a few decades. Manufacturing supply chains also have to be rebuilt, and an enormous charging system has to be implemented without risking the collapse of the utility grid. The sheer amount of resources needed for this undertaking makes a strong case for giving transition plans some wiggle room of at least 40-50 years.
The Climatic Reasons
The climate change effect of using an EV isn’t just restricted to the emissions that would be avoided by users of these cars. It also includes other associated climate-change effects, such as the fossil fuels that go into generating the electricity consumed by the EV as well as the coal that goes into manufacturing the EV batteries currently being sourced from Asia.
Transitioning too fast to only electric vehicles could therefore have the unwanted effect of negating any climate change benefits if the upstream emissions aren’t addressed systematically. More time would allow better manufacturing practices and energy sources to be developed so that EVs are the true climate saver that they can be.
The Political Case
Coming up with a transition plan that is too aggressive is likely to throw off analytical people who will immediately know that such plans don’t stand a chance of seeing the light of day.
Additionally, lots of people are likely to lose their jobs as the EV sector pushes out internal combustion engine vehicles. For example, a study done in Germany shows that approximately 100,000 jobs would go up in smoke if the drive trains of fossil fuel cars are no longer needed. Think of how mad voters in Ohio and Michigan would be when massive job losses were predicted to result from a plan suggested by a presidential candidate. Wouldn’t such a plan be political suicide? In contrast, a measured approach would soften the blow and safeguard political interests.
Fortunately, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) and other players in the EV sector don’t have to make such political calculations, so you can expect them to forge ahead with bringing you sleeker, faster and more reliable and affordable electric vehicles as the years roll by!
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