The Future Is Electric, Like It Or Not

Whenever I write a story or column about electric vehicles, there’s always handful of vocal naysayers.

As consumers, we have choices, and if some folks want to be the last to own an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle, that’s certainly their prerogative. 

However, their choices are going to become progressively smaller as more and more automakers switch their models to electric over the coming decade.

And don’t just take it from me. 

“When I say electric vehicles are the future, I’m not joking,” President Joe Biden tweeted  last week. 

On Thursday, accompanied by leaders of the U.S. Big Three and the United Auto Workers, he outlined  a strategy that uses tailpipe regulations to shift Americans from gas-powered vehicles toward EVs.. 

General Motors, Ford and Stellantis are willing to collectively pledge that 40%-50% of their new car sales will be electric vehicles by 2030, up from just 4% of vehicles sold in June. GM which embarked on a huge EV push starting at CES, said in January that it would launch 30 new EVs globally by the end of 2025 and would stop producing gas cars in 2035.

“This represents a dramatic shift from the U.S. market today that can be achieved only with the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies committed to by the administration in the Build Back Better Plan, including purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States,” General Motors, Ford and Stellantis said in a joint statement. 

Other automakers not included in the Biden photo op at the White House (Biden took an impromptu drive in an electric Jeep around the grounds) also expressed support of the initiatives. 

BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo Cars, the automakers who partnered with California when the Trump administration attempted to roll back federal vehicle emissions standards, released a joint statement.

“We were proud to stand with California to establish progressive new greenhouse gas regulations, and we remain committed to leading the industry in fighting against climate change,” they wrote. “That’s why we support the [Biden] Administration’s goal of reaching an electric vehicle future and applaud President Biden’s leadership on reducing emissions and investing in critical infrastructure to achieve these reductions.”

The so-called “California framework companies” also are pledging 40%-50% of sales being EVs in the next nine years.

Another automaker, Nissan, launched the all-electric LEAF way back in 2010, and has set the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle offering in key markets will be electrified, according to the automaker.

Finally, Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford eloquently focused on the big picture.

“It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it,” Ford said in a statement. “Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.”

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