The adoption of electric vehicles is growing in the United States, with all-electric vehicle sales increasing by 85% from 2020 to 2021 and plug-in hybrid sales rising 138%. This is a welcome trend for many, but the increased popularity of EVs combined with better fuel efficiency, and a gas tax that hasn’t been raised in thirty years, is posing a major challenge to policy makers; how to make up for lost gas tax revenue, which currently pays for 29% of state highway funds and 84% at the federal level.
Resource scarcity may slow EV transition
Numerous factors may scuttle an anticipated fuel-price driven boost to electric vehicle adoption. Due to shortages, manufacturers may not be able to ramp up production to meet demand, and the cost and availability of materials may raise the sticker price, along with the environmental sacrifice. EV manufacturers are also not immune to the resistance faced by industrial development in general.
Forecasters guarded about EV share of VMT
As transportation planners and environmental researchers look at climate policies, a smooth and equitable transition to a low-carbon global economy is an essential component. In the passenger vehicle sector, how will this process be affected by oil demand and EV adoption trends? A new report examines a number of EV penetration forecasts and summarizes the 2019 trends and their changes since 2018. The report focuses on passenger vehicles, which account for about 23 percent of oil demand. While other segments of the transportation sector—trucks, and aviation and shipping—account for about 29 percent of the oil demand, electrifying cars may be easier, according to the author.
UK scientists warn of resource costs in transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050
The necessary transition away from burning fossil fuels for transportation could be quite resource intensive. So say leading UK scientists in a recent letter in response to a recommended target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The letter lays out the difficulty of producing enough raw materials, and energy, to fulfill the needs of this transition, using known technologies.
Oregon regulators require public utilities to adopt plans for electric vehicles
While electric vehicles only make up a small share of the current U.S. vehicle fleet, by 2040 they are expected to comprise approximately 55 percent of all new vehicle sales. Accommodating for growing EV demand, however, will require major changes in how utilities supply electricity. At the moment, the electrical grid is simply not equipped to handle widespread EV adoption. In Oregon, regulators are attempting to address this problem.