BIDEN ELECTRIC VEHICLE TARGETS WON’T ACHIEVE BIDEN CLIMATE GOALSAugust 5, 2021
GOVERNOR INSLEE: PASS CLEAN CARS 2030!September 10, 2021
While these measures are a step in the right direction, they are still missing the mark. Recall that the administration’s stated emissions goal, consistent with scientific consensus for what’s necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, is to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. The target of 50% of new cars being EVs by 2030 is inconsistent with this goal. Because only 6% of vehicles turn over every year (17 million of the 253 million vehicles on the road), ramping up to half of those new cars being electric would still likely result in more than 90% of the cars on the road being gas-powered in 2030.
Indeed, even calling for 100% of new cars to be EVs by 2030, while necessary to make a complete transition away from gasoline, would not be sufficient to cut carbon emissions from light duty vehicles in half by 2030. Again, given the low annual vehicle turnover, by 2030, there would still be approximately 225 million gas-powered light duty vehicles on the road burning 106 billion gallons a year. This is more than double the 52-billion-gallon limit we need to reach to achieve our climate goals.
As we model in our report, Gasoline Superusers, revising the current EV incentive policy from a flat fee to one that focuses on maximizing gasoline displacement by switching the biggest consumers of gasoline to EVs would be less costly than existing policies. It would also require 40% fewer EVs to achieve the same level of carbon reduction. With the right incentives, such a policy could entice the drivers who burn the most gasoline to switch to EVs faster than the current turnover rate.