Take that, Trump! 5% of California New Car Sales now Electric

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Despite Trump having pulled the US out of the Paris Climate accord, there is reason to think that the US will nevertheless meet its obligations to reduce deadly carbon dioxide emissions. Although Trump is blowing up the Environmental Protection Agency the way a terrorist would blow up a building, the Federal government is not the only game in town.

California, with 40 million people, has 12.5 percent of the US population and a gross domestic product of $2.46 trillion (equivalent to the sixth wealthiest country in the world). And California wants to go green. As a result of government incentives, it is attractive to buy an electric car or plug-in hybrid in this state. As a result, 5% of new car sales in the first quarter of this year were EVs or plug-in hybrids! Half of all the electric vehicles in the US are registered in California. The state has a serious air pollution problem, and 38% of its greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. That sector, moreover, is growing in its environmental impact, since gasoline is cheap these days and the economy has improved, leading more people to spend more time driving to work (and high real estate prices in the places with most jobs also cause commutes to be lengthy).

Already, 22% of California’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and lawmakers are considering legislation requiring the state to be 100% green in its power by 2045.

It isn’t just California that is swinging into action as the president retreats from our responsibility to avoid climate disaster. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will jointly cut power plant emissions by 30% between 2020 and 2030.

Audi is joining with Chinese solar panel producer Hanergy to put solar panels on the roof of its cars. These panels will generate electricity not to drive the car but to provide heat or air conditioning, tasks that otherwise drain energy away from the powering of the car. Models could be on the road in a year or two.

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Related video:

Al Jazeera English: “Tesla launches its first affordable electric car – Model 3”

8 Responses

  1. We need to find a way to make housing stock more expandable in the places where people want to live. It’s like, the reward you get for creating a city where creative people want to live is $2000 a month rent for a small apartment and people circling the block all morning looking for a parking space. But it has a macroeconomic effect too: real estate bubbles are a dark stain on modern economic history, from the Tokyo bubble of the ’80s to the two-headed US-UK bubble that led to the ’08 crash to the precarious Chinese situation today.

    My suggestion: Buckminster Fuller’s Triton City.

    link to behance.net

  2. It’s ironic though.
    Any credit for savings and positives from this good news will be laid at Trumps feet

    • That would require people capable of seeing those as being good news. The average Trump supporter seems to believe that conservation is inherently un-American unless used to hurt foreigners – a harder case to make in the age of US fracking. Or that coal miners are better Americans because they’re manly men. Or that solar cells have harmful effects on their surroundings – that one’s really circulating in the backwaters. Or that big EV motors put out radiation that’s more harmful than car exhaust. Or that wind turbines harm Air Force and Navy airfield operations even when those services say that they don’t.

      It just goes on, and on, and on… Suffice it to say that this is about attacking any change in status quo economics that might further erode patriarchy and the existing pecking order. There’s a limit to how much the people who must believe these lies can welcome any good news; by definition if White Christian Fossil Fuel Man is threatened, life must be horrible in all respects.

  3. With the hurricane bearing down on Texas refineries, kicking and screaming, it will eventually dawn on us we should move away from fossil fuels.

  4. There are more than a few folks who have a view that the three western USA states, California, Oregon and Washing, along with British Columbia in Canada would, combined, make a perfect independent country because we have so much in common. These are the most progressive components of either country. Why? because we love the west coast life style and dearly want to protect it. We are all in cinque when it comes to reducing CO2 and utilizing non-carbon sources for our energy requirements.

    Perhaps one day, we can form a liaison, even if it is within our own respective countries, but it would be for the benefit of all our populations along the west coast of North America?

  5. We’re leasing our second Nissan Leaf and we love it.

    Downside: A full charge only gives us 116 miles. Yeah, that’s enough to get us around the city and the nearby burbs. But long trips are a bit tricky, especially if we’re heading through the wide open spaces.

    Upsides: We have solar panels on the roof and I’m generating my own non-polluting power. Also, the next version of the car will have a more extended range. Bit by bit, we’re getting there.

    So Donald Trump, bite me.

    • Yes, I also have solar panels, and am between EV leases. Longer trips, I rent a car. But Bolt/ Tesla 3 should fix that, especially with faster charging

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