Guest: Neal E. Boudette | Automotive Correspondent | The New York Times
Category: 📰 News | EVs in California
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[1:28] NB: "The state [of California] announced that in 2035, they will no longer allow the sale of new gasoline powered cars. So after that, you'll have to buy either battery electric vehicles, or if they're around hydrogen powered vehicles or something that has zero emissions. [...] You'll still be able to buy used gasoline powered cars, and there will still be gas stations, and people will still drive cars that have tailpipes as we know them today."
[2:40] NB: "It is a big step. California is a huge market for vehicles. They sell almost 2 million a year in California. But there are several other states, about a dozen, New York is one of them, for example, that follow along California's lead. In other words, they adopt the same policies that California takes with emission controls. So in effect, California's decision will mean probably about a third of the country will go along in this direction."
[3:34] NB: "California has, for a long time, set more restrictive guidelines on emissions than the federal government. [...] Years ago they took steps to have stricter emissions controls. They had required the automakers to sell low emissions or zero emissions vehicles. California was a pioneer in giving the high occupancy vehicle lanes to electric cars to make electric cars more attractive to their consumers. They've done this because of their own environmental concerns. [...] The auto industry has had to tailor their product lines to comply with California. And in many cases, what they have had to produce for California, they have ended up selling in other parts of the country. So California has had this influence on regulators in other states, but they've also influenced what the automakers actually make."
[5:18] NB: "California wants to shift, but the industry is ahead of the state. They have been talking about similar goals. So this is a case where California is putting out some regulations and they're catching up to the industry [...]. In the long history of this has always been California pushing and the automakers resisting and fighting and dragging their feet in some ways to go along with the least amount of effort and least amount of expense to meet what California wants. And so California's announcement, while it's impressive, that's something that the auto industry has been talking about for a year and a half now."
[14:46] NB: "[In] January 2021 [...] GM announces that they want to make the company carbon neutral. [...] Tesla showed that you could sell electric vehicles in massive volumes and make a lot of money. And that's what the auto companies realized that this isn't a fad, it's not a niche, this is going to be the heart of the industry, and they better get on board or fall by the wayside."
[19:11] NB: "The first [obstacle] is that they have to be able to make millions of electric vehicles and they're not geared up to do that right now. Plus, you've got to make them affordable so that the mass market can buy these cars. And then you have to be able to charge them up and get them repaired and serviced. And there's very little infrastructure for that right now for such a big change. [...] In addition to that, there's just the question of the minerals that are used in these batteries, lithium, nickel, cobalt, and several others. [...] Just to give an example, Ford has a plan to make 2 million electric vehicles [a year] by 2026 2 million. And they say they have 70% of the raw materials secured to hit that goal."
[26:45] NB: "Electric cars do put a load on your electric grid. And we just saw that recently in California, where there was a heatwave, and the state asked people to limit how much they were charging their electric vehicles. So there is going to have to be a change in energy production. The hope is that they can really ramp up renewable sources of energy. And with the development of these batteries, there's hope that they can store energy more efficiently. In other words, produce energy from wind or solar, store it in giant battery farms, and then you'll be able to use that later. But it's unclear what the picture is going to look like in 2035 in terms of energy production, and how you're going to power up all of these electric cars."
Article: "California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars" (The New York Times, 2022)