OP-ED For and Against
California made history when its regulators approved a bill that will see the state ban all gasoline or petrol-powered cars. This means that residents of the Golden State might have to go shopping for electric vehicles in the future. This comes in the wake of the government’s ineffective efforts to incentivize and encourage the purchase of electric cars. But what does this mean for you?
First, let’s better understand what California regulators are pushing for. At the time of writing, about 16% of all car sales in this state are zero-emission vehicles. Through the new rules, regulators are pushing this number to go up by 35%, especially in deals involving new passenger cars and light trucks.
So, how will you be affected? This bold move was part of the government’s efforts to reduce environmental emissions. Electric cars produce zero emissions, which will help improve air quality in California’s cities and towns.
Regulators in favor of the new rules estimate that this mover could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50% by 2040. This means better and cleaner air for you, reducing your odds of catching respiratory diseases from related emissions.
It also means that you’ll save a lot more money than you typically would on gasoline-powered cars. Electric cars are cheaper to maintain and run than traditional gasoline cars for various reasons:
- First, electric cars don’t require oil changes, tune-ups, or other regular maintenance tasks necessary for gasoline cars.
- Second, electric cars have far fewer parts than gasoline cars, which means fewer things can break down or need repairs.
- Third, electric cars are more efficient than gasoline cars, so they use less electricity and cost less to operate.
- Finally, electric cars generate no emissions, so they’re much better for the environment. In sum, electric vehicles are cheaper to own and operate than traditional gasoline cars in several ways.
You’re probably wondering if you’ll have to give up your old car, and rightly so. But the new legislation only applies to the sale of new vehicles. This means that you can keep your gasoline-powered machine even after 2035. It also means that you can buy or sell used fuel-powered cars afterward.
As electric cars become more popular and affordable, it’s not inconceivable that one-day gasoline-powered vehicles may be banned altogether. Besides, many businesses and municipalities are already investing in infrastructure for electric cars, so there will likely be more options available in the future. This includes charging stations with similar infrastructure.
You can also expect other states to follow suit as more than a dozen states have followed in California’s footsteps. States like New York, Washington, and Massachusetts have all followed California’s new rules.
So, what would a ban on gasoline-powered cars mean for you? It would likely be very disruptive in the short term as the government and automakers transition to electric vehicles. However, it could also mean significant savings in fuel costs and emissions down the road.
It’s not only possible but likely that California will kick the can down the road and delay their ban on non-electric vehicles as most experts agree that they don’t have the infrastructure in place to implement it, nor are they going to be there before 2035. If that’s true, it makes their new law one of those “feel good” optics kind of laws like taxing booze to help the homeless when they don’t have an effective way to help the homeless attached to the funding.
But that’s not really at the heart of the question, how will it affect you? So, assuming they stick to this timeline…you can expect demand to go up on electric power causing the cost of power to go up. This means that you will not only pay more to drive your EV than you currently do but you will also pay more to heat or cool your home whether you own an EV or not.
This increase in power cost also erases any claim that your fuel costs will go down. Today’s power rates aren’t a good representation of power rates in 2035.
The big push for EV’s is that they are environmentally sound because they have reduced emissions. This position assumes that by 2035 all electric power will be generated via “green” or renewable energy. This position is as impossible to prove as it is to disprove. If they aren’t generating entirely green energy then it’s possible that the generating the power to charge an EV has at least as much environmental impact as burning gas in a car, because of line loss.
Line loss is the energy burned up by resistance when power is transmitted over long distances. Currently California doesn’t produce all the power they need and everything they import from other states has to be brought over long distances. This means more energy is created to get enough power to a vehicle to charge it. Which means if you’re burning any kind of fossil fuel to create EV energy you’re actually less efficient than putting the fossil fuel in the car and burning it for power there.
EV’s weigh about 1,000 pounds more than ICE cars. That means they take more in electricity to move than an ICE car. So again, you need to create more power to charge an EV than to power an ICE car.
What does all this mean for you? You’re cost of living will go up! But wait, there’s more.
The claim that EV’s are better for the environment discounts the environmental impact of mining battery components, which is often done in nations without the kind of regulations the US has on coal or natural gas. There is also a great environmental impact to dispose of car batteries. Not only will the batteries wear out with use, car accidents will also impact attrition. So rechargeable cell phones are nothing compared to rechargeable cars.
On the topic of power costs, gas taxes currently pay for a lot of road maintenance. How does California intend to pay for roads when everyone charges their car at home? The most likely answer is to tax electricity. So people who don’t make enough money to own a car, will still have to pay road taxes when they turn on their TV or try to make toast.
What’s the impact of this law on you? It’s expensive. But wait, there’s more.
By insisting that all new cars purchased be EV’s they’ll create artificial at least initially. Which means the price of new cars will go up. Higher priced cars mean more expensive insurance. Higher priced cars means more expensive transportation which as we’re seeing right now, raises the price of goods that need to be transported.
It’s likely since ICE cars can still be sold as used, that car services will spring up to buy new cars in neighbouring states and then resell them inside California. This will necessitate laws to regulate who can buy and sell private cars when they come from out of state. A lawsuit will follow as this violates the 10th Amendment of the constitution.
So again, California has created a law they know they won’t be able to implement, or enforce long term, but it sure makes them feel good.
How will this law affect you? Short-term warm feelings, long-term expensive.