Range anxiety: A California study can be a downer for the excitement of electric vehicles, as it shows that electric vehicles are powered half as often as internal combustion engine vehicles.
By Ronald Stein
Ambassador for Energy and Infrastructure, Irvine, California
With half of EVs across the country in California, the latest 2021 study in California could be a downer for the EV excitement, as this shows Electric vehicles are driven half as much as vehicles with internal combustion engines. The study shows that electric vehicles, in general, are secondary vehicles, rather than the primary workhorse for the few elites who can afford them.
So far, zero-emission and low-emission vehicles have usually come from the Owners of hybrid and electric cars, which are a scientific bunch;; Over 70 percent of EV owners have a four-year college or postgraduate degree. This probably explains why the average The household income of electric vehicle buyers is over $ 200,000.
Unless you are in this higher education, high income society, and are a homeowner or a NEW apartment dweller with paid access, you may not have an appetite for an electric vehicle. Electric vehicles have yet to achieve primary workhorse status for the family with their limited use.
Another challenge for EV growth is the dependence of the EV charge on intermittent electricity from wind and sun. Adding EV charging loads to the grid, which becomes more unstable, is like putting salt in the wound. Power outages are now commonplace in California and Texas. More will follow across the country as we adjust to a life that depends on the time of day and the weather.
The well-trained and well-compensated EV owners who take advantage of state and federal subsidies are using their “green” vehicles sparingly. How can middle-income and fixed-income those buy their way into EV development if they are setting the pace?
The California EV market is looking for the less fortunate to join the EV train. That could prove to be a financial challenge for 45 percent of California’s population – that’s a whopping 18 of the state’s 40 million residents Hispanic and African American – With an average income less than half that of current EV owners. In addition, California has the highest homeless population fifth largest percentage of homeless (behind DC, New York, Hawaii and Oregon) and has the second highest poverty rate.
The unintended consequences of Governor Newsom recently Implementing ordinance banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles until 2035 This can be an incentive for those least able to afford a new car or second car to continually re-register their existing internal combustion vehicles.
Governor Newsom may have forgotten that regardless of the type of vehicles that use the roads, there is tremendous funding needs for both California’s transportation infrastructure and the many environmental compliance programs that come from the pumps. The state and federal subsidies help bring down the price of electric vehicles, but EV owners pay almost no gas taxes for California 400,000 miles of roads that are heavily dependent on road taxes on fuels that more than contribute $ 7 billion annually, the same tax base that will decline over the coming decades.
EV buyers hope to save on fuel costs as the total price of fuel at the pump includes non-transparent costs that are added to the actual fuel costs, such as fuel costs. For example: federal tax, excise tax, state tax, local sales tax, costs for compliance with cap and trade programs, costs for compliance with the standard program for low carbon fuels, and costs for compliance with the standard program for renewable fuels.
California’s Newsom may also have forgotten that its own Democrats overwhelmingly defeated Senator John Moorlach-sponsored SB 1074 in 2018. The Supermajority Democrats in the Legislature continue to be content that the numerous costs “dropped” on the advertised fuel price are not transparent because they are content to let the public know about the many taxes and regulatory costs that drive prices soaring, blissfully ignored. to the point that Californians almost continue to pay $ 1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country. A The Exxon gas station recently expressed its “transparency opinion” on the pump.
EV buyers watch out that the “tax equalization”, the “VMT”, comes. The Motor vehicle mileage tax (VMT), which has been discussed for years, sounds like a logical idea – the users of the highways have to pay the fees for the maintenance of these highways. The VMT tax is required to replace the $ 7 billion annually of fuel sales that will decline in the coming decades.
The challenge for a VMT is to implement this great idea that may require annual mileage! Be on the lookout for Governor Newsom’s next executive order for a VMT that requires annual odometer readings so that each person pays their fair share to maintain the roads that replace falling fuel taxes!
17 million vehicles of all types were sold in the United States in 2019. Electric vehicle sales made up a dismal 2 percent of the total, or about 350,000. California new car sales were more than 10 percent of the nation than Vehicle sales in California have exceeded 2 million for three consecutive years.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article quoting Edmund’s data, the number of battery electric models available more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, but electric vehicle sales were moving in the wrong direction. In response to the great efforts of manufacturers that terrible EV sales data shows that only 325,000 electric and plug-in hybrids were sold in the US in 2019, up from 349,000 in 2018. As mentioned earlier, half of all electric vehicles in America are located in one state – California. The rest of the country seems less enthusiastic about electric vehicles. Are EV automakers driving off a cliff? “
If the California trend for EVs to be low-mileage secondary vehicles rather than the workhorses for higher-income families, when and how will low-income earners join the EV excitement?
Ronald Stein, PE Ambassador for energy & infrastructure