Home Caution ahead: California ban on gas-powered vehicles highlights EV challenges

Caution ahead: California ban on gas-powered vehicles highlights EV challenges

Rebecca Barnabi
electric vehicle
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In a case of state’s rights at its best, California lawmakers approved a policy Thursday to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

California, according to NPR, is the largest auto market in the United States.

Quickening the transition to electric vehicles is meant to fight climate change, yet only 3 percent of total car sales last year were electric vehicles.

Analysts say the auto industry faces challenges in ending sales of gas-powered vehicles.

First of all, the average price of an electric vehicle is $66,000, not an easy sale for your average hard-working American.

So Chevrolet and General Motors hope to release affordable options in the next few years. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $7,500 in tax credit for buying a new electric vehicle.

The cost of batteries will have to come down to make electric vehicles cost-effective. But, China dominates the rare earth mineral market and makes the auto industry reliant on China for EV batteries.

If auto companies increase production of EVs, another problem remains in the U.S.: few charging stations. A J.D. Power survey recently revealed that limited availability and reliability of charging stations is discouraging consumers. And, if the federal government’s spending $7.5 billion on the country’s charging infrastructure improves the availability for EV drivers, can the electric grid handle a majority of Americans charging vehicles daily?

A future focused on EV will require a change in the workforce for automakers. Engineers with different skills will be necessary.

Either way, transitioning the U.S. from gas-powered to electric vehicles will make for a bumpy ride.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.