Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Newsom’s Electric Car Nirvana Collides With Reality
By admin
Published 2 years ago on
May 15, 2022

Share

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Air Resources Board publicly boasted last week about making great strides toward eliminating fossil fuels and their greenhouse gases.

The board released “a draft plan that, when final, will guide the state’s transition to a clean energy economy, drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels, achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 or sooner, and significantly clean the state’s air especially in disadvantaged communities disproportionately burdened by persistent pollution.”

Much of the plan is concentrated on transportation — particularly cars and trucks — which is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

Dan Walters

CalMatters

Opinion

“That means rapidly moving to zero-emission transportation, electrifying the cars, buses, trains, and trucks that now constitute California’s single largest source of planet-warming pollution,” ARB said.

Newsom, meanwhile, crowed that with new state subsidies, sales of battery-powered zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) have exceeded 16% of all new vehicle sales so far this year, more than double the proportion in 2020. He also noted that Californians make half of nationwide purchases of electric vehicles.

“Our state is on the frontlines of extreme weather, and we’re taking aggressive steps to protect Californians from the costs of climate change — transitioning away from the big polluters fueling this crisis and towards clean energy,” Newsom said. “These incentives make it easier and cheaper to make that transition.”

This year’s increase in electric car sales was, no doubt, spurred in part by a steep hike in gasoline prices, as well as subsidies – which poses an interesting dichotomy. Newsom has decried those fuel price spikes and wants the state to offset them with payments to motorists, which would reduce some of their motivation to buy electric cars.

Moreover, were California to eventually ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles and go 100% ZEVs, as Newsom also advocates, charging their batteries would impose immense new burdens on an electric power grid that’s already strained to meet demand.

By happenstance, as Newsom and the air board were issuing their upbeat messages about the shift, a financial data website, Forbes Advisor, was revealing that California has one of the nation’s worst records on providing recharging sites for ZEV owners.

Its study, drawn from U.S. Department of Energy data and numbers from all 50 states, found that North Dakota is the nation’s most ZEV-friendly state with one charging station for every 3.18 electric vehicles.

Wyoming, Rhode Island, Maine and West Virginia round out the top five.

And California? It has the fourth highest ratio, just one station for every 31.2 ZEVs. New Jersey is the least accommodating to ZEV owners, with one station for every 46.16 electric vehicles.

Okay, so California is lacking when it comes to infrastructure needed to support the ZEV nirvana that Newsom and the ARB envision, both in terms of electrical power supply and sites to connect that power to electric cars.

However, the situation may actually be worse.

Again by happenstance, last week brought us evidence that not only is California failing to provide enough ZEV charging stations, but those it does have often don’t work.

David Rempel, a retired professor of bioengineering from UC Berkeley, and a team of volunteers tested 181 public Bay Area charging stations with 657 plug-in kiosks and found 73% in working order but 23% had inoperable screens, payment failures or broken connector cables and in 5% cables were too short to reach vehicles recharging inlets.

California’s much-vaunted shift to electric cars may turn out to be one of the state government’s many high-concept programs that become managerial disasters, another Department of Motor Vehicles or Employment Development Department.

About the Author

Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times. For more columns by Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

DON'T MISS

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

DON'T MISS

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

While California Politicians Skirmish Over Housing, the Shortage Keeps Growing

UP NEXT

As PG&E Bills Skyrocket, Will California Lawmakers Hold Anyone Accountable?

UP NEXT

Trustees Owe a Nationwide Superintendent Search to Fresno’s Children

UP NEXT

Taxes Are on the November Ballot in Monumental CA Showdown

UP NEXT

California Progressives Forced to Play Defense as State Faces Huge Budget Deficits

UP NEXT

CA Labor Priorities and Business ‘Job Killers’ on a Collision Course

UP NEXT

California Water Wars Continue Despite Now Healthy H20 Supply

UP NEXT

How the Saga of California’s Contentious Income-Based Utility Charge Began

UP NEXT

Fresno County Lawsuit Against Political Candidates Stifles Free Speech, Wastes Taxpayers’ Money

UP NEXT

Californians Pay High Gas Prices and Gas Taxes Yet Still Have Bad Highways

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

16 hours ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

16 hours ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

1 day ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

1 day ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

1 day ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

1 day ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

1 day ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

1 day ago

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

1 day ago

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and his national security team monitored Iran’s aerial attack against Israel on Saturday as U.S. forces joi...

41 mins ago

41 mins ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

14 hours ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

15 hours ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

16 hours ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

16 hours ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

1 day ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

1 day ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

1 day ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend