I have long been prodding folks not to be too complacent about assuming an EV future is guaranteed. Good things are happening for sure, but I know too well that this rolling snowball can indeed be stopped.
My admonishments are typically greeted either with criticism for any shred of skepticism, or with a verbal pat on the head, an “aww, don’t worry, it’ll be ok.” You know, because these things take care of themselves and I just shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it.
Especially today, I encourage anyone still resting on those laurels of hope to knock it off. No, the sky is not falling as a result of the last 24 hours. But most of the electric vehicles available in the US today are on the market because of two regulations—the CARB ZEV program and CAFE standards—that have never been invulnerable, and could be at risk in the new administration. To those who think Tesla will singlehandedly solve it all, they too rely on market and other incentives that are likely endangered. Those brand new nationwide EV charging corridor plans and the loan guarantees to help create them? Donald Trump has been clear in what he thinks about such things. And EVs. Battery and other research. His plans for the EPA. And, quite possibly, DOE. If you believe he is likely to follow through on even some of his intentions, these threats can’t be ignored or overcome with mere faith.
It is also long past time for the conservatives to come back out of the closet in support of EVs. Many retreated when EVs became associated with President Obama, but if national, energy, and economic security are indeed the priority, then driving on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity is still a crucial component to address those issues. This topic is as bipartisan as they come, and there is no longer any excuse not to support it.
I’m still an optimist, but there is a tremendous about of work to do. We need all hands on deck, and not simply with fingers crossed.