EXPLAINER: California EV requirements face some obstacles

Aug 25, 2022, 2:26 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm
Cars are parked at an electric charging station in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Californ...

Cars are parked at an electric charging station in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. California is poised to required 100% of new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

DETROIT (AP) — California will require all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to run on electricity or hydrogen by 2035 in an ambitious move away from gasoline-powered vehicles and the pollution they emit.

The requirements come in phases starting in 2026, and it will take 13 years for them become fully effective. But there are many challenges to meeting them.

EVs now cost substantially more than gas-powered vehicles. There are shortages of precious metals needed for their batteries. The U.S. has little battery manufacturing capacity.

But a lot can change in 13 years. Here’s what we know about the problem areas and what’s being done about them:

___

WILL AUTOMAKERS BE ABLE TO MAKE ENOUGH ELECTRIC VEHICLES?

More than likely. During the first half of this year, electric vehicle sales accounted for about 15% of California’s new vehicle market. New vehicle sales in the state normally run around 2 million per year. That’s roughly a 1.5 million difference that has to be made up by 2035. But almost every day, automakers are announcing new EV models, battery factories and assembly plants. Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, Stellantis and VinFast have announced plans for 10 U.S. battery plants.

“New plants are coming in and old plants are being converted,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions. “The plans are in place for a large amount of vehicles being ready for the U.S. and global markets.”

The big ifs, though, are whether there will be enough precious metals, such as lithium, to make the batteries, and whether EV prices will come down quickly enough. Laurie Holmes, senior manager of government affairs for Kia, told California officials Thursday that the industry could have difficulty meeting sales targets. She urged the state to support incentives for consumers to buy EVs and to help build out a charging system.

___

CAN THE ELECTRIC GRID HANDLE THE LOAD?

The California Energy Commission expects electric vehicles to add only a small amount of power use in the next 10 years. The commission estimates that 3.7 million light-duty electric vehicles will be in use in the state in 2030, and they will account for only about 2.6% of electricity use during peak hours. David Reichmuth, a senior engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said EV charging can be timed to off-peak hours, especially during the day when wind and solar power are more available. Utilities will be able to send messages to cars to start or stop charging depending on electricity demand, he said.

___

WON’T ELECTRIC VEHICLES BE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR MANY PEOPLE?

That’s possible, although prices are coming down, and they are expected to get lower as costs are spread out among more vehicles and new battery chemistries are developed that don’t use many expensive precious metals. Currently most U.S. EVs are targeted at higher-income luxury or pickup-truck buyers and start at $40,000 or more, beyond the reach of many. But prices are starting to come down. For instance, General Motors says it will offer a small Chevrolet SUV with a starting price tag of around $30,000 that’s expected to get close to 300 miles (500 kilometers) per charge. The federal government next year will offer $7,500 tax credits for EVs made in North America, bringing purchase prices down. And California is offering cash, rebates and special financing for low-income buyers. Also, EV buyers will save on fuel and maintenance costs.

___

DO EVS REALLY POLLUTE LESS, GIVEN MANUFACTURING AND MINING OF METALS FOR BATTERIES?

Multiple studies, including some by the Massachussets Institute of Technology, say yes. While there is pollution from mining, EVs are so much cleaner than gas vehicles on the road that it only takes a short time for them to make up for the mining. A study released this summer by the Union of Concerned Scientists looked at lifetime emissions, including the manufacturing process.

“Altogether, the lifetime emissions for an electric car or and electric pickup are less than half that of a gasoline vehicle,” Reichmuth said. The gap between gas and electric will grow as more electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar, he said.

“There’s nothing that we’re going to do when it comes to aggressively promoting electrification that will be worse for the planet than burning fossil fuels,” said Margo Oge, chair of the International Council for Clean Transportation and a former top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official.

___

WILL OTHER STATES FOLLOW CALIFORNIA?

Currently 17 other states have adopted California’s greenhouse gas emissions requirements, most on the coasts. In total they account for about 40% of all U.S. new vehicle sales. The state of Washington has already started the process to follow the EV sales requirements, and others are expected to. It will take the other states longer to go through the process, and many don’t have the electric vehicle demand or charging infrastructure that California does.

___

Ronayne reported from Sacramento, California.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembl...
Associated Press

They said it: Leaders at the UN, in their own words

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Many leaders saying many things about many topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world: That’s what the U.N. General Assembly invariably produces each year. And each year, certain voices dominate. Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts — delivered universally from the […]
17 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General...
Associated Press

Belarus foreign minister blames NATO, West for Ukraine war

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In the eyes of Belarus’ foreign minister, the root cause of the war in Ukraine dates back 30 years ago to the end of the Cold War. At that time, there was no official treaty — just a “gentlemen’s agreement” that opened a path for the West to secure its domination, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

US spy satellite launched into orbit from California

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket on Saturday. The NROL-91 spy satellite lifted off at 3:25 p.m. from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California’s Santa Barbara County. It was the last launch of […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

South Korea says North Korea test-fired missile toward sea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military says North Korea has fired at least one unidentified ballistic missile toward its eastern sea. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday did not immediately say what type of missile it was or how far it flew. The launch came a day after South Korean officials […]
17 hours ago
This photo provided by Buckingham Palace on Saturday Sept. 24, 2022 shows the ledger stone at the K...
Associated Press

Palace reveals ledger stone at queen’s final resting place

LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace released a photo Saturday giving the first public glimpse of the new ledger stone installed at the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II. The image shows the hand-carved Belgian black marble slab with brass letter inlays set into the floor of King George VI Memorial Chapel, St. George’s Chapel, […]
17 hours ago
Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud addresses the 77th session of the...
Associated Press

Saudi Arabia’s triumphant week reclaims the West’s embrace

NEW YORK (AP) — Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, and it is no longer as frowned upon to seek Saudi investments or accept their favor. […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
EXPLAINER: California EV requirements face some obstacles