Transportation accounted for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. in 2019, making it the largest contributor of emissions in the country. The global transportation sector accounts for 20 percent of global carbon emissions, with passenger cars responsible for 41 percent of transportation carbon emissions.
Electronic vehicles and mitigating climate change
Electronic vehicles are part of mitigating climate change. EVs “feature prominently in mitigation pathways that limit warming to well below 2C or 1.5C,” according to Carbon Brief. EVs do not directly produce greenhouse gas emissions but they rely on electricity that is still largely from fossil fuels. However, over the lifetime of EVs, they produce 60 to 68 percent fewer emissions in the U.S. than conventional vehicles, according to a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
The push for zero-emission vehicles in the U.S.
There is a push for zero-emission vehicles in the U.S. In August 2021, the Biden administration set a goal that 50 percent of all new passenger cars and lights trucks sold in 2030 will be zero-emission vehicles, including EVs. In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom released an executive order stating that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state will be zero-emission by 2035, and all new medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the state will be zero-emission by 2045.
American car companies investment in EVs
The three major American car companies (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) have all made announcements in 2021 that they will increase investment in EVs.
Ford building new EV plants
Ford announced in September 2021 that it is building several EV plants. One of those plants, BlueOval city, is located at a nearly six-square-mile site in west Tennessee where electric F-series pickups and advanced batteries will be built. Ford is also building a BlueOval SK Battery Park in central Kentucky that will build batteries. The American car company will invest $11.4 billion to build the plants and $525 million in the U.S. to train technicians to service EVs.
“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive–protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love, and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”
“If anyone was still wondering whether the electric vehicle revolution is real, Ford emphatically answered that question today,” said Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp. “The transformative commitments and action from leading U.S. automakers such as Ford and General Motors have made the transition to clean transportation inevitable.
GM invests in EV plants and charging infrastructure
GM plans to offer 30 new EVs globally by 2025. The car company is currently building the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center in Warren, Michigan where EV batteries will be made. It is slated for completion in mid-2022. GM announced plans in early October to convert more of its North American assembly plans to EV plants and will spend almost $750 million through 2025 on EV charging infrastructure.
Chrysler’s investment in EVs
Chrysler, the American subsidiary of the Dutch company Stellantis announced in July its plans for over 40 percent of its sales in the U.S. to be low emission vehicles (LEVs) by 2030. Included in the LEVs are 55 EVs in the U.S. and Europe by 2025.
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