Banning sales of internal combustion engine vehicles (“Ban cars that run on gas? That’s just crazy,” Forum, Oct. 1) could be exactly what California needs. An audacious move on transportation would address a looming climate policy challenge while providing an innovative opportunity for our economy.
The 2017 California Green Innovation Index found that California’s transportation emissions rose by 2.7 percent in 2015, largely because of a 3.1 percent spike in emissions from passenger vehicles. This is slowing the overall rate of emissions decline and threatening our climate goals. If this continues, we’ll need to slash emissions by more than 5 percent each year between 2020 and 2030. For such reductions, bold action is required.
All signs point towards an electrified transportation future, and fortunes will be made from embracing this technology early on.
Our research has shown that ambitious climate policies do not compromise economic growth. All signs point toward an electrified transportation future, and fortunes will be made from embracing this technology early on. Compelling our state to move ahead could benefit us for decades to come.
California would join a growing list of countries phasing out internal combustion vehicles, representing some of the world’s largest economies and nearly half its population. That’s significant, because by 2030, more than two-thirds of all vehicles produced in the U.S. will be exported. Our nation must be aware of the opportunities and risks that this presents our auto manufacturers.
Because of existing policies, California is already at the epicenter of clean transportation in the U.S. The 2017 Index found 87 percent of America’s total clean transportation venture capital investment went to California last year. Though zero-emission vehicles make up a small portion of total vehicles on the road, California is home to about half of all ZEVs ever sold in this country.
A clean energy future with roads full of electric vehicles could provide just the right mix of emissions reduction and economic opportunity for the state.
F. Noel Perry is a businessman and founder of nonprofit nonpartisan think tank Next 10. Christopher Thornberg is a founding partner of Beacon Economics.