Utah action on ozone should include accelerating electric vehicle use

October 22, 2021 (Salt Lake Tribune)

As the Utah Foundation noted in its recent report “Going for the Green: How Utah Can Thrive in a New Climate Economy,” zero- and low-emission vehicles offer a path to decreasing the harmful fossil-fuel emissions that cause climate change and pollute our air, even with more drivers on the road and regardless of whether the electricity used for charging comes from renewables. While transitioning to cleaner sources of electricity would create even greater emissions-reduction benefits, there are clear benefits today.

Many electric vehicle models are already cheaper to operate and maintain than internal combustion vehicles, and market analysts expect that electric vehicles will reach purchase price parity with fossil-fueled vehicles during the mid- to late-2020s. Major auto manufacturers have set targets to sell only zero-emission vehicles in the years ahead and plan to increase the array of makes and models of the electric vehicles they offer. But without a ZEV standard, Utah will have limited retail access to those vehicles, since the manufacturers will not commit to bringing all makes and models of electric vehicles to states without ZEV standards.

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