The global electric vehicle (EV) revolution reached another milestone last month as EVs made up 37 percent share of Norway’s car market. Norway understands the future of ground transport is electric and has been pushing EVs harder than almost any other country in the world with incentives such as an exemption from the 25 percent VAT tax for new cars. In December, the country hit 100,000 zero-emission EVs on the road, and they are projected to quadruple to 400,000 by 2020. These numbers are especially remarkable for a country of only 5.2 million people. Over five percent of all of Norway’s cars are EVs, up from one percent two years ago. Norway’s transportation minister says it is “realistic” that sales of new fuel-burning cars could end by 2025. EVs may win on straight economics then, but the country — and others — have been considering outright bans.
Whether Americans realize (or admit it), gasoline combustion automobiles are going the way of the buffalo. The thing is, America could be leading the way when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs). We have the technology, the resources, the infrastructure, the workers…everything except the willingness to think outside the box and make the future ours. America could, and should, be leading the world into a brave new (practically) zero-emission future. Instead, we’re sitting on the sidelines watching other countries doing what we should be.
Norway expects 100% of the country’s new cars to be EVs within eight years. Where will America be? Almost certainly lagging far behind. How’s that American Exceptionalism working for you, eh??
Big Oil has government by the short hairs, and the influence they’ve purchased in Congress and state legislatures have for years stymied the development and roll-out of economical, affordable EVs. President Trump hasn’t exactly rolled out the red carpet; his anti-clean energy policies aren’t designed (or intended) to foster the development of EVs in this country.
The knock on EVs has always been the exorbitant cost of batteries, which have been expensive to develop in a manner which allows for any sort of economy of scale. Thanks to what’s been happening- largely outside the US- that hurdle is being quickly dismantled.
Battery prices have been dropping much faster than anyone expected — and China launched a massive scale up in both batteries and EVs in recent years.
EV sales have been soaring worldwide. By 2025, more than 37 million fully electric vehicles are expected to be on the road globally, according to Navigant Research, and those EVs will be “cost competitive” without subsidies.
The rest of the world recognizes that EVs are the future. Well, the world save for one country sees what’s happening. President Trump has long made it clear he’s committed to severely reducing federal clean-energy spending. This may because he’s far more aligned with the interests of Russia (whose economy lives and dies based on the price of petroleum) and Big Oil.
Though Trump has promised to bring jobs back to America, his commitment to Big Oil may result in America missing out on a golden opportunity to get in on what will likely be one of the biggest job-creating industries of the next 25 years or so.
Despite the prevailing delusions to the contrary, jobs in the Oil Patch aren’t coming back. Does Washington have a plan to replace those jobs? Of course not; have you seen what Congress and the President have (not) been doing lately??
Like Republicans in Congress who are also addicted to sucking at the teat of Big Oil, President Trump isn’t exactly renowned for thinking long-term. If he wants to “Make America Great Again,” he has an opportunity to take a giant step towards that goal. Unfortunately, it appears that this chance will be fumbled away, allowing the rest of the world to take the lead. Quelle surprise.
To “Make America Great Again” will require vision, foresight, courage, and leadership- not things this President is renowned for. American exceptionalism? Only in your dreams.
Nice work, America.