May 29, 2023
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By 2035, all new cars sold by companies must be electric. This mandate was passed in 2021, and companies are already finding ways to make that transition. However, it has been an uphill climb for car companies, legislative bodies, and lawmakers.

Virginia legislators passed the Clean Car Law in 2021, adopted from the California standard. Out of the 17 states that have adopted the Californian standard, Virginia was the 15th on the list. The law goes into effect next year, and the first checkpoint is that 35% of all new cars and trucks from the 2026 model onwards must be electric.

However, Republicans strive to reverse the law as they believe the state will not be able to support an EV-only market by 2035. The issues are quite layered and involve varied levels of struggles for the lawmakers and the citizens.

When it comes to the citizens taking the first step toward EV ownership is quite difficult as the initial cost is high. The price of EVs is higher than gas cars. According to the Kelly Blue Book, the average EV car is priced at just over $61,000. Currently, EVs are seen more as luxuries and are not made for the average citizen in the country. This is one of the major concerns for citizens. However, companies such as Ford and Volkswagen will soon make EVs for people of all classes.

For lawmakers, numerous concerns get in the way of following this mandate. First, people usually pay the Gas Tax, which is used for road maintenance and for a few other purposes depending on how the state allots the taxes. However, for EVs, taxation would become complex as people from different classes would use different EV ranges in different ways. Secondly, the power grid must also be able to support the EVs and offer them enough power supply while ensuring the grid’s other purposes continue to be fulfilled effectively.

While these are just a couple of examples, numerous concerns exist, such as maintenance costs, systematic facilitation of the EV market, and more. California State has taken several measures to incentivize EV manufacturing and purchasing. For instance, the citizens will receive federal tax incentives, which would decrease the cost required to buy and own an EV. The state also incentivizes car companies to make EVs lesser than about $21,000 for the model years between 2026 and 2028. Besides these, the state will also offer perks to people who charge during off-hours and more.

The motive behind EVs is to reduce the emissions from vehicles which is one of the main sources of pollution in the state of Virginia. The idea of reducing the negative impact on the environment is one of the primary reasons the states are moving toward the EV market. However, as consumers, there are numerous benefits to using EVs. First, the cost of fuel is much lesser. Second, there are numerous tax benefits provided by states such as California. Third, EVs are much more efficient and easier to drive compared to gas vehicles.

Overall, EVs seem to be the future of commercial vehicles. The question is how lawmakers realize this future and whether these vehicles become the norm for people of lower socio-economic classes.

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