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New study recommends mass adoption of electric vehicles

In the next decade, California freeways may be occupied by more cars without a tail pipe if policy recommendations from a recently released report authored by a UC Berkeley climate change policy fellow are followed.

“Electric Drive by ’25,” which was released Sept. 10 and is 10th in a series of reports on climate change sponsored by Bank of America, outlines policies that could be adopted by different sectors of the electric vehicle industry to promote a widespread transition to electric vehicles in the state by 2025. The mass adoption of electric vehicles would clean California’s air and boost the economy, the report argues.

“Electric vehicles are important to our environmental concerns, public health, quality of life and national security,” said Ethan Elkind, the Bank of America climate policy associate for UC Berkeley and UCLA’s law schools. “They are important to the economy because you would have a domestic source of fuel instead of having to import foreign oil.”

The report, which was written after a workshop between representatives from different sectors related to electric vehicles, argues that a mass adoption of electric vehicles, which use cleaner sources of energy, such as natural gases, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state — roughly 40 percent of which come from California’s transportation sector.

A larger electric vehicle market could also mean savings for the state in health care costs as well as savings for citizens on the cost of gas because electricity is cheaper per mile than gasoline, the report argues. It also argues that a growing electric vehicle industry could stimulate state economic growth by increasing the number of California-based electric vehicle automakers.

“It would have huge domestic economic benefits, and I think it’s fair to say that this is gonna be the industry of the future for cars,” Elkind said.
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