Will the next president go all-electric?
03.28.2019 - by Joel Levin
Will the next president go all-electric?

We at Plug In America believe (as I am sure you do too), that the time has come for the United States to start seriously planning for the full transition to electric drive. Most major car-buying countries have already begun to plan for a phase-out of new ICE vehicles and we need to do the same.

A key factor, of course, will be the level of commitment of our next president. Whoever we choose in 2020 must have the vision to put us on an aggressive path to going fully electric.

To help inform you how the various candidates feel about EVs—and to make sure they know that people care about this a LOT—we have just sent letters to every declared candidate for president, asking them their views about EVs and specifically asking if they will publicly commit themselves to working for a full transition to new plug-in electric cars and trucks by 2040, with a set of ambitious interim targets along the way and programs that will help us get there.

As we receive responses, we will share them with you. Until we do, however, we need your help. We invite all of you, our readers, to also ask the candidates their views on EVs, whether by mail or face-to-face if you happen to have the opportunity (especially our loyal readers in New Hampshire and Iowa) and let us know what they say.

Update 4/23/2019: Below is the text of the letter sent to declared candidates.

I am writing to you as the Executive Director of Plug In America, the national consumer voice for electric vehicles. We represent the concerns of the 1.2 million Americans who drive electric cars, plus the millions of others who are thinking about making the switch.

There has been much discussion this electoral season about a Green New Deal. A program to transition our transportation sector from petroleum to clean, domestically-produced electricity will certainly need to be an element of any such initiative.

There are numerous benefits to electric vehicles. They have sharply reduced climate impact and produce no local air pollution. They benefit the local economy because they only run on domestically-produced electricity, rather than imported oil—keeping fuel dollars local and creating local jobs in the solar, electrical and utility sectors. They support American manufacturing, since electric vehicles are mostly built in the USA, rather than imported. And they save Americans money on fuel and maintenance.

As a candidate for President of the United States, we would like to hear your views about electric vehicles. In particular, we would ask for your public commitment to a goal of shifting sales of all new cars and trucks to plug-in electrics no later than 2040—along with a set of ambitious interim targets and programs that will put us on target. We believe that this is an achievable goal, given that most major car markets around the world have already committed to a phase-out of new internal combustion engine cars including: China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

We at Plug In America appreciate your leadership on climate change and clean energy and would be pleased to meet with you in person to discuss this further.

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we look forward to your response.

Joel Levin
Executive Director
Plug In America

10 comments on “Will the next president go all-electric?”
  1. Marlene says:

    I have thought, for some time, that if our president would make the announcement that beginning in FY (insert date) all federal gvernment purchased/leased passenger-type (SUV, passenger cars, etc) vehicles would be EV’s and all government facilities with parking would be required to have charging stations there would be a mighty surge among car makers to meet what criteria the government had in order to continue to sell/lease to the feds. This spurt in innovation and production would have a huge impact on the private market. No private consumer would be “forced” to buy EV, but the advantages would be obvious. Yes, the government vehicle mandate would need to be tempered by daily usage and recharging speed.

  2. Noah Barnes says:

    Julian, we updated this post to include the text of the letter sent to declared candidates. Thanks!

  3. Julian Brown says:

    Can you share the letters you sent to the candidates so we can use them as a template to communicate with our elected officials.

  4. Julian Brown says:

    Paul that’s the same way I feel. If you are going to lead than lead by example and Drive Electric ⚡️ 🚗

  5. Greener says:

    US can learn a thing or two from China about EV adoption. These days, it seems like China is more concerned about Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels than US. Transportation has replaced energy generation as the top contributor of Carbon in the atmosphere.

  6. B. Smart says:

    I don’t hear anyone here advocating for “forc(ing) 100% EV transportation”, or “heavy handed government”. Support (or lack thereof) from government does play an important role in the success (or failure) of an activity, enterprise, program, strategy, venture, or technology. If you believe that our earth, its environment and climate matters and that an important part of the solution is the reduction of the GHG emissions from burning fossil fuels, then it’s valuable to recognize that Government plays an important role in promoting this important effort to transition to Electric Vehicles.

  7. Raymond Lux says:

    We must convert the Class 8 trucks to Electric Drive. The cost savings of maintaining and fuel, will pay for the new trucks. Electric Trucks will alow for a great reduction of pollution!

  8. Brian says:

    While I love my EV and all that it represents, I completely disagree with the push to force 100% EV transportation. The truth is EV vehicles are not at a level where they can truly replace ICE vehicles. I just did a 900 mile road trip for a chance to hangout with a friend for a night. It took me 7 hrs each way on a motorcycle. It would have taken me 12+ hours to make the same drive in my Leaf!! Also, if people have heavy duty work commercial work vehicles, there is no EV in development that can realistically replace a 1 ton work truck! This motion to force people to drive EVs is actually very detrimental to EV growth. If you try to force it on people they will instinctively revolt against it purely because you are trying to force them.

  9. Bill Provence says:

    Heavy handed government is not needed. As the oil companies continue to rape the ICE drivers, we will see a natural shift to EVs. I did my part two years ago, purchasing a used Leaf (2014 with 27,00 miles on it — like brand new and now has a hair over 30k miles — cost? A hair under 12k). Tell the folks on limited budgets to shop for used EVs. There are a bunch of them out there.

  10. Paul Scott says:

    I’m happy someone is asking candidates about this crucial issue. I’d also like to know what each and every candidate drives now. This will tell us how much they care about climate change and criteria pollutants that contribute to the deaths of over 8 million humans each year. Does the Plug In America letter ask what the candidates are driving now?

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