There are many things wrong with this plan.
By now you’ve likely heard that California not only wants to make it illegal to buy a gas- or diesel-burning passenger car in the state by 2035, it wants to do the same with over half of heavy trucks. That means in just 12 years the majority of semi-trucks, dump trucks, etc. sold in the state will need to be “zero emissions” or in other words trucks that don’t produce emissions directly.
There are many things wrong with this plan, namely the top-down authoritarian approach to governance. This is more akin to how the economy was run in the USSR and isn’t too far off from how the Chinese Communist Party runs things, which doesn’t seem to be a coincidence. That is the number one reason to oppose the imposition of electrification on everyone.
Another point many have brought up is the sheer amount of electricity EV heavy trucks would require. Yes, California has literally had trouble keeping the lights on in recent years, particularly during heatwaves, so being concerned about how it will provide power to these trucks it will require is entirely reasonable.
There was a famous study done about electric truck stops last year. One of the more interesting points to come out of that was the conclusion some of the EV truck stops would require the same amount of electricity as a “small town.” Perhaps that’s why China, which is pushing its citizenry into EVs as well, is building two new coal-fired power plants on average every week.
If this “green” push is all about air pollution, then someone forgot to tell the CCP that’s the point. At least they understand it’s necessary to ramp up generation dramatically for the plan to have a prayer of working.
While still important, the question of how truck makers will secure all the necessary minerals to manufacture the batteries to comply with California’s mandate isn’t even as vexing as these other questions. There is also the issue of EVs costing more than ICE vehicles, something we keep hearing will go away if we all just comply with this push.
The fact is adoption of the automobile wasn’t done by government edict or compulsion. People chose to use cars in large numbers decades after they were first introduced to public roads because people like Henry Ford found a way to make them affordable and practical. If EVs were truly as compelling as so many argue, no government would need to step in and force them on businesses and private individuals.
Images via Tesla, Volvo Trucks, Freightliner