By: Courtney McIntosh
Summary. Electric vehicles or EV's would undoubtedly improve health outcomes and poor air quality that current gas transportation emits. BIPOC communities largely are the greatest communities affected by gas emissions and poor air quality associated with motor transportation. Currently the push for EV's as an alternative to gas powered vehicles is paving the way for a more sustainable choice, yet there is an issue to whom the access is available to. One major barrier to EV access are charging stations and to where they are being placed. A majority of charging stations are being placed in predominately wealthy communities, shopping plazas and business. Another notable concern is the price of current EV's and their affordability. To maintain and afford an EV, you typically need to have an house and or attached garage to charge your vehicle. Which is a level of socioeconomic status that is not available to all and our current infrastructure lacks the resources to provide. Expanding access to clean transportation leads to a more environmentally equitable society, but fair and realistic access needs to be brought forth.
Why we should care? The push towards the future of environmentally friendly transportation is quickly descending upon us but the accessibility is not equally distributed.
This article provides a clear breakdown of numbers and percentages of who are disproportionately affected by air pollution created by traffic, and how EV transportation paves a way to a solution. Also included is a great short youtube video on air quality and consumption from BIPOC communities.
Science in Action.
Dr. Maria Cecilia Pinto de Moura is senior vehicles engineer in the Clean Transportation program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Maria conducts research on transportation energy and emissions, and performs analyses in support of regional and also national policy campaigns that aim to reduce oil use and lower vehicle emissions. Dr. Pinto has served in the past as a research associate for the Joint Global Change Research Institute/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Pinto has a history of being an environmental advocate for over 10 years and I believe her studies and research are very much aligned with being environmentally conscious in terms of concern to communities and to the future of EV.
By: Buck Patrick
Summary. Michigan is the state with the most resistance to electric vehicles, due to the state's deep history with big car manufacturers. However electric vehicles are on the rise due to a big push by the Michigan Department of Climate and Energy called the Charge Up Michigan program. This initiative is trying to fund DCFC EV charging station installers. DCFC stands for Direct Current Fast Charging and that is the way that electric vehicles charge. The Charge Up Michigan program aims to make it cheaper for installers to install these DCFC stations by reimbursing them for each station they install up to $70,000. Besides the local governments and their initiatives on EV's, President Biden recently came to the Motor City to talk about Michigan and its future with electric vehicles and the jobs in the electric and automotive industry. Biden made a point in his speech to reassure listeners that the new job opportunities are going to stay in Michigan and stay local, no outsourcing to China or India, but keeping jobs done for Michiganders, for Michiganders. The reason Biden was in Detroit giving this speech is that he recently signed a bill giving $7.5 billion to the transition to electric school buses as well as another $7.5 billion to the installation of a better and more available electric vehicle charging network. This might help the problems with electric vehicles right now, which include finding charging stations and how expensive and time-consuming charging these vehicles are compared to gassing up a car to go the same distance. These problems with electric vehicles are major factors in why electric vehicles are just not possible to completely switch to at this moment.
Why we should care? Electric vehicles are the future. It's that plain and simple. It may not be logical at this moment or even in our lifetimes but these vehicles will eventually be commonplace and for commonfolk.
This article shows how electric vehicles may be the future but at this time they aren't the present. It shows that yes they exist but at this point in time, electric vehicles just aren't as practical for the large majority of people, whether it be because of how much more expensive they are to buy and charge, the cost of deadhead miles, or just the time restrictions of charging the vehicle and driving to a commercial charging station. For upper-middle-class citizens and above, electric vehicles are a reality, they have more cars so if their EV is charging they can get into a different car, they also have a better chance of having their own charging station. But for the average middle class and below, electric vehicles have too many costs for them to be possible for them.
Science in Action.
Carla Bailo is President and CEO for Center for Automotive Research.
Carla Bailo heads and leads research for the Center for Automotive Research. This is not just research about cars, but about the systems that cars drive in, what they drive on, and what allows cars to drive. This is relevant to my topic because she researched what it would take for the full electrification of Michigan and it is a lot. Things including making the cars cheaper, making the charging faster, making charging stations more accessible, making the stations cheaper to use, and making the cars able to handle the extreme cold temperatures seen in some parts of Michigan, as well as handle the tough terrain cars have to traverse in Michigan, especially in the Upper Penninsula.