My take: Letting the marketplace detrmine the fate of electric vehicles

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The Fisker Ocean all-electric luxury SUV unveiled at CES 2020: Full purchase option starting at $37,499 (U.S.) MSRP – $29,999 after U.S. tax credit; flexible lease starting at $379 (U.S.) per month with all maintenance and service included. The world’s most sustainable vehicle will be truly global – with more than 1 million vehicles projected to be produced between 2022 and 2027.
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The final results are in, and 78% of our readers who responded to our survey on a proposed ban on sales of gas-powered vehicles in 2035 were opposed to the measure now in place in California that has made its way to other states.

The results are not surprising given the demographics of our readership. Still, it is likely that a majority of Delaware residents are opposed to a 2035 sales ban although their stance doesn’t begin to match the fervor of supporters of the ban.

Despite what you hear on the fringes, the vast majority believe climate change is real, and the widely held view is that electric and electric-gas hybrids should enter the battle. The question is whether a state with a million people should go through this exercise.

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The reasons for a no vote are many. Few of us are in favor of government mandates on issues that limit our consumer choices. Second, many of us have concerns about how far electric vehicle technology will advance.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control would be well-advised to hit the pause button and see what happens in the marketplace.

The key year may be 2024 as automakers roll out new EVs. We do know that the bulk of research and development in the worldwide automotive industry is focused on EVs and hybrids. Meanwhile, gas burners, some with 500+ horsepower, are still widely available, with 800 to 1,000-horsepower electrics hitting the high-end market.

Should businesses actually add a significant number of all-electrics to their fleets and automakers make good on their plans to offer sellable crossovers in the sub-$40,000 range, a phase-out of gas-only vehicle sales in the future might become a minor issue.

By mid-decade, we will also be able to determine whether state and federal tax breaks for EVS built in North America drive prices down further.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming, legislators want to ban the sale of electric vehicles by 2035, citing among other things the impact on oil production iand how its wide open spaces that would make the installation of chargers unfeasible.

Wyoming has also seen environmental activists fighting efforts to bring one oil field into production. The nation’s largest coal producer is also facing the possibility of lower production as more power plants burning the mineral are retired.

It may turn out that the Wyoming legislation is symbolic, with one backer indicating that he does nnot actually favor a sales ban.

Expect more such posturing from both sides that will feature alarmist language and a repeat of many myths that surround electric vehicles.- Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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