TO THE EDITOR:
The auto industry is at a crossroads as it shifts away from internal combustion engines to electric-powered vehicles. Auto writers are widely speculating the future of electric and view 2018 as an important moment when more EVs become available to consumers and automakers on the whole begin to project their investments into this cleaner, ultimately less costly vehicle.
However, doubt colors some of the reporting, such as in “Many EVs on the way, but few buyers await” (autonews.com, Dec. 19). It doesn’t surprise that electric cars provoke skepticism, and part of that blame falls on the auto industry itself. Much time and money has been spent resisting the change. The Clean Car Standards, an Obama era initiative to push for higher mpg and a move toward electric cars, is now at risk as the EPA and members of Congress consider weakening the standards. In Michigan, the electric giant Tesla is banned from direct sales.
The onus is not on the consumers to guide this change to electric. If the auto industry wants consumers to embrace electric cars, it needs to make the change first. Instead of standing in the way of environmentally and consumer-friendly policy, these companies should champion the power and benefits of electric to make it desirable to their buyers. They must change their attitudes before they expect consumers to change.
CALLIE ROUSE, Campaign organizer, Environment Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. Environment Michigan is a nonprofit working to protect clean air, clean water and public land.