As a report in this issue makes clear, the nation's electrical infrastructure should be able to keep up with the continued rollout of electric vehicles — so long as the pace of their adoption by consumers continues to increase slowly.
That's good news for automakers that have billions riding on this technology in hopes that a mass of consumers will be willing to eventually power their rides by charging batteries instead of by burning fossil fuels.
But as Washington debates federal infrastructure spending, we must ask: What is the best role for government to play to promote EVs to slow climate change?
To date, the federal government's efforts have largely consisted of the limited $7,500 consumer tax rebate available to those early adopters of the technology. While these spiffs have helped entice some consumers to at least try an EV, their application has been somewhat wasted on consumers who likely would have purchased an EV anyway.
Though it's probably out of step with our core audience, we would argue that expanded sales incentives are at the wrong end of the plug.
Automakers have committed tens of billions of dollars to developing a variety of attractive electric vehicles, and utility companies are investing in renewable electricity generation to power them cleanly.
Yet one of the biggest reasons that consumers still reject EVs as a purchase option is charging: They just don't believe that it will be as easy to "fill up" their EVs as it is to purchase refined fossil fuels for their current vehicles. And they're right.