By Ronald Stein
We have all seen the photos from Cuba with all their vintage cars from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Well, those photos from Cuba may be a prelude to what California will look like in the decades ahead.
The Governor has convinced himself that the devastating forest fires in the state are a direct result of climate change and is doing everything in his powers to change the world. The governor is oblivious to the facts that USDA Forest Service data documents the greatest number of wildfires occurred from 1928 to 1936 and that today, they’re one-tenth of the record. i.e., that is a 90 percent reduction in burned acreage from almost a century ago.
Rather than have Californians drive more fuel efficient vehicles in the decades ahead, Newsom’s actions to phaseout the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 will most likely result in California looking like Cuba in the decades ahead with vintage gas-powered vehicles being continuously re-registered each year, that are less fuel efficient, and bigger emission polluters, than state-of-the-art gas-powered newer vehicles that will be banned in the state.
The Governor wants to add more electrical charging demands onto a dysfunctional energy program that has already shuttered one nuclear power plant and three natural gas power plants in recent years, and has five more to shutter in the cross hairs – the last nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon and four more natural gas power plants. California imports more electricity than any other state – currently at 32 percent from the Northwest and Southwest and dysfunctionally HOPES that other states will be able to generate enough power to meet the demands of the state
The Governor’s actions are supportive of jumping onto the EV train, knowing that EV’s have a very dark side of environmental atrocities, and the non-existing transparency of human rights abuses occurring in other countries, both of which are directly connected to the mining for the exotic minerals and metals that are required by the EV batteries.
Zero and low emission vehicles are generally from the hybrid and electric car owners which are a scholarly bunch; over 70 percent of respondents have a four-year college or post-graduate degree, which may explain that the average household income of electric vehicle (EV) purchasers is upwards of $200,000. If you are not in that higher educated echelon and the high-income range of society, there may not be an appetite for an EV.
Income growth for many Californians has been largely stagnated, particularly for the poorer, less educated workers, and households, and the 39 percent that represent the Hispanic and the 6 percent that are African Americans. With 45 percent of the California population – that’s a whopping 18 of the 40 million residents of the state – being Hispanic and African American that may not be in a financial position to procure new vehicles, there will be continuous re-registrations of their current vehicles for the foreseeable decades ahead.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, citing Edmunds data, The number of battery-electric models available more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, but EV sales budged in the wrong direction. In response to the major efforts by manufacturers, the horrific EV sales data shows that only 325,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2019, down from 349,000 in 2018. Half of all EV’s in America are in one state – California. The rest of the country seems to be less enthralled with EV’s.
Those dismal EV numbers represent an embarrassing dismal 2% of the 17 million vehicles of all types sold in the United States in 2019. California sales were more than 10 percent of the nation as California vehicle sales have exceeded 2 million for three straight years. Are EV carmakers driving off a cliff?”
California’s 31 million registered vehicles were consuming 10 million gallons a day of diesel and 42 million gallons a day of gasoline. In 2019-20 and 2020-21, it was estimated that fuel consumption accounted for $7.2 billion and $7.5 billion, respectively for taxes. The fuel tax is one of several sources of revenue for the transportation program.
The Governor’s goal to reduce fossil fuel driven vehicles will also reduce the funds for road maintenance as there will be a resultant reduction of fuels taxes and a reduction in fees for the environmental compliance programs such as; the cap and trade program, the low-carbon fuel standard program, and the renewable fuels standard program, that are currently dumped onto the posted prices at the pumps.
Governor Newsom may have forgotten that whatever type of vehicles use the roads, there are huge funding requirements for both California’s transportation infrastructure, and for the environmental compliance programs that have come from the gas pumps. California has almost 400,000 miles of roadways that are heavily dependent on road taxes, the same tax base that will be diminishing in the decades ahead. So, in addition to buying new vehicles, owners may think they’re saving money by not buying fuel, but lookout – here comes that VMT (Vehicle Mileage Tax) program for vehicle miles traveled on highways for the state to get back the revenue they are losing at the gas pumps.
The Governor’s dance continues!