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President Joe Biden’s campaign to buy Americans electric vehicles (EVs) rather fuel-efficient cars continue to run up against the constraints of the average person’s wallet – a reality highlighted by a new report out of California.
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EVs in the Golden State are highly concentrated in affluent communities with white and Asian dominance, college-educated and higher-income residents, according to CalMatters, which conducted a statewide analysis of ZIP codes based on California Energy Commission data.
Atherton, for example, is a small community in San Mateo County, California, which not only boasts California’s highest percentage of electric cars – one out of every seven, or 14, — but with a median home value of about $7.5 million and a median home income of more than half a million dollars. The fact that Atherton is rich and full of EVs is not a coincidence, according to the data.
Most of the largest EV clumps were found concentrated in Silicon Valley cities and affluent coastal areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties, central hubs for tech titans and Hollywood giants.
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Overall, according to CalMatters’ analysis, most of the top 10 communities for EV ownership have median household incomes above $200,000, much higher than the $84,097 statewide, and typical home values above $3 million. Also, at least three-quarters of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
California’s highest concentrations of electric cars – between 10.9% and 14.2% of all vehicles – are also in areas where residents are at least 75% white and Asian.
while there are more EVs found in rich places Predominantly home to whites and Asians, the reverse is also true: EVs are almost non-existent in low-income California communities, with particularly high populations of black and Latino residents, ranging from zero to 2.6%.
The demographic disparities are especially striking given California’s concerted efforts to advance EVs. Under a state mandate enacted last year, 35% of cars sold in California must be zero-emissions by 2026 models. This figure is projected to reach 68% of car sales in 2030 and 100% in 2035.
“As more electric vehicles are on the road, we need to get creative about policy solutions to address those issues to ensure that the benefits of owning an electric vehicle continue to spread across demographics in the state of California and beyond.” are shared,” Kevin Fingerman, an associate professor of energy and climate at California State Polytechnic University Humboldt, told CalmMatters.
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Beyond California, the question of cost has been a big problem for EV proponents. As of last month, Average Cost of a New EV was $58,385, down from nearly $65,000 last year but still nearly $14,000 more than the average price paid for a non-luxury vehicle. Lower-end EVs start around $27,500.
Other issues for EVs include high upfront vehicle costs and lack of chargers and adequate access to public charging stations in low-income and rural communities.
However, at the federal level, Biden is pushing EVs As a central answer to combating climate change and moving away from fossil fuels, which currently power most vehicles with either gas or diesel fuel.
Biden has said he aims for half of all new vehicles sold in the US to be electric by 2030 and is on track to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. To do this, the Biden administration has invested billions of dollars. Dollars pouring into various EV projects, solidifying billions going into EVs through Democrat-backed legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act, which also includes tax credit incentives of up to $7,500 for buyers of EVs.
However, EVs are still more expensive – and not just because of the retail price. According to Andersen Economic Group, the fuel cost of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles was cheaper than that of EVs in the last quarter of 2022.
Biden’s EV push will benefit bicoastal elites more than middle class or poor: study
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