EV Incentive Policies Should Target Reducing Gasoline Use
Gasoline is the source of 17% of U.S. carbon emissions. To achieve emissions reductions consistent with the 2030 goals set by the Joseph Biden Administration and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, annual U.S. gasoline use by light-duty vehicles will need to decline by 67%, or 96 billion gallons, in the next eight years. Electric vehicles (EVs) cause much lower carbon and particulate emissions than gasoline-burning internal combustion engine vehicles, while providing comparable (and often superior) performance and mobility. Thirteen state governments offer EV incentives to encourage their residents to purchase EVs. While flat-rate incentives have been effective in helping EV models achieve a foothold in the market, they have been relatively ineffective in reducing gasoline consumption and resulting vehicle emissions. Current policies are failing to maximize cuts in vehicle emissions that disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income communities. Given the growing need to achieve rapid, near-term cuts in carbon emissions and the demand for more equitable distribution of EV subsidies, this Comment suggests new EV policies are needed.