The fossil-fuel industry is not going to like this subject matter, but us Americans don’t care. Any pushback from the gray-haired fossil-fuel industry on this subject matter is evidence that they feel threatened and understand that this transition to a new generation of advanced power is, unavoidably, around the corner.
It’s time for them to pass the torch to the new generation of power and transportation, electric vehicles.
People and companies are starting to see the benefits that electric vehicles have to offer, for both the consumer and the planet. This transition as an entire nation from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles is exciting. But before we get ahead of ourselves and start fantasizing about driverless cars and hovercrafts, we need to first pump the brakes and understand that an electrifying transition is not a frictionless evolution and will be a gradual process.
Yet, we don’t have to make it as painful of a transition as we may anticipate. A key factor for a successful country-wide transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles involves our infrastructure.
Just as crucial as supplying the actual electric vehicles, integrating, or even creating, infrastructure that supports electric vehicle charging stations is needed to successfully shift power sources, and an effective starting point for this in the United States is found, per usual, in populated areas.
Both California and Texas, because of their large populations, have an inherent responsibility to develop and prove to the country, sometimes the world, that their progressive policies (whether liberal or conservative) work, and this is when their population sizes becomes an advantage.
Unsurprisingly, California leads the country in electrification. On top of this, California has the privilege of being the country’s most populated state, having around 39.51 million residents in 2019.
Texas, with a population of around 29 million in 2019, is second regarding the number of electric vehicle stations it has within its state, suggesting that there is already some initiative from the state to progress and electrify.
This is beneficial for all other states because California and Texas, a lot of the time, are the guinea-pig states when enforcing progressive changes and policies. This enables all other states in the country to observe the outcomes from California or Texas, to then adapt and confidently install similar changes within their own state, for the sake of societal-progress.
With all of this being said, Texas has a responsibility, and evidently a desire, to mirror California’s initiative to electrify.
California currently recognizes the crucial component of residents having trouble-free access to electric vehicle charging stations when pushing for a state-wide transition.
A testament to their confidence in electrification and renewable powers being the future; California recently passed a $437 million dollar utility-based program in August of 2020. In passing this program, California plans to get ahead of the demand for electric vehicle charging stations and is proactively supplying the necessary infrastructure to support their inevitable transition.
This assures California residents to feasibly, if and when, make a switch to an electric vehicle, and can subside any logistical concerns about owning an electric vehicle.
Along with increased exposure to electric-powered cars and infrastructure, there is almost a subliminal message to residents that results in, arguably the most powerful influence in any society, a cultural sentiment set to replace gasoline with electricity.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas should follow this California $437 million dollar utility-based program, of course, in proportion to their state size and population. In doing so, Texas’ process of electrification can happen just as seamlessly and efficiently as California plans to.
It is safe to assume that there is an overall attitude across the country to eventually electrify, and this is also shared and acknowledged by states’ biggest ally, the federal U.S. government.
The United States’ Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Manufacturing sector has created helpful incentives for states to initiate or advance their development from fossil fuels to electricity by allowing manufacturers of electric vehicles and alternative fuel infrastructure to easily qualify for direct loans, up to 30%, that will cover the costs of re-equipping, expanding, or establishing manufacturing facilities, including the costs of hardware and software.
On top of this, the demand for a transition from gas stations to electric vehicle charging stations is high in almost all parts of the country. Not only because of the positive environmental factors, which are abundant, but also due to the cost savings the average resident will have with an electric vehicle, as compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
AAA Auto Insurance has found that $1 gets an electric vehicle further in distance and efficiency as compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.
This being said, residents in all states are entitled, because they pay for it, to demand their governments to strive for progress, and this is especially applicable concerning the topic of electrification. Because we understand the means are there, we as residents should hold our governments (local, state, federal, etc.) accountable for ensuring equal access to these cost-savings associated with electrification, and this is when we, as American residents, can utilize our power (yes, pun intended).
Most of us aren’t experts regarding policymaking, but it isn’t our job to be so. As residents, we are experts on our community and what is best for it. All we really have to do regarding pushing for a change is to use our voices to enlighten (our somewhat out of touch) policymakers on the issue.
We have the liberty of being able to contact our government to recommend and create change, a tool that very few Americans really utilize.
It’s safe to assume that most of us working Americans aren’t going to, or even logistically have the means to, rally, canvas or campaign for the issue at hand, this case being electrification, but, through the beauty of democracy, we have direct access to our politicians. No matter how the message is conveyed, these politicians have the duty to undertake the grunt work for us by listening to our message and advocating for government action on behalf of us, garnering votes, and this is when policy memos are key.
The Memo (Please feel free to use this as a template for personal use)
The Public Utility Commission of Texas should use the following criteria to ensure success in their transformation to electricity:
1. Begin the transition by increasing the amount of charging stations within dense areas of Texas (Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth) to create a large initial usage of the charging stations. This allows for a chance for both residents and the government to understand and spread awareness on the benefits that electric vehicle charging stations provide for all parties involved.
2. Within the aforementioned areas of Texas, begin the removal of gas stations and/or integration of electric vehicle charging stations within infrastructure. This will limit access from residents and companies to be contributors towards emissions.
- For efficiency purposes, switching current gas station sites to electric stations rather than creating new plots of electric stations will save land use and damage to the environment. This can be done in a gradual manner with the starting transition to be a hybrid system with availability of both options of electric charging stations and gasoline pumps.
3. Continue this trend and/or make changes where it is best fit to the rest of the state by integrating electric vehicle charging stations into current gasoline stations that ensures inclusivity of all residents of Texas to have accessible means to own an electric vehicle.
4. Along with the increased access to electric power across the state, incentivize companies, organizations, and other entities who are large users of fossil fuels to make the conscious switch to clean and renewable energies and/or geoengineer their production processes via subsidies and environmental/energy tax breaks.
- Additionally, this transition will create new opportunities and jobs for both companies and individuals to capitalize on, creating more green jobs and momentum for societal progress.
Additional Sources for Democracy
If this article sparked any passion or energy in you regarding this topic, you are not alone. Many have made use of politicians’ required public contact information, and you can too.
For any Americans who wish to use their powerful voice, here is a link to all Members of Congress and their contact information.
For any Texas residents who wish to use their powerful voice, here is a link to your Members of Congress’ contact information.
For any California residents who wish to use their powerful voice, here is a link for your Members of Congress’ contact information.
This is not a matter of putting more fashionable cars on the road. This transition to electricity is overdue and is increasingly becoming more of a pressing issue the more the climate changes, the less natural resources we have, and the more the price of gasoline increases.
Furthermore, we need to keep our politicians in check and ensure they are prioritizing us who voted them into office. They are sitting on the fact that electric vehicles and power are both an economic and social asset to our country, so what is the hold up?
We’re curious, how do you feel about electric vehicles? If you have an EV, do you have enough options to charge your car? What are some other alternatives that you think are in our future too?