The Future of Cars?

Electric cars
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Download Current Context Issue:  The Future of Cars?

Abstract:  Governor Newsom recently made headlines when he issued an executive order that all new passenger vehicles sold in California by 2035 must be zero-emission – a remarkable development in a state responsible for 1/8th of the nation’s annual car sales. California now joins countries like Norway, France and the United Kingdom in setting a target date for phasing out all new gasoline-powered cars and passenger trucks. A recent study of vehicle batteries from the seven largest manufacturers concluded that battery-technology costs are decreasing to the point that by 2024 battery-powered electric vehicles will be no more expensive to manufacture than their gas-powered equivalents. California’s commitment to clean-air vehicles will only help speed along innovation and production efficiency in this realm, helping further along a revolution in the transportation sector, though this will be far from enough to lower greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels. Other helpful transportation measures include rethinking urban planning to prioritize non-vehicles.

To read the rest of this essay, download the latest issue of Current Context - The Future of Cars? here.  

Teaching recommendations: See the classroom activity guide designed to accompany this issue, available here.

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