During a portion of an interview aired on Friday’s broadcast of “The Issue Is,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm praised California’s proposal to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and said the plan “could be” a national model, but acknowledged that the price of electric vehicles has to come down and the power grid has to be expanded.
Host Elex Michaelson asked, “California made national headlines by becoming the first state to say, by 2035, we’re not going to have any gas-powered vehicles that are new that are being sold. You can still drive your old ones, but you can’t sell new ones. Do you like this concept?”
Granholm responded, “Yeah, I do. I think California really is leaning in. And of course, the federal government has a goal of — the president has announced — by 2030 that half of the vehicles in the U.S., the new ones sold would be electric.”
Michaelson then asked, “Do you think what California’s doing could or should be a national model?”
Granholm answered, “Could be, could be. I know every state is different, and you always have to respect what the states are doing, but I do think that once people — I mean, California has gotten more used to electric vehicles, and we have to bring down the price of electric vehicles so that everybody can access them. And this is why it’s great that there’s a $4,000 tax credit, for example, on used electric vehicles that has just been adopted through the Inflation Reduction Act. So, once they get more acceptable, I think those numbers don’t sound as daunting.”
Michaelson then asked, “Another concern a lot of people have is the grid, and we talked about this earlier this week. We had the situation this week where they say, don’t charge your electric vehicles during peak hours, which is kind of scary for people that think, a few years from now, we’re going to have all electric vehicles out there, what happens then? What do you say to people who feel like we’re just not going to be ready by 2035, that’s not realistic?”
Granholm answered, “Well, I mean, 2035 is a long way away as well. We have to add power to the grid, clean power. We’ve got to add transmission lines to be able to bring that clean power to places where it’s needed. All of that is happening right now. I mean, all of that, we’re pushing on all of these levers simultaneously to get clean power onto the nation’s electric grid. We have got to double the size of the electric grid in this country, and we’re doing that.”
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