Gov. Gavin Newsom’s zero-emission goal is an ambitious one.
“The problem is that to date, electrification is still a sector in which automakers are putting a lot of investments, but it’s not a profitable market in most cases yet,” Circella said. “The cost of batteries and the cost of the development of these vehicles is still making these more like a niche market and not yet something that is really [becoming] the core production of the industry and becoming the new mainstream.”
“If you look at other markets in the entire world, we see that when the right system of incentives and the right infrastructure for charging of the vehicles are put in place, then actually, electrification can go up in vehicle sales,” Circella added. “What automakers need is a clear regulatory sector in which they know what are the expectations for the next few years so they can focus investments.”
California also has a leg up in accelerating the push for more electrification, but other areas may have a tougher time following suit, Circella said.
“We look at electric vehicles as a positive part for the future of transportation under the assumption that we will have lower tailpipe emissions, and in general, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and this is certainly true if we are in a location like California, where the energy mix for electricity production is already very good,” Circella said.
It may be tougher for the U.S. in general to achieve lower emissions after factoring in how the electricity for EVs is produced.