A Look at the Battle Over EVs, MPGs and Transportation's Future

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Sept. 20, 2019—Politico is out this week with a close look at the lobbying efforts on either side of the electric vehicle movement.

Reporter Gavin Bade reported on how groups with ties to the oil industry are taking their arguments to state-level politics, while environmental groups are largely on the opposing front lines. The battles are over proposals like zero-emission vehicle mandates, charging station investments and efficiency standards.

While the sales market for electric vehicles remains small compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, it is a growing segment. States and utilities are considering incentives to put a more robust charging system in place. The pushback is often about the cost of the build-out, as well as the added electricity use that may raise rates for all.

At the federal level, the headline battle is over California's fuel economy goals. Four automakers have signed on with the state's plan to reach 50 mpg by 2026, but the Trump Administration threatens to undermine those goals.

It's a topic that likely won't go away anytime soon.

“I think the struggle here will probably continue for a while,” Samantha Houston, a clean vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Politico. “Internal combustion engines still have a pretty significant market share and the oil and gas industry doesn't want to see that go anywhere.”

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