Buckle up. Electric vehicle sales are expected to take a big hit this year amid the current health and economic crisis. Industry analysts say the long-term prospects for EVs remain strong, but the jury’s still out on how quickly the market will rebound.  

The EV market outlook could have a major impact on the U.S. economy overall. Boosting government investment in clean transportation is being championed by advocates and several lawmakers as a way to put Americans back to work and build out of the coronavirus downturn. The EV growth trajectory will also have a direct impact on whether the U.S. will be able to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

In the sixth episode of Political Climate's monthly “Path to Zero” series, we discuss what it will take to decarbonize the transportation sector, with a focus on accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles. 

We speak to Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, representative for Michigan's 12th Congressional District, about what it will take to reboot the American automotive industry and get the U.S. EV market back on track coming out of the economic recession.

We also speak to James “Jim” Chen, vice president of public policy at the high-profile electric vehicle startup Rivian. The Detroit-based company set out on a mission to “keep the world adventurous” by building rugged, long-range, high-performance electric trucks and SUVs. Rivian’s R1T and R1S models have generated a lot of fanfare (and raised a lot of money). But are electric adventure vehicles really going to make a dent in reducing transportation emissions?

Plus, Political Climate co-host Brandon Hurlbut describes what he likes about driving electric and the killer deal he got on his EV purchases. 

Recommended reading:

  • Detroit News: Rep. Dingell Aims to Jump-Start Washington EV Debate
  • Politico: The One-Woman Campaign to Get Michigan Back for the Dems
  • Verge: Rivian Races Ahead of Other EV Startups With $1.3 Billion in New Funding
  • Axios: These EV Companies Have the Best Shot at Surviving
  • GTM: 4 Takeaways From Amazon’s Huge Electric Delivery Van Order

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

“Path to Zero” is created in partnership with the public policy think tank Third Way. Episodes air monthly on the Political Climate podcast feed. Listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get podcasts.