DETROIT (Michigan News Source) – West Coasters and Midwesterners may find themselves feeling the effects of the new California decision to ban the sales of new gas powered vehicles by 2035.
Californians will not completely lose the ability to purchase fossil fueled cars, rather they can buy used gas fueled cars, or even purchase them elsewhere and bring them into the state. However, this could become a challenge as surrounding states have tended to follow California’s vehicle emission requirements.
But what does California have to do with Michigan? Out of Michigan’s 4.6 million employed people, nearly 684,000 are employed in Michigan’s automotive industry. This industry accounts for up to $230 billion of the state’s economic output, according to MICHauto.
The initiative bans non “zero-emission vehicles.” Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids all are considered zero-emission. The hybrid vehicles come with a caveat – automakers may not have more than 20% in their inventory.
According to Kelley Blue Book, electric vehicles remain more expensive at $66,000 compared with non-luxury gas powered vehicles that average $44,000.
The higher costs of the cars are largely due to the greater costs of the materials according to Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Research, Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. Obtaining these materials could become a supply chain issue as most of them come from overseas.
“Automotive companies are making themselves dependent on materials that will go into batteries that are largely under the control of geopolitical rivals of the United States,” Cohen said, “Specifically China and to a lesser extent Russia.”
Many of the new EVs have fewer moving parts than traditional gasoline vehicles according to Cohen.
“The people of Michigan bear a special burden in all of this because with the phase out of gasoline powered vehicles, what else will also be phased out are jobs in the automobile industry” he said.
With the onslaught of Ford’s recent 3,000 white collar layoffs to afford transitioning to more EV production, the future of other Michigan automobile employees hangs in uncertainty.