The vehicle electrification movement is rapidly accelerating as automakers worldwide commit to all-EV production as soon as 2030. Historically, most advocacy and effort has been focused on single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs). While this global shift is welcome and necessary to address the climate crisis and urban air quality issues, benefits of private vehicle electrification in the near-term will bring minimal benefit to LMI and BIPOC communities, which disproportionately suffer the immediate and long-term consequences of exposure to toxins related to fossil fuel emissions.
Issues of affordability, supply-and-demand shortages, and the longevity of gasoline powered cars will all contribute to a slower adoption of SOV EVs. In fact, a recent study shows that single-occupancy EVs could make up one-quarter of the new car sales by 2035, but only 13 percent of vehicles on the road would be electric.1 This is because the life of a standard gasoline-powered SOV is at least a decade, if not more. Therefore, to be equitable, we must focus on immediate public health relief from other sources while meeting our climate goals.
Read more about this issue, our recommendations, and potential challenges in this policy brief.