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Why This Could Be a Critical Year for Electric Cars & Pickup Trucks

Why This Could Be a Critical Year for Electric Cars & Pickup Trucks | Newtown News of Interest |

[“It’s one of the biggest industrial transformations probably in the history of capitalism,” Scott Keogh, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, said in an interview. “The investments are massive, and the mission is massive.”]


Sales of cars powered solely by batteries surged in the United States, Europe and China last year, while deliveries of fossil fuel vehicles were stagnant. Demand for electric cars is so strong that manufacturers are requiring buyers to put down deposits months in advance. And some models are effectively sold out for the next two years.


Battery-powered cars are having a breakthrough moment and will enter the mainstream this year as automakers begin selling electric versions of one of Americans’ favorite vehicle type: pickup trucks. Their arrival represents the biggest upheaval in the auto industry since Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908 and could have far-reaching consequences for factory workers, businesses and the environment. Tailpipe emissions are among the largest contributors to climate change.


Ford will soon start selling the Lightning, an electric version of the F-150 pickup truck, which has topped U.S. sales charts for decades. It initially planned to make 75,000 a year. But demand has been so strong that the company is racing to double production of the Lightning, which starts at $40,000 and runs up to more than $90,000. Ford stopped taking reservations after amassing 200,000.


“We’re going to be able to sell every one we can build,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer.


The transition could also be limited by the lack of places to plug in electric cars, which has made the vehicles less appealing to people who drive long distances or apartment residents who can’t charge at home. There are fewer than 50,000 public charging stations in the United States*. The infrastructure bill that Congress passed in November includes $7.5 billion for 500,000 new chargers, although experts say even that number is too small.


* On February 3, 2022, the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) unanimously approved an application to allow 3 electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in in the LI District.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

An electric car charging station is not a use enumerated in the Newtown Area Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance. According to one ZHB member, “there was a discussion about the need for an ordinance on this topic. Mr. Blackburn, the attorney for the applicant, suggested that more requests would soon be submitted…As I learn more, I now think additional details will be needed in the future. For example, how long does it take to charge a car? How much room is needed for charging/pulling in/out? Do we have to think about charging stations in the same way that we think of gas stations?"


“With regard to the installation of the 3 EV charging stations,” said another ZHB member, “yes there is currently no guidance in the JMZO and I do look forward to that being amended in the JMZO, hopefully in the near future as I envision that this will certainly become a more common occurrence.”


Further Reading:


  • “Newtown Township's Planning Commission Discusses Electric Vehicle Charging Stations”;
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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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